How to deal with a (difficult) letting agent

There are many times when we are in need of a good letting agent, but not all letting agents provide the same level of service, so it will be up to you to decide whether it is worth your time dealing with the difficult ones. You may not have a choice depending on the size of the market you’re going for, but for the most part you should keep a few things in mind no matter what agent you’re working with:

Visiting letting agent websites

You should work on visiting the letting agents themselves over just working via websites, especially since the websites may not have been updated in a few days and that could mean all the difference in the world. It will still be pretty useful for you to go through them to get a good grip on the prices that you will be working with however, so don’t count them out as a source of information.

Get ready for research

What do we mean by that? Instead of visiting their websites and calling it a day you would need to be ready to meet as many of the letting agents as you can in person to get a good feel for the people they really are. Attempting a rental based solely on online experiences is all well and good, but the truth is you’re dealing with property and this is serious business that needs a serious attitude. You can even work on this on Saturday mornings if need be, since most places will be open from about 9AM to noon or even later. There is nothing wrong with explaining you are shopping around, since this is something most people do anyway. There are some things you may need to keep in mind, such as looking presentable and worthy of respect by dressing the part. Landlords and their agents will also get a first opinion of you based on the way you look, so the more professional you appear, the better it will be for your efforts. Before you can call your moving company to have fun with moving into your new home you will need to be ready for anything.

Working out the weekly prices

Most agents will talk about rent based on a weekly price, rather than the usual way people like it – monthly payments. They may try to use this to confuse you and attempt to sell the rent as something lower than it already is, something completely normal in all businesses selling services or goods. Don’t let that stop you however, since you will have a good chance to work on this yourself. Draw up a table and see about starting your search only when you are ready to put in as many details as you can for later comparison.

Let them think they have a great deal

This is something you can do to ensure you find more information on the property you want. You will usually have a good idea about the average prices of these places, but you can find plenty of cheaper opportunities out there. You can go to the agent and despite being aware of the properties on their website they will often say that you will struggle to find something good at a price you want. Do keep in mind that they are doing a sales pitch and you need to look through it. Avoid giving the top figure to the agents. They prefer to think they have already won, so you would need to give them a lower figure to begin with, letting them have a victory over the prices later on. You can begin by telling them your budget is lower than it actually is. There will be negotiating and there will be claims of it not being possible, but then you can raise the bar a bit. Think of it like haggling, but with a twist. Nothing in business is ever as simple as it looks at first. Once you are done with this and you land a good price you can focus on hiring movers, moving in and finishing the relocation for good.

If you don't want to go it alone and would rather engage the services of a professional home search consultant, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Happy house hunting!

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK