Choosing the right estate agent is very important and will have a big impact on how quickly you sell your house, and at what price. Contrary to common thinking, not all agents are the same and some will be more effective than others.
Do your research
When it comes to choosing an agent to sell your home, it helps to firstly make a shortlist of possible agents. It’s always a good idea to speak to others about their first-hand experience, so start by asking family, friends and neighbours for their recommendations.
Whilst comparing facts, like how quickly they sell property, how close they come to achieving the asking price and how successful they are, are important, you’ll also want someone who is experienced, enthusiastic and helpful, and a good estate agent will be punctual, friendly and able to offer expert advice.
Why not also take a look at their listings on sites such as Rightmove and OnTheMarket and check how they are marketing other properties they’re currently selling - do they include attractive pictures, list all the important features, have a floorplan?
Customer review websites like TrustPilot or Feefo or Google or Facebook Reviews can also be really helpful when searching for reputable companies with honest customer feedback.
Once you have a shortlist of three or four possible agents, head in to their office (if they have one) or give them a call, and ask them to provide a valuation for your property. This is a chance for you to check their communication skills, professionalism and knowledge.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make sure to gather as much information as possible – you’re going to need it when it comes to making a decision about who you want to sell your home. Here's a list of essential questions you should be asking each agent:
- Do you live locally?
- What can you tell me about the market in my area?
- How many properties have you sold in my area?
- What kind of prices have you achieved for sales similar to mine?
- How long have you been in the real estate business?
- Are you a member of NAEA Propertymark?
- Do you have a team of people to help with my sale?
- What are your working hours and will you or a colleague be contactable on weekends?
- What would you do if my property wasn’t selling?
Every agent who visits you should be able to tell you the price they suggest marketing your home for and the price they expect to achieve (although it’s important to note that these may not be the same), details of their fees and the costs associated with marketing your home and specific contract details such as tie-in periods.
What are their fees?
Then you will need to look at the nitty-gritty of the contract and the agent’s fees. If you are selling your house using a traditional, high-street estate agent, their fee will typically be based on a percentage of the price paid by the buyer - this is called commission.
You may find that other agents charge a single, flat fee. What is included can vary dramatically, however, and it's likely that different packages will be available for different price points, so make sure to check what you're getting for your money.
In order to avoid unexpected costs, don’t sign anything that you don’t understand and be sure to ask about anything that is not clear.
Are they Propertymark Protected?
NAEA Propertymark Protected agents will give you the assurance that your estate agent follows best practice, meets all requirements of the profession and works to industry standards.
We always recommend that you use an NAEA Propertymark estate agent. They hold Professional Indemnity insurance and if they are holding monies are required to be covered by Client Money Protection to give you peace of mind throughout the sale of your house.
Finally, choose someone you have felt comfortable dealing with and who you feel you can get along with.
If you are thinking of selling or just need some property advice just give us a call on 01364 652652.