Choosing the right estate agent is crucial to getting a successful sale on your home. It can be a daunting task, especially with so many estate agents to choose from. Many sellers will experience difficulties in this being generally uncertain what to look for and which estate agent they should trust.
The first problem many sellers incur is the getting the correct asking price, sometimes valuation figures can have a 5% to 15% differential in price. There is also a common perception that all estate agents are the same. This is definitely not the case. There are local agents, online-only agents, and sole traders for you to choose from, all with different costs and benefits. A good agent will help you to get the best value for your property, save you time and save you stress, where as a poor agent could do the exact opposite, Initially charging you less but then delivering a lower price with lots more hassle.
Create a shortlist of estate agents
It helps if you can get the list of agents you have to choose from down to three, then invite them out to do a valuation. To do this you should:
- Ask trusted friends and family – nothing is more powerful than someone you know offering their recommendation from recent experience
- Look at the Estate Agents sales record. Are they well known for high quality service and do they actually sell the houses they place of their books. If an agent has many properties for sale but have very few sales then this is perhaps a worrying sign they are over valuing properties!
- Compare local agents based on their recent online reviews. After friends and family, other consumers are your next best point of reference. Visit their Social Media sites and Google.
- Look at how they market a property. Will they give you maximum exposure? Are their property photographs well taken? Do you believe they will market yours effectively?
Making your final decision
Choose an agent based on how you feel they will look after you during the entire process of the sale, not just based on fee. Many agents are over optimistic with their valuation to win your business, only to reduce the price later. Make sure you are confident an agent has used comparable evidence and recent transaction examples when they give you your price.
You may also want to consider agents who do more than just selling your home. Do they help with sales progression? Are they doing more to help ensure your sale goes through smoothly once an offer is accepted? Selling houses is more than putting a sold sign on a board.
An agent who works hard on your behalf to get you the best price, can save you a lot of money in the long run. Make sure you “get on” with the valuer that comes out and you trust them. Your relationship with your agent is one of the most important things so you must feel confident they will pick up the phone when needed and help you get all the way through to completion.