Your property is often your largest asset and so choosing an Agent to sell
that asset for you can often be a daunting task and one that you need
to get right. Here's our advice when deciding your agent of choice:
One of the best ways to see if your chosen agent is up to the job is to spend a few minutes on their website and in particular to look at their customer reviews (in the same way you might for a hotel or restaurant). Slades continue to receive 5 star reviews from clients and all our 1000+ reviews can be found by clicking on this link Reviews (sladeshomes.co.uk)
Similar to reviews, getting information from a previous client of an Agent is a great way to ascertain their credibility and performance. Ask friends and family for their advice, who have they used previously, who should you avoid and who has performed well?
A great way to understand who the best Agents are locally is to ask them for a copy of the selling statistics in the local area. All Estate Agents have access to this information via Rightmove and the top selling Agent's will have a greater database of purchasers from previous similar sales and, generally, will be providing a high level of service to their clients. When provided these statistics, it's important to check the date range and location, so as not to be misled. In our opinion, the number of sold properties should date back between 6 months - 2 years and should be specific to your location. Furthermore, it's not just about the volume of properties they are selling it's also about the price. For example, Agents at the top end of the market, will often sell less in terms of volume than a mid-range Agent and so ask the Estate Agent to define a price range similar to the value of yours.
Location and your onwards move
Even if you are moving out of the area, having an Estate Agent with great local market knowledge is important for your sale. On a market appraisal, question the agent on local comparable sales and ask them to show you examples of what they've sold. If you are staying local, then they will help you find your onwards move and so, the top selling agent would have a better chance of finding you your dream home before it hits the market.
Online presentation is arguably one of the most important factors with modern Estate Agency, especially with the digital world that we live in. Have a look at similar listings to see the level of presentation the agent is providing to others. What is the quality of the photos like? Is there a property video or 360 virtual tour?
Property portals and exposure
The large majority of buyers enquire via property portals. Consider which property portals the Agent advertises on and if they will premium list your property on these websites. Premium and feature listings will help your property stand out from the crowd. Consider where else your property will be advertised? Does the agent have a local office where it will be displayed, a London presence, magazines, newspapers? Social media now plays an important part and so will it also be advertised on their Facebook, Instagram, Youtube?
Valuation and fee
Unless you have previous experience with an Agent, obtaining three valuations can be beneficial. The highest valuation is not necessarily the best, in fact it can often be an Agent trying to 'buy' your business. Listen carefully to the advice given and their reasoning with any comparable evidence of similar properties that have sold. With regards to the commission fee, cheaper does not mean better. You often pay what you get for with Estate Agent's, after all, why wouldn't a better agent with a greater level of overall service want to be paid more than an average agent? From a purely financial standpoint, the average property price in BH23 is approximately £425,000. The fluctuation between the different Agents fee's, in very general terms, is 0.25% or so, which works out to a differential of roughly £1000. Whatever the true value of your property is, a skilled agent, compared to a standard agent, will achieve a value for your property that exceeds that differential. In fact, during a recent survey of a panel of over 2000 leading property professionals, it was concluded that the financial impact a skilled Estate Agent can have is anywhere between 0-8% of the property’s value. Yes, it may cost you an extra £1000 or £2000 in terms of the commission fee, but you will be in a net gain overall. Redacting the solely financial standpoint, a skilled Agent will have an impact on the chances of a fall through, perhaps finding a buyer in a better buying position than others may have, timescales to a potential completion, working with other agents and solicitors in a chain, all whilst keeping you updated and appraised of the situation. Another element to consider is the terms of that commission fee. 'No sale, no fee' will keep the agent incentivised, rather than the online agents who are generally paid upfront and then have no financial incentive whatsoever to get you sold. The agency contract period should be considered too. An agent that is investing in the marketing and putting the hard work in, will want a commitment from you.