7 Tips to select the best Estate Agent

7 Tips to select the best Estate Agent

Picking the right Estate Agent is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when selling your house. Here’s how to pick the best one for you and your property:

Tip 1: Avoid Estate Agents who specialise in selling properties that are different to yours. The best way to see who is a good match for you and your property is to:

  •  Go to www.rightmove.co.uk
  • Add your postcode, price band of your property and number of bedrooms
  • Select “Properties within ½ mile” (or wider if your location is rural) and tick the “Sold subject to contract box”

See which Agents have the most properties and note these. Any Agents not active in your area with similar properties probably won’t have the level of expertise you need.

Tip 2: Check which portals each Estate Agent advertises on. The “Big 4” are Rightmove, Zoopla, FindaProperty and primeLocation. Over 90% of people start their property search online so any Estate Agent who doesn’t pay to advertise on all of these could result in you missing out on potential house buyers. Eliminate them now.

Tip 3: Research – ask anyone you know who has recently bought or sold a house what they thought of the Estate Agent involved. Type the name of the Estate Agent into google followed by words like “reviews” and “complaints” to see what other people thought of them.

Tip 4: By now you’ll probably have a shortlist of a few. Ring the top 3 and ask them to do a valuation of your property. Make a note of how quickly they answer the phone, how friendly and professional they are, and how enthusiastic they are about the prospect of selling your property.

Tip 5: When the Estate Agents come to do the valuation, again make a note of the impression they create – are they punctual, professional and friendly? Do not volunteer any information on the price you expect to achieve or the valuations already given by other Estate Agents. You want their objective assessment, not the price they calculate will enable them to get the listing! When they give you their assessment, ask them what this is based on. They should be able to give you examples of recent sales of similar properties (referred to as “comparables”).

Tip 6: Perceived wisdom has always been to go with the Agent who suggests the marketing price that is in the middle of the range. This seems sensible but shouldn’t be a hard and fast rule. If for example all 3 are close together on their valuation, you might want to set more store by the one you think your potential Buyers are most likely to warm to.

What you shouldn’t do – unless you’re totally convinced that they are right – is go with the one who gives the highest valuation. It’s the oldest trick in the book that Agents use to get listings, and human nature being what it is, many people are tempted to go with the one who promises to get the highest price. Then a couple of months later, after little interest, the price is reduced to a more realistic level.

Tip 7: Don’t use the one who charges the lowest fees, unless they are the best one. The difference you’ll pay in commission is likely to be outweighed by the price you’ll achieve if you use the best Agent. That’s not to say you should be happy to pay over the odds – I recommend that you pick the best Agent and if they are more expensive that one of the others, ask them to match their fee if you use them. Most will be prepared to negotiate.

By Richard Watters

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The Importance Of Decluttering Your House

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