How do you choose an Estate Agent?

Finding an Estate Agent is one of the biggest issues that people struggle with when looking to sell their house.

Here’s our top 10 tips.

  1. Ask for recommendations

Ask family, friends and local community for recommendations. Also, local Facebook groups can be a fantastic place to ask about local Estate Agents.

  1. Talk to a number of different Estate Agents

Always get minimum of 3 Estate Agents around for valuations.  However tempted you might be, look around at the market and get a realistic picture. Watch how they conduct themselves around your house. What ideas and hints do they have? Are they part of a redress scheme, such as the property ombudsman? Ask the same questions to each estate agent and compare the answers.

  1. Price is only one consideration

Most people feel that the most important question will be “How much will they charge?” At the moment charges normally range between 1-2% averaging about 1.5% for High Street Estate Agents, and online estate agents are obviously a lot cheaper, as they have less overheads.  But don’t forget that even if they don’t sell your property, you’ll have to pay their fee, unlike the High Street Estate agent who are paid on completion. So be careful. It’s far more important to decide who will be the most proactive and be able to sell your house at a good price, in a decent amount of time.

  1. An agent you are comfortable to work with is important

You will be having a lot of contact with them over the up-coming months, so pick someone that you are comfortable with.  Would you be happy to share a cup of coffee with them?

  1. Do your due diligence on the Agency

Find out as much information about them as possible. What area they mainly work in? How many properties they’ve sold recently? Double check. Don’t just take that word.  Look online on Rightmove and Zoopla. Find out what type property they mostly sell and how well they know the area. What they do to actively market their properties? Do they have potential buyers already on their books? Do they chase leads?

  1. Find out how they market your house

How do they advertise? All of them will probably advertise at least online with Rightmove and Zoopla, do they do anything else? Advertise in for example local papers, email potential buyers. Do they have displayed boards? Do they have shop fronts?

  1. Good photos are crucial

Always check what standard photos they take, and whether they get in a professional photographer.  Don’t just rely on their phone. The professional photographer should be able to show your property at its best and make it stand out. Good first impressions make all the difference.

  1. Who will do the viewings?

Make sure you know who will conduct the viewings. If you’re not doing them yourself, which is normally advisable, who exactly is going to do them?

  1. When are the Agency available/open?

Find out when they open. Some Estate agents only work a few hours at the weekend and don’t work evenings, others do. Decide what suits your needs.

  1. Finally – The contract.

Double check how long you have to sign up for. It is negotiable! Most like at least 12 weeks. They feel that gives them time to actually properly market it. If you’re comfortable with that fine, if not negotiate.

Don’t forget they are working for you. If you get it right at the beginning, you’ll have a really good relationship.  You can both work together, and you’ll then have a quick and smooth sale.

Good Luck