Zen and the Art of choosing your estate agent -  Paul Bonett

"Quality is the parent, the source of all subjects and objects." - Robert Pirsig

?When you buy your clothes, your shoes, your furniture, anything valuable to you, once you’ve set a budget, the lowest price is no longer the defining reason to buy or not to buy; it’s then based on the quality of the product.
Within ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’, a classic of contemporary American literature, Robert Pirsig considers what makes 'a life well lived'. He suggests that what gives life value is ‘Quality’. Quality is not an empirical, scientific value: you cannot calculate it; you have to experience it in more than 3 dimensions.
What is the relevance to estate agency? Strangely, some sellers seem to not consider this in choice of agent, but go for the ‘Never mind the Quality, feel the Width’ test to deal with the sale of their most significant financial asset. Why would people do this? Could it be low expectations of finding empathy, the ‘all agents are the same’ mentality or poor prior experience?
How could you find and define ‘Quality’ in an estate agent? If you spend some ‘quality’ time with agents, you may find it. When you decide to market your property, you have to endure the often painful routine of inviting the obligatory three agents into your beloved home to compare their offer and for them to ‘sell’ you their services.
Measuring the quality will not depend greatly on the 'image'/persona: company car; shop front; suits; brochures. These have a role to play, but, digging deeper, you should discover professionalism, an ability to listen to you and respond to your needs, a mature knowledge of the local market, an honest understanding of property values, areas, streets, architecture, amenities; what and when events occur in Brighton & Hove. 
Imagine an empathic conversation between your agent and a buyer, where the buyer feels more au fait with the City after meeting the agent. Your buyers will want to be fully informed so your agent needs to be too. As the agent’s client, wouldn’t you be pleased? The buyers certainly will be, having had the ‘other’ estate agent experience all too often.
If you want quality in your estate agent experience, ask the right questions before you engage your agent; let your head and your heart work together – it’s real life...and of course, if you haven’t already, Pirsig’s book is definitely worth reading.

Photo is of author Robert Pirsig and his son

Abbreviated version of original article by Paul Bonett FNAEA MARLA