CAN YOU TRUST ESTATE AGENTS?
For the popular majority and most cash strapped home seekers, using an Estate Agent you can trust has become vital.
Once vilified, and ranked with politicians and second-hand car salespersons, among others as least trustworthy, they have worked hard in the last decade to rebrand themselves.
So where do Estate Agents now rank? Truthfully, there are still some who you would not ask to mind your house while you nip out for a take-away. However, many have accepted self-regulation through voluntary schemes that uphold a strict code of good practice.
Most also subscribe and financially support a free and independent service to deal with any disputes. The Property Ombudsman is now well recognised and respected. They continue to aim for high public trust.
Agents who have been able to diversify to add independent in-house guidance in finance and legal matters have been gaining ground in the trust stakes.
Step forward Thomas Morris (St. Neots).
On behalf of an owner (my son) 12000 miles away, they and me as their authorised UK link, managed to keep our nerve while others may have wilted during the deepening depression in the housing market. Patience was much tested.
Before Thomas Morris were appointed, the property needed some cosmetic treatment and additional funding to bring back to an acceptable standard for renting. Very little interest had been shown without it!
It was further blighted by the owners' discovery of illegal multi-occupation and property abuse. Its previous lettings agent was alleged to show lack of due diligence. Arrogant denials by the bank mortgagees of the existence of a vital authorisation document slowed access and re-marketing. Previously unknown mortgage interest and council tax arrears had to be cleared.
It was a challenge. Not least because the time differences in Australia made contact for urgent decisions sometimes difficult. All the staff at Morris, St. Neots enthusiastically took the challenge.
Eventually, the combination of Agent nous and experience; constant and regular contact with the sellers\' and potential buyers; positive local and National promotion, and final realistic pricing, brought a mutually benefiting conclusion.
Customers' trust can bring much reward. Thomas Morris worked hard to earn it.
Best Agent 2012? They can count on my vote. Trust me!