Guide to choosing an estate agent

There are often many estate agents in a town. A good estate agent can make the difference between selling your house for a good price or not selling your house at all.

Here is a guide, provided by Mighty House, as to what to consider when making a choice of which estate agent to use to sell your property.

Similar properties

Look for who has a good supply of similar properties nearby. This is a sign of a successful agent with a good database of clients looking to buy in the area.

Marketing
All good estate agents need to advertise properties for sale where home-hunters look most regularly. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Does their website look professional and easy to use?
  • Do they advertise on Rightmove? 85% of home-movers say that Rightmove is THE site they want their property advertised on. Find an agent in your local area now.
  • How do their property listings look? Would you be enticed to talk to this agent about your requirements based on their property descriptions and photos?

Members of a regulated professional body

Good estate agents should be members of professional bodies such as the Royal Institution of chartered Surveyors (RICS) (This is the highest level of accreditation) or the National Association of Estate Agents. All good agents are also members of the property ombudsman. Find out more about these bodies here.

Customer service

Are you met with a polite, warm greeting when you enter the estate agent’s branch or when on the phone to them? Does it look like you will be treated as a valued customer? Are the staff knowledgeable?

Remember – you may get on well with the representative from the estate agents who comes to value your property and find them very professional and knowledgeable but there is a team behind that person in the office who are likely to be handling the day to day matters of organising viewings and obtaining feedback and negotiating the sale and seeing it through to completion. The way you are treated by the team in the office is very important.

Look for testimonials in the office, on the agent’s website and their microsite on Rightmove.

Property knowledge and perseverance
Often the hard work is making sure the sale completes once the sale has been agreed. Understanding how to get a sale back on track when such things as valuation reports and surveys bring up issues, is a skill and can take hard work and perseverance.

Valuation of your home

Don’t be fooled by estate agent’s valuers who over value houses to persuade you to appoint them. You should look for an honest opinion. Better to instruct an agent who has impressed you and yet gives a low valuation rather than an agent who you are unsure about who gives a high valuation. You can always ask the more impressive agent to increase the asking price. Most agents however are normally willing to try a higher price first and the skill and service to the vendor is knowing when to call the vendor and say it’s time to reduce it.

Request a free, no obligation valuation from the experts in your area using Rightmove’s valuation tool.
A good selection of comparable sales should be presented to you and ideally the agent should have some first hand experience of selling similar properties.

Fees

Do not base your decision on fees alone. A good agent obtaining the best price could far outweigh any saving in fees from using another agent. Fees should however be reasonable and in most parts of the UK you can expect to pay up to 1.5% of the sale price plus VAT.

Summary

Take your time choosing which agent you instruct. Talk to friends, family and people you know about their experiences in selling their homes. Word of mouth is the best endorsement any agent could have. Check their website and look at how they present the properties on Rightmove. Call into their offices if you can and chat to the staff and make sure they are approachable, professional and knowledgeable about the local market in your area. You are going to be the toughest judge of all so if you feel confident that you would buy from them you can be sure there will be lots of others that would!


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