Things to look for when selecting your agent
Our 5 top tips to consider when selecting your agent
1. Firstly, look for all the signs of a professional company. An organisation whose image is important, and a business that understands the relationship between homeowner and agent. After all, you are giving your agent the most important job that you have, and that's to sell your home. Treat the agent that comes to appraise your home as if you are interviewing them. Write a list of questions and make sure you make notes of their answers. In addition the Office of Fair Trading recommends that all sellers use an estate agent that is a member of the Property Ombudsman. This gives you a published code of practice and a guarantee of your agents conduct.
2. Insist on seeing examples of the agents' property particulars to see how they market properties. In this time of visual marketing quality photographs are essential. Expect the agent take photos of your home to give you an idea of how it will look. Make sure you receive advice about how each room should be best presented, and what time of the day the images are best taken. The agent you select should provide floor plans as a standard part of their package, if you are fortunate you may find one that draws them in colour, to scale and showing all of the important detail including your homes overall area.
3. Choose an agent that has set opening hours, so that buyers know when someone will be available to organise viewings or answer any questions they may have. Some of the best agents now make themselves available to all of their customers and clients until late into the evening, even if their branch is closed, using the most up to date telephone systems.
4. Think about what frustrates you when you try to visit an agent. The office position and its window space are important, however the impact will only be appreciated if a prospective buyer can easily find somewhere to park their car and take a look. Also think about the volume of traffic that passes your chosen agents window and if the window cards are of a size that shows your home to its best. Make sure you mystery shop the agent to see if they register your contact details, this is essential; you would be astonished how many agents don't bother.
5. Experience and honesty, key words when choosing the right person for this most important job. Being independent can often mean a more person tailored service, one that looks at what is best for the seller not what's best for the agent. Many enquiries are generated through the internet; the key question is who will be dealing with that enquiry for you. Look for an agent that has a wealth of local knowledge, preferably one that lives in the area. This will give any prospective buyer real peace of mind when making the choice of which home to buy. Let's hope it's yours.