Finding the right estate agent for you and your property is paramount when selling your home. Hence, here are five top tips to help sellers to make sure they make the right decision and choose the ideal estate agent through which to sell their property.
The internet is an invaluable research tool when trying to find the right estate agent. Online engines search as Google or better yet local property websites such as The Property Scene website will allow and enable you to quickly see the estate agents operating in and around your area without even having to leave the house.
If you struggle to find a property website covering the area in which your property is located though, you might find it useful signing up (if you are not already a subscriber that is) to the Which? Guides website as doing so will permit you to make use of the Which? Local Service and so find reputable estate agents local to your area and as well read genuine reviews made by their past and present clients.
Ask Friends and Family
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a good agent, or a few. Not only can you discuss with friends and family who have bought and sold properties close to you for their advice and recommendations, but chances are the advice and recommendations your nearest and dearest provide are likely to be the most honest.
That said, because friends and family are likely to be biased (even if that bias has your best interests at its heart) and not experts, their advice should help you to make the choice of which estate agents or agencies to explore further but should not be the only research you do.
This might prove a tough idea to entertain for many, but visiting local and well spoken of estate agencies in person and under the pretence of actually ‘looking to buy’ is an idea all sellers should at least consider before choosing one estate agent or agency over another.
By posing as a buyer you get to experience the service those you hope will view your property receive before committing to one agent or agency over another. Seeing how helpful, prompt and enthusiastic as well as professional agents are when dealing with potential buyers can really help a seller to make the right choice of estate agent.
Approach Estate Agents in Person
Once you have a short list of potential agents that all have knowledge of the property market in your area, experience selling properties similar to your own and positive reviews and testimonials, it is worth taking the time and making the effort to speak with them all.
Ideally, drop into an estate agent’s in person and armed with the following questions, as well any you yourself might have:
- Do they make use of ‘For Sale’ boards? Further, will they provide you with one for your property?
- What other marketing materials will they use to help sell your property? Specifically, will they provide potential buyers with floor plans, virtual home tours and / or photographs?
- Where will they advertise your property? Will you home be Advertised on their website, in local newspapers and / or on local property websites? Do they advertise via sites such as the Rightmove website and the Zoopla website, which are the two most popularly searched property listing websites in the UK.
- Will they themselves conduct viewings for you or are you expected to show potential buyers around your property?
Estate Agent Fees and How to Haggle
Currently, the average amount a person selling a property can expect to pay to an estate agent stands at 1.3%. Being aware of this before entering into an agreement with an estate agent or agency is important to avoid overpaying for their services and expertise – and so that you know when to haggle.
Haggling is perfectly acceptable when negotiating an agreement with an estate agent or agency, provided you do so respectfully and understanding that whilst you want to spend as little as possible, they too have a business to run.
Then, for advice on not only how to haggle but why opting for ‘the best deal’ does not always mean choosing the cheapest one out there, the Which Consumer website features the article: ‘How to Sell Your House: Estate Agent Fees and Contracts’ which is both up to date and full of further tips and advice.