Selecting the most appropriate Estate Agent to sell your Property.

I thought that for the title I would put ‘selecting the most appropriate‘ over what we’d normally see with ‘finding the best‘.  If you are looking for a new estate agent to deal with your property then it can be complicated as at times there is too much choice and we must be careful not to be tempted in by red flags such as going with the one who is cheapest or the one who values your property the highest etc.

If you are in the position that you successfully sold your property previously with an estate agent then it is advisable that you use them again, so long as they are under same ownership and same management, as you are likely to receive a great service and achieve once again a ‘sale’ which you are happy with. If on the other hand you are new to an area or your previous sale did not go too well, then you will be looking out for a new estate agency.

If it has been a few years since you last sold a property then you will find the industry as changed in many ways, mostly on how property is marketed and the types of estate agents that are out there to choose from. Not only have we traditional high street estate agents, you also have some you may not have seen or heard of who are ‘online estate agents, ‘hybrid estate agents’ and also concepts which allow you to ‘sell your property yourself’.

You are, at the end of the day, the all important client and certainly in today’s market, you have gold dust in the eyes of an estate agent by way of a potential new valuation for them – This is good news as they will be working hard for you, but also bad news in that many will do what they can to tempt you and tie you in to their services. With this in mind, here are a few tips to consider when choosing the appropriate estate agent to sell your property with:

  • Go online and check out property for sale both in your local area and also in the price bracket / style of your own home. This will give you an idea of which estate agents are listing these property so which are the most successful at dealing with your property.
  • Check sold prices and who has sold them. Lots of websites have this information for you where you can simply type in your street name or postcode and get some sold prices up. Example here on the Primelocation website: Sold prices
  • Online is a great place to look at what is happening in the local market, but also think about having a drive around your area and look out for estate agency boards or check your local newspaper for property listings.
  • Once you have an idea of which estate agents are active in your eyes, research their name online to see what feedback and reviews they have had. Sites such as raterAgent and AllAgents showcase estate agency reviews.
  • Are these estate agents regulated? Names they should be under include National Association of Estate Agents, the Guild of Professional Estate Agents or the Ombudsman for Estate Agents.
  • Do not forget that word of mouth is great too – Ask friends and family if they have any experience with local estate agents and if they have recommendations for you.
  • Some people say a mystery shop is not a bad way to see how some estate agents work. A telephone call to them or pop in to their offices and see how they react to you as a potential buyer of a property like your own. This is fine, but could back fire and cause a slight coldness from the agency if one minute you have mystery shopped then and the next you are calling them in to carry out a valuation.
  • Try and pick out three estate agents you like the best and compare their fees and how they market property. Well all know Rightmove and Zoopla, but some agencies will only be with one due to a recent new platform called OnTheMarket that allows estate agents to only use one of the major property portals to list their property.
  • Check how they market their property online, the quality of the photography, do they offer video tours / drone photography, floor plans, quality of the property details they send out, size of advertisement they take in the local newspaper, are they a featured estate agent on Rightmove, how good is their website and positioning on Google… Lots I know, but each tell you how well your estate agency will market your property.
  • You should really have an idea in your mind of the valuation of your property so when you do call out the three estate agencies to give you an appraisal, see how far their valuation is. A high valuation could be a sign of them wanting your property no matter what and they’ll reduce the asking price over the next few months or it may very well mean they believe that you can achieve a higher price than you think – If so, ask them why they think that!
  • Do not be shy to ask questions. Think re asking them if they have any buyers on their books, will they do accompany viewings, are they open at the weekends etc.
  • Fees and costs need to be arranged and also sole or multiple agency agreements. Look through the paperwork carefully and if necessary, get a second opinion. You may be paying out £1,000’s when you sell that property so make sure that before you sign anything that you understand all and you agree with all.
  • It is time to decide. Choose the best estate agent for you, be it traditional high street agency or online agency and make sure you work as part of a team. You need to have a good relationship with your estate agent as it is a very traumatic time for some people buying and selling property, lots of stress, emotional and of course, it is one of the most important decisions we make in our lives so communication needs to be strong and always open. Yes, an estate agent has a job to do, but I advise to work with them as by doing this you could achieve a better sale experience and a better price.

 

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

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