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Choosing an Estate Agent – the Top Tips

So you have decided to sell your property and are now finding that making this decision was probably the easy part! The next stage is to choose the right estate agency to handle the sale and as well as looking at their window display and website, there is a tick list of points that will help you make the right decision and choose a really good estate agency for you – it is well worth investing time in making some good research.

Take a Drive Sign Board Spotting!

This may seem a daft idea, but it is well worth have a good look at the ‘For Sale’ boards in your locality to get a feel as to which estate agencies have a good ‘presence’ and are handling the sale of similar properties.

Ask for Recommendations

If you have family, friends or work colleagues who have recently moved, why not ask them which company they used and whether they were pleased with how the sale was handled? Was it easy to communicate with them? Did the agency achieve a good selling price for them? Ask friends who have lived in the area for years whether there is a particular agency that they would recommend.

Which Estate Agencies Look the Most Dynamic?

You will probably find there are a number of estate agencies handling properties in your area. Take a good look in their windows, how good is the display? Are the photographs of their properties eye-catching and is the information helpful? Check the property section of your local newspapers and see how the advertisements by the same companies look – will your property be well advertised. Does the agency advertise on Rightmove?

How Good Are Their Websites?

Spend some time on your laptop and check out each of the estate agencies’ online presence. This is extremely important as most prospective buyers make their initial searches for property online at a time to suit them. Check each website in turn and evaluate how easy it is to navigate and are there plenty of photographs and a good description for each property? Very importantly, does the estate agency use 360º tours as this is proving increasingly popular with prospective buyers as they can view a number of properties in one evening, from the comfort of their sofa with a glass of wine in hand!

Check out Their Credentials

By now you probably have a short list of good local estate agencies. All are required to be members of the Property Ombudsman or the Surveyors Ombudsman Scheme. Many are also members of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Ask for a Valuation

The next stage is to request a valuation from three different agencies to gauge how good they are. How helpful are staff members when you walk in the office? When the representative from each company comes to value your property, do they seem experienced? How well do they know the property market in your locality? Don’t be swayed by the one that gives the highest valuation – it needs to be realistic because a property that is over priced will ‘stick’ and not sale. If the property price is too low, the property will certainly sell fast, but you will have lost out financially.

Check out the Charges

It is worth comparing the charges with a couple of companies. Sole agency is usually 1-2% with an eight week tie-in time. Limiting yourself to sole agency may work, but you may feel that you would like to switch to multi-agency at the end of the tie-down period and the charges for multi agency are usually 1.5- 2.5%.

If your favoured estate agency is more expensive, now is the time to haggle the commission rate down! Double check if there are any other charges that will apply. Read through the Terms and Conditions of your chosen agency.

Who Will Organise the Viewings?

Double check that your chosen estate agency will draw up the viewings diary and arrange and conduct them for and that they will give you advance warning of dates and times.

By now, your chosen estate agency should be ‘head and shoulders’ above the others and you can confidently move to the next stage which is preparing your property to sell… But that is another tick list to tackle after you have enjoyed that promised glass of wine!

If you don’t want to spend money on estate agent fees and want a quick sale, Speed Property Buyers can buy your house within 7 days and for cash. Enquire by contacting us or ringing directly on 01903 331 599.

Cash Property Buyers, We Buy Any House

Speak to a member of our team and find out how we can help you sell your house quickly.

About the author

Starting his career in Estate Agency, Jeff quickly moved up the ranks to manage his own office for Halifax Property Services. Co-founding Speed Property Buyers in 2008, he has applied this knowledge and overseen rapid expansion of the business.