With romance in the air again this February Adrian Tod of Hayward Tod takes a loving look at how we could fall head over heels with…an estate agent.

Spring is round the corner and love is in the air. Yet spare a thought for poor estate agents. These, often undervalued, creatures are amongst the least likely to receive a great deal of affection from their clients on Valentine’s Day - or any other day for that matter.

But right at the moment, in this dire economic climate, good estate agents can be a bit like perfect sweethearts. It is always best to have someone by your side who values you, who will fight for you, who won’t answer back - too much, who will only hang around your house when you want them to, and has all your best interests at heart. Such a person may not make such a bad partner.

Of course there are good partners and bad partners. Selling property well rests heavily on the partnership built up between seller and estate agent. A good agent will lovingly put your property on a pedestal and then negotiate fiercely to achieve the best deal for you. On the other hand, a lesser agent may just put your property on the internet with all their others and then haggle to find the easiest deal all round.

There is a great difference between the two – often many thousands of pounds. You could come to love the former but hate the latter. The trick is finding the right one at the outset. It’s a bit like finding the best boyfriend or girlfriend. They may look roughly the same but in practice they all act very differently.

So if you are searching for the type of estate agent you could come to love this spring invite a few around to give you some marketing advice and see how you get on. Then ask yourself which you would prefer, the flashy one who brags a lot and is cheap or the one who you feel most comfortable with to act in the most decent way: the one you can come to depend on.