When it comes to selling, people think about the price that their home could be worth and once listed, hope for a smooth sale. But it is the estate agent who will sell your property, so choosing the right person or company can mean either an accurate valuation or a lack of interest. The key to finding the best agent is to take your time and research, because whichever one you choose, you will be trusting them with your most valuable asset.
Here is some advice to help you find the right estate agent.
Check Their Credentials
In the UK, an estate agency must be registered with The Property Ombudsman. This is an official body that regulates the British real estate industry. Companies will often display scheme logos on their websites, so you can start to research from the comfort of your own home.
Be a Secret Agent
An easy way to understand how an estate agent works is to go undercover and pretend to be a potential buyer. Think about how they speak to you. Are they friendly? How do they describe the properties? Are they enthusiastic? This will allow you to see how your home would be marketed and if you would be happy with the service they offer.
Know Your Figures
All estate agents charge a percentage fee in exchange for selling your home, but the amount can differ from company to company. On average, this fee is 1.5%. Make sure you do your homework and are knowledgeable about the local housing market. This will give you leverage to negotiate on fees.
Ask Insightful Questions
You need to know how your property will be marketed and how long any agreement will last. Ask if your home will be listed in the local paper or if they use services such as Right Move. Enquire about viewings to find out if an agent will be present and if they operate outside of office hours. Also ask about the agent’s experience and find out how long they have been working in the local area.
Compare and Contrast
It is always advisable to get a valuation from at least three estate agents, as there are companies that will advise on a price that is too high to secure your property, or others that will undersell. Averaging figures will give you a solid guide price.
Seek prices from national chains as well as local estate agents who specialise in your area.
Always remember that when it comes to working with your estate agent, you are in the driver’s seat. Your home is entirely in your hands and the agent works for you, so voice opinions, ask questions and negotiate offers.