If you decide to sell your home, you could well find a tribe of estate agents battling it out to get your property on their books.
But although it can be tempting to simply plump for the agency which values your home the highest, this is not always the best way forward.
Here’s a guide to some of the factors you may want to consider when selecting the right estate agent for you.
The price is right
When you sell your home, it’s natural to want to get the best price possible. However, by using an estate agent which has overvalued your property, you may find your home stuck on the market for much longer. And in addition to the inconvenience and frustration that a delay could cause, buyers are less likely to pay the full asking price, or close to it, if they see you have been waiting a while.
When you get your property valued, discount any estate agents who seem to value your property much higher than everyone else. Picking an estate agent who offers a more realistic price will give you a better chance of a quick sale. The chances are that they will have more reasonable fees too; very often those at the top of the market charge more too.
You may be considering using an estate agent because of a recommendation from family or friends, but it is essential that your chosen agency has the right kind of experience.
Selling two bedroomed family homes is very different from selling luxury homes worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, and requires the right approach. An estate agent who is more used to selling penthouses than your typical semi-detached might not be the right choice for you.
Find out where it will be advertised
The days when selling your home was managed either by a ‘For Sale’ board in your front garden or a picture in your local estate agent’s window are long gone. Whilst both these methods remain helpful, you are just as likely to find a buyer by advertising online.
Before you sign up to an estate agent, ask them what they will do to sell your property. Also enquire how long it is likely to take. They may promise to upload your details to their website but it isn’t much help if it takes them two months to do it!
Check the small print
When you sign your property up to an estate agent, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms of the contract. It is therefore essential to find out what is contained in the fine print.
Most estate agents insist on a period of exclusivity before allowing you to advertise with multi agencies if they haven’t found you a buyer. However, some estate agents try to bind you to an exclusive contract for a very long period of time, which would leave you unable to change agents, even if you were unhappy with their conduct.
Check their credentials
Selling your home is one of the most stressful things you can do, and having the support of a helpful and knowledgeable estate agent can make the process much easier. But on the flip side, an unprofessional estate agent can make the whole business far more protracted and painful than it needs to be.
It can therefore be a good move to check the credentials of the estate agent, especially if it is a local company rather than a national chain. Membership of either RICS or NAEA can provide some peace of mind as well as practical help; estate agents who belong to either have to follow a strict code of conduct.
When you decide to sell your home, appointing an estate agent really depends on what is most important for you. Harry Charles of Hertfordshire are highly recommended if you live in this area. If speed is of the essence and the selling price of secondary importance, you may want to get recommendations from family and friends about agents who they have experience of. If however, keeping fees to a minimum is your priority, shopping around will help you to find the most competitive rates. Whoever you pick, make sure you understand what you are tied into and what they are promising to do in return for their commission.