It’s an important decision to put the sale of your home in the hands of estate agent – so it pays to make the right decision. Getting it right can not only help you realise the best price for your home, but also ensure that it sells more quickly and generally makes the whole process less fraught with hassles. So, here are some top tips that might help you with your choice:
• It helps to know what you want – it might sound fairly obvious, but it helps to know just what you want your estate agent to be doing for you. It’s unlikely to be enough simply to say that you’re hoping to sell your home;
• The price – an estate agent will suggest a price which your home might fetch, for example, but it’s important to have your own figure in mind beforehand. Of course, the suggested the price might be lower than you’d imagined, but if that is the case, you can at least ask why. An honest opinion, coupled with the advice that this is likely to find a buyer more quickly, for example, could in fact save you time, hassle and money in the long run;
• What if – rarely does anything go entirely according to plan, of course. One of the questions for your estate agent, therefore, is likely to be about their fall-back plan if the price you are asking seems to be attracting few buyers. What do they have up their sleeves in that event? What are some of the options they might offer? What more will they be doing to drum up some interest?
• Questions – questions, in other words, are likely to prove very useful in helping you chose the estate agent best equipped to deliver just what you want. Questions to your friends, relations and neighbours about agents they might have used are also a good way of finding out which ones are being recommended – and why;
• Fees – whether asking around about others’ experiences or questioning estate agents directly, it’s clearly important to know what you might be getting for your money. Fees can vary very widely – from as little as 0.5% of the eventual selling price or as much as 2% or even 3% (with the latter, therefore, being four or even six times more expensive than the former). On the sale of a modest £200,000 home, therefore, the difference in estate agents fees could range from anywhere between £2,000 and £12,000 – that’s a lot of money;
• Selection process – what all this means, of course, is that it’s worth spending more than a little time and effort selecting the best estate agent to represent your interests. You might like to think of it as a series of interviews with each of the candidates – whittle down the potential contenders to a short list and then visit each of them with your list of pre-prepared questions. Those estate agents who are serious about winning your business are the ones most likely to spend an equal amount of time and effort addressing all of your concerns and going out of their way to inspire you with confidence.