How to choose the best estate agent
The average person will deal with an estate agent a handful throughout a lifetime. Deciding which agent to use to help to sell for most their most valuable asset and largest investment can be a daunting experience, however it does not have to be.
Our Quick Guide
The first step is to shortlist 2 or 3 estate agents locally to help get an understanding of your property value as well as local market knowledge. One of the popular searches on search engines is ‘estate agents near me’. When deciding which agent to choose an easy mistake is to assume the highest valuation will mean the best estate agent however this is rarely the case. Some estate agents are known to overvalue your property to win your business. It is advisable to ask to see comparable properties that have been sold. Book a free valuation.
Check exactly what services each agent offers.
- Which publications or website(s) do they advertise , are there addition charges associated.
( Property portal advertising is very important the two largest and most popular in the UK are Rightmove & Zoopla).
- Will viewings be accompanied or will you have to do them, are there additional charges associated.
- What marketing materials will be used ( eg property details, photographs, floorplans, for sale board) are there charges associated.
- Do they work from a database of registered buyers who they call or is interest reliant on new enquires.
- Are fees upfront, are fees payable if property does not sell or no sale no Fee.
- How long is the contract and how long is the notice period.
Beware of an overinflated price. This is an age-old tactic used by estate agents to win your business. An estate agents’ job is get the best price however overvalued property rarely sells and just delays the inevitable price weeks down the line, the best estate agents pitch the price realistically based on market activity and comparable property. A well-priced property will generate interest and in many cases exceed the asking price however if a price is too high you may even struggle to generate viewings. You can carry out some research yourself, look at what similar property are priced at and also check sold prices. Rightmove & Zoopla property portals are recommended and also ask the agent to supply evidence to support the valuation.
Key questions to select the best estate agent
- How much do you think my property is worth and what is the best strategy do you suggest to achieve that price
- Have you sold properties similar to mine recently – and if so, how quickly and how much for?
- Do you have a database of buyers looking in my price range?
- Do you vet buyers to check their affordability?
- Where will you advertise my property?
- Is there anything I should do/change about the property before listing it?
- What would you emphasise to buyers when showing them around?
- Will you accompany buyers on all the viewings?
- Do you do weekend and evening viewings?
- Will it be you selling my property, or a different member of the team?
- How will you follow up with prospective buyers after they’ve viewed the property?
- Can I track viewings and feedback on your website?
- What is your fee, and is it negotiable?
- What are the tie-in and notice periods?
- How much would you charge for an energy performance certificate?
- Which redress scheme do you belong to?
- Can I see a copy of your terms and conditions?
Do you like or trust the agent
It is very important to get on with your estate agent. The best estate agents are highly communicative and likeable as well as trustworthy. Your gut feeling is a key factor, the likelihood you will spend 45 minutes to an hour talking to the estate agent on the valuation, this is enough time to get a feel for who you are dealing with.
The best advice we could give here is to trust your instinct, is the information believable and did they seem genuine. It is important to choose an agent who get on with, the relationship could last three months or more so it is advisable to select an agent who you can see yourself working with as this will help a smoother process.
So choosing the best estate agent is not as difficult as it may seem, just go ahead and take the first step book a valuation and follow our simple steps and advice.