What should you do if your buyer tries to renegotiate? The Secret Estate Agent shares his views

The Secret Estate Agent answers your property posers. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Secret Estate Agent answers your property posers. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Let Hertfordshire’s Secret Estate Agent answer your property questions and give an insight into the world of estate agency...

My house is under offer - what should I do if my buyer tries to renegotiate on price given the current climate?

The transactions agreed before lockdown have been generally resilient; solicitors have been able to progress the transactions although deferring exchanges and there have been only a few examples of renegotiation.

I can remember the day after the referendum decision nearly four years ago when there was carnage and it seemed everyone wanted a price reduction or just decided to withdraw without any dialogue.

The buyer may be asking for a reduction as they are being asked for one in turn by their own buyer and are merely passing it up the chain to share the medicine.

In short, each case should be viewed on its merits and is normally dependent on the motivation and length of the chain to move things forward.

In my experience, agents are better positioned to deal with renegotiations with other agents and solicitors are happier to retreat and leave it to us.

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What’s been your most embarrassing moment on a property viewing?

I’ve had the misfortune as a fresh-faced junior negotiator of entering a bedroom on a viewing when showing a couple around and finding the occupants in a compromising position. I assume their housemate didn’t tell them about the appointment or perhaps they were just exhibitionists.

Bit unlucky it was 9.30 in the morning and I made the comment to the viewers before entering the bedroom that they would be surprised by the size.

Anyway, after a hasty retreat they decided not to purchase – they loved the house but not the position. I always knock now.

What single question do you dread hearing from a client?

Can you ask the buyers if they would pay £2,000 for my second-hand hot tub and then we have a deal? Client is a very sociable family with three teenage boys and pampas grass outside their house.

If you were selling your own property, what’s the main quality you would look for when choosing an agent to act for you?

Trust. I’ve just Googled the definition – ‘a firm belief in the reliability, truth or ability of someone’. Sellers sometimes base their decision on the lowest fee, but generally cheap agents aren’t good and good agents aren’t cheap.

You have to be convinced you can have a working relationship with your agent and the best relationships are built on trust. The agent can demonstrate this to you at the initial valuation through their industry experience, local knowledge, success in selling comparable properties, marketing expertise and more importantly how they convey all these attributes through their personality. Trust me.

Do you have a question for the Secret Estate Agent? Email jane.howdle@archant.co.uk or get in touch via our Facebook or Twitter pages.