The diary of a 1st time seller, aged 32 ¾ – Entry 2

*Don’t miss Entry 1: Where do you actually start when selling a property?*

Entry 2: How do I choose an agent?

With my house de-personalised, de-cluttered and freshly painted, I could already sense my mind shift from feeling like the house was a much-loved extension of my family, to the bricks and mortar that could give me the means of moving up the property ladder. I now needed to find an excellent estate agent to represent me.

I read that you should invite three estate agents in for market appraisals, so I embraced the norm. Feeling like a slightly more cynical Simon Cowell about to embark on the search for the next big thing, here is my appraisal of the agents battling it out for my business.

Agent 1 – The ones that sold me the property 7 years ago

I had a fine experience as a first time buyer with this local agent, but with no basis for comparison I had no room to judge.

Positive

 

  • They showed me their track record of how they sold my property twice before
  • They immediately identified the USP’s of my property and who it would appeal to.

 

Negative

 

  • They gave me a valuation that, to me, seemed far over the asking price for a property of my type in the current market. I had done my homework and didn’t think it was possible to ask £7k over the asking price for others in my area.

 

Agent 2 – The recommendation through a friend on Facebook

My friend from school raved about this company at being on-the-ball, dynamic and getting them their asking price, so I had high hopes.

Positive

 

  • They were brutally honest about the small changes I could make to my house to make it more appealing to prospective buyers and could add value. This gave me confidence.
  • They talked at length of the USP’s that could give my house the competitive edge; the kitchen, the benefit of being chain-free… they also made me visualise it as a listing online.

 

Negative

 

  • They were half an hour late due to running over with other appraisals – the cheek!

 

Agent 3 – The agent who responded quickest to my Property Valuation request on Rightmove

In my eyes, the speed of response to my request meant a real hunger for my business. I thought I’d give the wild card a shot.

Positive

 

  • They were very professional and showed me some examples of properties like mine that they’d sold recently in Luton.
  • Their examples of photography and branding online looked great.

 

Negative

 

  • Being a premium agent in the area with traditional values, their fees were higher than the other agents I met, which was a bit of a sticking point for me.

 

I decided to go for ‘the recommendation’ for a few reasons. Firstly I liked that they didn’t give me a valuation there and then – instead they said they would come back to me the following day with their expert suggestion. I liked that they were honest with me about the parts of the property that could put buyers off so I had a chance to fix them before they marketed me. I liked that they suggested leading with internal shots of my house to maximise interest. I also liked that they offered to upgrade me with a Premium Listing so I’d stand out on the portals that matter.

In my gut, I just felt that the negotiator understood my needs which gave me a confidence in achieving a sale if I instructed them.

Next week – How do I get the best out of my property listing?

Written by Natalie, a first-time seller aged 32 ¾.


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