So how many of you will be arranging Easter egg hunts for your loved ones this weekend?
Some use their gardens and the eggs in the big colourful ones are usually rather obvious to find, others hide copious mini eggs around the sitting room. I even know of one family who use their car as the venue for what has become a tradition over 20 years and they tell me there are an amazing number of nooks and crannies you don’t realise exist in a Volvo estate!
Whichever option you choose, it should be a bit of fun over the holiday weekend even if there is often a competitive edge whatever the age of participants. And this got me thinking. In many respects Easter egg hunts are a bit like finding a new home.
At the beginning there are the obvious places to look. The high-profile property portals where everything is available to see at the press of a button. Those are the equivalent of the eggs in the colourful boxes. Easily recognisable and easily found.
Then there are the eggs which are more hidden away. They take some time to find, usually the houses that are not yet online but definitely for sale. You get some hints from the estate agent. It could be a sale board cheekily erected at a road end but over half a mile from the property itself. It could be an estate agents mailshot or window display saying “coming soon”. You are intrigued and wants to know more before anybody else does. Rather like those mini eggs you can’t readily find in the sitting room.
And then there are those houses that for whatever reason are available low-key or as us agents often say “off market”. These are like the illusive last few Easter egg that everybody wants to find so they win the competition but they don’t know where to look.
Well this is where you need the guidance of an estate agent who has the knowledge and experience to help you. You need an agent who will think out of the box and who will know which owners might be thinking of selling but who don’t want everybody to know. These are the agents who know the right houses, the houses that are hidden away, or where an owner might be receptive to selling but there are no outward signs that’s what they’re thinking. In fact, a bit like the last mini egg that’s hidden in a place that only somebody with intimate knowledge of the sitting room or garden would know actually exists.
And so it is with estate agents. When you are considering which estate agent to use, whether you are buying or selling, consider not only the track record of the estate agency concerned, but also the track record of the individual agent you are dealing with. Does he or she have the knowledge you are seeking? Will they be able to find you opportunities that others might not? To continue to my Easter egg search analogy, we all ask others where they have looked, because we all wonder if they might have missed the obvious.
Some of us are very high profile, others are a little more discreet. Some have vast experience gained over many years and across large areas of Yorkshire. Others may not have the grey hairs but know their relatively small patch intimately. Whichever way a good agent should be capable of knowing where that last missing egg might actually be, to enable you to buy your dream home. Remember it is not always the most logical agent, house or location that gets you the right property.
So, if you are having an Easter egg hunt with the family this weekend, I do hope you enjoy it and don’t find too many eggs and promptly ruin the diet.
Tim Waring FRICS is head of residential at Lister Haigh in Harrogate 01423 730700. firstname.lastname@example.org