Five key questions to ask your estate agents.

paramount properties

Selling your home can be a testing time. This traumatic life event can be full of anguish as you question almost every decision you make. Is it the right time? Will I get the asking price I want? Can I find a suitable property in the area? How will this impact family life? The list goes on. And on. However, remember that in order to have a successful sale you need to find yourself a great estate agent. It’s like anything: you wouldn’t hire a builder without interviewing, or finding out about their experience first, and the same can be said for estate agents.

During your search there are five key questions that you should be asking. Here they are from West Hampstead estate agent, Paramount Properties:

How much is my property worth?

The first one is obvious, but very important. You will want to know how much your property is worth, so you need to know how it will be valued. We’ve all heard nightmare stories when a property is on the market for years and sometimes this can be put down to the fact that the asking price is wrong. When you ask an estate agent this question, some will simply guess, or tell you want they think you want to hear. But a professional will always demonstrate how and why they came up with a proposed figure. It may be less than you had hoped, but sticking with this price means you are more likely to sell your home.

It’s important to remember that the value of your home and the actual asking price are two different things. You need to appeal to as many buyers as possible, within a certain band. What’s more, you need to remember that many buyers will be looking on internet, so you need to know how the estate agent intends to optimise the price for the internet. What this means in estate agents terms is that there are three ways to price a property on the internet: fixed price, in excess of and in the region of. These terms send out different signals to buyers and will get them either interested or they will automatically dismiss the property. Get the asking price right and you could be appealing to hundreds of buyers, get it wrong and you could be stuck with your property for years. A professional agent will help you to understand how this affects your chances of selling and how much you could eventually receive.

How are you marketing my property?

Marketing the property is a key strategy for selling promptly. You need know what tricks estate agents have up their sleeves in order to promote your home, and therefore create the potential for many more viewings. It is no longer enough to just put an advert in the paper and stick it up on Rightmove – particularly as now there’s more competition used by many different people. What’s more, many agents will only use one property portal, meaning you’ll miss out on those who use a different one. You need to know how much further your estate agent will go to ensure your house gets sold in a respectable timeframe.

How long will it take my property to sell?

Naturally, you’ll want to know how long it will take your property to sell. Most agents will tell you they can give you a quick sale at a high asking price. This is often not true, and can leave you, the seller, feeling frustrated. Again, it goes back to having a good marketing strategy backed up by plenty of experience. You can find that your agent very quickly runs out of ideas if your property doesn’t sell in the first few weeks or a couple of months and this is perhaps why 50% of houses stay on the market for such a long period of time. This can end up meaning that you have to change agents and start at the beginning again.

Is it likely my sale will fall through?

We’ve all heard of sales falling through but how often does it actually happen. A good estate agent will be able to help you understand how and why this can happen. Sadly, it does happen more than you would expect as buyers can change their minds, find they are unable to come up with the asking price, or simply find a property that they prefer more. This can often leave sellers out of pocket or cause them to miss out on a new property. So, you should be asking your agent how many of their sales fall through and what they will do to prevent your home from being one of them?

Who am I dealing with?

Lastly, you should find out who you will be dealing with. Some agents who come to value your property may not have any hand in the actual selling of your home. Then, once the property is sold, someone else may take charge. This can be very confusing for you and you may find that those who are supposed to be looking out for you know nothing about your property or your particular circumstances. Therefore you’ll find that it is preferable and much easier for you to deal with just one person throughout the transaction.

We hope these questions are helpful when it comes to asking the right questions. Good luck with selling your home!

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