It is so vital to choose the right estate agent to help you sell your property and it is worth taking a little extra time to make that decision it can make and save you a lot of money in the long term. Here are our top 10 tips to help you choose the best estate agent for you.
Visit Local Estate Agents
The estate agents nearby will have more experience of your local area and the type of property you are selling. Having a good feel for your neighbourhood, some local estate agents even have a list of active buyers just waiting for good properties. How good they are, local does not always mean small and neither does it mean good. Check how many properties the estate agents are selling in your area this will give you a good idea as to how experience they are, not all estate agents are made equal.
Which Estate Agent boards do you see?
This is their public face of any Estate Agent, the board outside for sale and sold properties, have a walk or drive around your area and what are the estate agents names that you see, or which are you seeing most often? Pay close attention to those that say “sold”; they are not left up for long once the new owners take possession so more than a handful are a very good sign that the estate agent may be a good one.
Local press visibility
This has always been a good source of leads for your local estate agents and usually a local paper has a designated property day. Have a look to get an idea of the local estate agents serving your area or the area where you want to buy. Check here against the numbers and types of property each has listed. It is not unusual to spot estate agent trends and preferences – some like flats others have a diverse range of houses. What matches your needs the closest?
Ask around and be prepared for the response, people are emotionally connected to their home and when buying or selling a home is listed as one of the top 3 most stressful experiences you can ever have, you can bet that the estate agent if good or bad will have made an impression.
Check out estate agent reviews online
Everyone is a critic and rightly so and there are a lot of review sites out there, some like agentright.com are even dedicated to estate agent reviews and they are well worth spending some time looking through. Remember to share your estate agent experiences as well when you sale / purchase has concluded to help other home owners out.
Check for experience
Beware the higher valuations, this may make you feel better and encourage you to select selling your property with on estate agent over another but this can be misleading. If they don’t know what they are doing they could price you out of the market and you could end up stuck with a non selling home. The longer a property is on the market, the less likely it is to sell. Estate agents do sell on commission so be reasonable and compare quotes where you can and do your own research.
Estate Agent Fees
Negotiating with an estate agent over their fees is not always a good idea, they work harder for you when they can make more money and quality does cost more. Do not hire an estate agent solely on price; it can be a false economy. Saying that, make sure you are paying a good market average, some prices are significantly higher than others. This is about doing your research and being smart.
Read the small print
Be careful when signing any estate agency contract. There are many terms that can tie you them and limit other ways of selling your property. Try not to get stuck into a long term contract, the market moves quickly and being stuck with an underperforming estate agent is far from ideal.
Use more than one estate agent
If you can list your home for sale with more than one estate agent, it will extend your reach and make sure your property is visible to a wider audience and all this goes towards helping you sell your home and at the most competitive price.
Pose as a buyer
If you really want to get a good feel for an estate agent who will be selling your home, then pose as a buyer on your first visit. You will get a good feel then for how they sell and how they will approach buyers to sell your property.