How to choose the right Estate Agent.

How to choose the right Estate Agent.

Select a shortlist.

When it comes to choosing an Estate Agent, it helps if you can shortlist your options to three. Generally speaking, most sellers will invite the areas best selling agent over along with two or three others. There may be a number of reasons why a seller has chosen these agents to provide a market appraisal and each agent will do their best to try to convince you they are best suited to sell your home. But how do you ensure you’ve chosen the right agent?

 

  • Ask family, friends and neighbours – it’s always good to have a personal recommendation.
  • Compare local estate agents based on the facts: How quickly they sell property, how close they come to achieving the asking price and how many do they sell similar to yours.
  • Look at the properties that the agent is marketing online, are the pictures well taken, and the descriptions clear and relevant? Do they entice a potential buyer to view?
  • Do not feel pressured to hire the estate agent you bought your house from. Obviously, if you were impressed by how they sold your house to you, you might decide to go with them again otherwise keep your options open.
  • Find out about their standard terms & conditions, particularly their standard commission rate and typical tie in period.
  • What is their reasoning behind the value they’ve given your property? Don’t be fooled by overly optimistic valuations.
  • Are they members of an accredited independent ombudsman service? Such as the Property Ombudsman or NAEA
  • Will details of your property be shared with their colleagues? It’s good if more than one person in the office can talk enthusiastically and are knowledgeable about your property.
  • What would they do if your property was not selling as well as expected?
  • Are they open at weekends? A surprising high number of agents only work during the week, and perhaps do half day on Saturday, which means they are less accessible to potential buyers.
  • Will you have to pay extra for marketing and other costs, such as preparing the property details or For Sale boards? Try to get a fee that includes all these expenses.
  • Do they insist on “sole selling rights”? If so, it means that even if you find a buyer yourself, you still have to pay the agent their fee. If you do give away sole selling rights to an agent, it must only be for a very limited period.
  • Does the agreement have a time limit? This allows you to change agent if you are not happy. A normal period is 12 weeks but can be as little as four.

 

Final thoughts when choosing an estate agent

Make sure you get along with your estate agent, and that you trust them. They will be the first point of contact for         any potential buyers, so you need to make sure that they will represent you and your property well.

 

Remember to read the contract carefully and check your sole agency tie in period and required notice period. If you don’t understand something, ask. If you are not happy in any way do not sign the contract