How Do You Choose An Estate Agent To Sell Your House?
Property selling isn't something most of us do every day, so choosing an estate agency to deal with the sale might seem a little daunting. Contrary to what you might think, not all agencies are the same, and some will be more effective than others. This guide will help you find a professional and proactive agency that will sell your property at the best possible price.
Deciding between a traditional agent or an online agent
Traditionally, estate agents used brick-and - mortar stores to advertise a range of homes for sale in their high street windows. However, in recent years , the number of online estate agents has increased at a lower cost.
Although some online estate agents may have lower fees, many sellers still prefer to use a traditional estate agent. Research by the Department of Business , Energy and Industrial Strategy shows that 83% of sellers sold through a traditional estate agent rather than through an online estate agent. Only 5 percent sold through an online agent and another 5 percent sold through an auction.
Online agencies generally do not have offices that you can visit and usually charge an up-front fee for placing a property on the market. There may be additional charges if a sale is made and you may need to deal with a lot of the sales process yourself. As the overwhelming majority of sellers use traditional estate agencies, this is what we're looking at in this guide.
By Oleg. - https://www.flickr.com/photos/olegshpyrko/15400283837/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=101352444
Make a shortlist of estate agents
Create a list of about six agents that you would consider using. Ask your friends and neighbors if they can recommend them. You 're probably going to see agents' For Sale boards, advertisements in the papers and promotional leaflets through your mailbox. Which ones catch your eye? Take a look at OnTheMarket.com, where you can search for agents in your area. Take a stroll down your local high street and look through the windows of the agents. Which are smart and attractive? All estate agents must be part of the Ombudsman's system for dealing with unresolved complaints. All good agents should have codes of conduct in place to ensure that you are treated professionally.
Narrow down the choices – take a closer look
Find out more about the companies on your list now. Take a look at their websites. Information may be provided about the company, the staff, the range of services and, perhaps, some comments from the customers. Look at the properties listed for sale. Are they similar to yours and presented with high-quality photographs, floor plans and clear information? Would you be happy to see your property in there? Check that the agent advertises properties for at least one major property portal. You should now be able to narrow down your list that you can ask your property to give its market value opinion and explain how it would be sold at this price to a reliable buyer.
Find out if they're agents of estate for you – go and see them.
It's tempting to email or call these agents right away, but you'll get a much better sense of who they are and what they are like when you visit their offices to make appointments. You 're about to ask them to deal with what's probably your most valuable asset, so you want to know it's people you 're likely to trust and get along with. When you get in, how do they respond to you? Do you feel welcome here? Are they really helpful? Is it a friendly , professional environment? If you're feeling comfortable, make an appointment. If not, it's best to get away.
Help the agent to help you out
A good agent will want to understand your circumstances and needs. You may have to sell by a certain date because of a job move or a baby is on the way and you need to get a bigger home. Help them help you do that. Be honest with yourself about your circumstances and why you're selling. Everyone has specific requirements, and a good agent will tailor his services to deal with them.
Assess the agents
From your fact-finding at the beginning, you'll already have some idea of how these agents display properties for sale, but you want to know what they're going to do for you individually and how they're going to market your property. Ask if they already have "hot" prospective buyers on their books. Find out if they're going to accompany the people who come to see you. Ask how often they're going to keep in touch to let you know how things are going. And find out what they're doing when the sale is agreed as a good agent will be able to tell you about what's called the "sales progression" that's really important to make sure the sale goes through.
The estate agent’s fees
The agent will charge a fee for the sale of your property. Fees are usually a percentage of the sale price. There may be additional costs for things like advertising or photography, and there may be a fee if you withdraw the property from sale. A good agent will explain all of this in detail, and there should be no hidden costs. The actual amount you pay will depend on what services the agent provides and whether they are appointed as your "only agent" or one of several. Make a value judgment based on what services the agent provides, and do not assume that the cheapest is the best service.