Multiple Letting Agents Dilemma

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  • Multiple Letting Agents Dilemma

    Hi. I recently bought a property and having refurbished it throughout - used one letting agent to market it for several weeks with no real success. I've now got it marketed with a few more agents for the maximum coverage. I've used one agent in each town (totalling 4) but I'm not sure if that's a good thing, because of its visibility on rightmove with different agents. As well as bigger exposure and getting competative rates - it also gives customers a choice of agents to use. However, does it also look desperate by doing this? The disadvantage is that I'm getting conflicting information from these agents.

    For e.g. I recently had a scenario where one agent told me that they have the 'ideal tenant' who was willing to move in a few weeks away - which was at a time when I also had other interested parties through other agents. This agent told me that by taking fees from this family, they would be committed in moving in and that if they defaulted in any way, that fee would be payable to me. This fee was said to be a holding deposit which is £250 (as the family was moving in a couple of weeks away) and the agent claims that they cannot take the 6 weeks deposit or get them to sign the tenancy agreement until the day they move in. They assured that nothing will go wrong so I told the other agents that the property had been let. A week later, they told me that these tenants failed their credit referencing (bad debts, CCJ ) so that was it! They can't move in. The holding deposit turned out to be their admin. costs afterall, as the tenant didn't change their mind but simply failed their checks! The other tenants from other agents had found somewhere else by then. So, I'm left with no tenants, no money! The agents are £250 better off!!

    Another agent said that not everyone with bad credit history gets turned down by letting agents so that agent could have asked for guarantors, 6 months deposit etc. to get round this problem. Is this true? What could I have done differently to aviod losing tenants from the other agents at the time? Should I have got them all checked out first - even if it means they could be out of pocket?

  • #2
    As an agent I refuse to do joint agency. The reason is simple. I want authority to sign up tenants. Many of my competitors do not care about the landlord OR tenants. They will happily sign up a tenant, set a move in date and THEN inform the landlord. During which time other agencies have been doing viewings and possibly arranging signups.

    I manage a property that had this exact scenario - due to bad weather we were unable to do viewings (over Christmas this year) and the flat took a bit too long to refurbish. We went to do a viewing and found someone had moved in - they were actually getting out of the shower when we went in! We had kept the landlord appraised of viewing times and apparently the other agency had not told them that someone had moved in, OR the landlord was just hedging their bets by not letting the other agencies know what was going on. This agency was (Name withheld by LLZ) lettings who you would assume would be more professional but it could have been the landlords fault.
    Last edited by Editor; 16-03-2010, 11:10 AM.
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