Choosing an Estate Agent
Getting the best from your estate agent
Love them or hate them, estate agents play a vital role in selling and buying your home. Appointing the right estate agent can make all the difference to selling your existing home quickly at the price you want and to securing your new dream home. Here’s what to look for when you’re choosing an estate agent - how to avoid potential pitfalls and develop an effective working relationship.
Research, research, research
Before you appoint an estate agent to sell your current home, do your homework first.
Drive around your local area to see which estate agents have the highest visibility – look out for offices close by, “for sale” boards – and more importantly “sold” boards. Be wary of estate agents who have a lot of properties on their books but few sold ones. They may be over-pricing in order to gain clients.
Search online to see which estate agents have the greatest presence on the Internet.
Ask the estate agents you’re considering using about the amount of advertising they carry out and where it’s placed.
Research properties in your area to determine what similar properties are selling for. It’s a good idea to go to your estate agent with a rough asking price in mind.
Consider online agents too, they could save you £££.
Most estate agents charge a commission of between 2 and 3.5 percent of the sale price. Although fees are negotiable, don’t push for an exceptionally low fee. Your estate agent might have a six bedroom mansion on their book and you want them to go all out to try to sell your one-bedroom flat. Agents that charge more will usually invest more in quality advertising of your home so you’ll be more likely to get a quicker sale at the price you’re after.
Cost is also affected by whether you decide on a sole, joint or multiple agreements. If your estate agent is the sole agency, they have the exclusivity on selling your property for a set period of time, and the commission is usually lower. A joint agency agreement means two agencies have the right to sell your home and split the commission in the event of a sale. The fee for this is higher than a sole agency agreement. A multiple agreement means you have several estate agents trying to sell your property with the successful one not sharing the agreed commission.
It’s all in the detail
Once you’ve instructed an estate agent, they will draw up the particulars of your house and arrange to have photographs taken. Make sure you check the details meticulously before you sign to say that they’re accurate. Take a good look at the photos and agree which ones your estate agent can use.
Be prepared for viewings
Any good estate agent will have prospective buyers already on their book so be ready for viewings. Make sure your home is de-cluttered and tidy before you instruct an estate agent – and make sure it stays that way throughout the selling process. Remember that buyers prefer to view a property for the first time in daylight, so If you’re usually away from home during the day, let your estate agent have a set of keys.
Buying a property: make an impression on your estate agent
While sellers are responsible for paying the estate agent fees, your relationship as a buyer is equally important. Good estate agents have plenty of buyers competing for the same properties on their books so you want to at the forefront of their mind. Visit your estate agent at their offices so they can get to know you., rather than just being another name on their long list of prospective buyers.
During the first meeting with your estate agent, be clear about the “must-have” aspects of your new home, and which ones you are flexible about. This will save everyone’s time when viewings are arranged. Then stay in touch. If you don’t hear from your estate agent for a while, contact them instead. This shows that you’re a serious buyer and will help put you at the top of their list.
Don’t be a stranger
Once you’ve had an offer accepted on your perfect property, stay in touch with your estate agent to arrange access for valuations and surveys. You don’t want anything holding up the process at this stage. Vendors have every right to pull out of a sale if it’s taking too long.
Don’t take the estate agents’ word as gospel. They should always offer advice that’s in your best interest, such as planning permission or catchment areas for schools, but do your own research if you can and verify their claims. If you’re unable to check something that’s important to you, get the estate agent to put it in writing. You then have some come-back should the claim turn out to be false.
Evenings and weekend visits are available. Please call to arrange.
These times may change on a daily basis.
MONDAY: 10am - 3pm
TUESDAY: 10am - 3pm
WEDNESDAY: 10am - 3pm
THURSDAY: 10am - 3pm
FRIDAY: 10am - 3pm
SATURDAY: BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
SUNDAY: BY APPOINTMENT ONLY