Selling up can be an exciting and stressful time for many homeowners. Therefore, it’s vital that you make good decisions when it comes to choosing an estate agent.
It is highly important that you do your research when choosing an estate agent. It is worth noting that not everyone will benefit from using a traditional estate agent, with some people choosing to sell their property at auction, or even selling directly to a property-buying firm.
In this article we will look at some top tips for helping you to choose the best estate agent for you.
Tips for choosing an estate agent
Ask around for recommendations – This may sound somewhat obvious but asking for recommendations is a good idea as by doing so you will be making sure that you are using a company with whom a friend or relative has already had a good experience. This should hopefully mean that you are less likely to have a bad experience with the company in question.
Make sure your estate agent has the relevant credentials – It is important that your estate agent is qualified by the necessary industry credentials. Trade bodies to look out for include: Guild of Property Professionals, National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The relevant credentials are important for identifying a professional operation that will provide you with a positive experience.
Shop around – It makes sense to speak to multiple estate agents before deciding on the one you want to work with. It might be a good idea to go with your gut feeling in terms of who gives you the best customer service. However, if you want to make sure you are making the right decision it might be an idea to visit the estate agent as a prospective buyer first to see how helpful they are and how promptly and professionally they deal with your enquiries.
It can be tempting to go with the estate agent who values your house the highest. However, if the valuation is unrealistically high it could make it harder to sell in the long run and this could put a strain on the relationship you have forged with the estate agent. Get at least three valuations to ensure that you are pricing your home realistically.
Asking the right questions
Just because an estate agent gives you good customer service, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily a good fit for you. Make sure you ask the following questions to get a true idea of how suitable they will be.
How long the estate agent has been an established company and their level of experience – A well-established agent will have a lot of experience in selling properties which can be invaluable to a homeowner who is looking to sell up. Furthermore, an estate agent who has in-depth knowledge of your local area can be extremely useful.
How many similar properties have they sold – This can help you to find out if they are experts in selling your type of property or if there is another agency which is a better fit.
How do they plan to market your property – This can be a good indicator of the level of marketing that is included in the commission fee. You should be looking for an estate agent who will pull out all the stops to promote your property. It might also help to ask what the estate agent would do if the property wasn’t getting enough interest as this can help you to see their level of commitment to getting your home sold.
Who will take care of viewings – Some estate agents will take control of viewings themselves but others will be less proactive. It’s also a good idea to check as to whether they will be available for viewings during evenings and weekends.
Things to bear in mind when choosing an estate agent
It’s worth remembering that you are under no obligation to sign a contract offered to you by an estate agent without looking through it in detail first. In fact, it is advisable to be as thorough as possible when checking over your contract.
Querying aspects of your contract is a good idea as only before signing on the dotted line do you have bargaining power. Asking the hard questions before you sign is the best way to guarantee a good experience with your estate agent.