What people look for when picking an estate agent.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, the sheer sums involved in any property transaction are likely to demand that you receive the very best service and advice… And this is particularly true when entering the property market in upmarket areas where prices have hit £1m and up.

And this is particularly true when entering the property market in upmarket areas where prices have hit £1m and up. In south-west London,  Robert Holmes a Wimbledon estate agent ,  is especially well placed to bring its many years of experience and expertise in negotiating property transactions for vendors, buyers and tenants of upmarket homes, flats and offices.

Yet, as the Telegraph newspaper puts it in a story (January 2015), the popular image of estate agents may be roughly on a par with that of traffic wardens – hardly a glowing picture in other words.

But as with many instances of popular wisdom, this less than flattering picture tends to overlook the fact there are some very good, reputable and hard-working estate agents out there – especially when it comes to the sale, purchase or letting of properties in London.

This was demonstrated at The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2015, which saw a high-ranking judging panel scrutinise more than 550 agents before handing out industry Oscars at a glittering ceremony.

When sorting the sheep from the goats and the good from the bad, therefore, what characteristics are you likely to be looking for in a good estate agent?

Some of the indicators suggested by the HomeOwners Alliance include the following:

  • the track record – what notable sales have they had on their books, for how much and when;
  • transparency – the valuation of a property is all in a day’s work for an estate agent, of course, but have you been given a reasoned justification for the precise valuation that has been made;
  • qualifications – membership of one or more of the relevant professional organisations may speak volumes for the reliability and competence of an estate agent (Robert Holmes, for instance, are accredited members of both the Association of Residential Letting Agents, ARLA, and the independent Retail Ombudsman);
  • honesty – with the best will in the world and any amount of hard work on the part of your estate agent, your property might still not be selling, so how honest an answer have you received as to the reasons why and just what your agent proposes to do about it;
  • the agreement – your instructions to an estate agent are typically backed up by a formal agreement, the terms and conditions of which it is clearly in your interests to read carefully, understand and ask for clarification of any points which remain unclear;
  • price – as with any service you are buying, the fees charged by your estate agent need to be taken into consideration, together with your understanding of exactly what service you are going to receive for your money.

As you might expect, an estate agent with a track record that demonstrates success in high end property transactions is likely to score impressively in these and other indicators or their status and standing in the local market.

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