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Choosing the right estate agent when selling your home is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth and successful property transaction and it’s not just about choosing the right agent, but choosing the right agent for you! In this article, we’ll delve into what you should consider when key choosing an estate agent and what […]
05 January 2024
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Choosing the right estate agent when selling your home is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth and successful property transaction and it’s not just about choosing the right agent, but choosing the right agent for you! In this article, we’ll delve into what you should consider when key choosing an estate agent and what makes a good estate agent, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and to maximise the potential of your property sale.
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When choosing an estate agent, you don’t just want someone who will get you the best price for your property, but also someone who will support you through the sales process. Begin by researching local agents, reading reviews, and seeking recommendations from friends and family. Look for an agent with a proven track record, local market expertise, and a strong online and presence. Also consider factors like experience, reviews, and responsiveness and ultimately choose someone who is going to proactively and enthusiastically sell your property.
Understanding whether the agent represents the buyer, seller, or both is essential. The estate agent, when you sell a property, is being paid by you and works for you and they should have your best interests at heart and be on hand to help you navigate the sales process.
Deciding between a national or local agent can be a difficult decision. National agents are often more well-known and trusted, but local agents often possess in-depth knowledge of the area and can use their expertise to offer a more personal service and provide a tailored approach to your sale. Alternatively, online agents can be a lot cheaper, but you may have to do a lot more of the work yourself, such as taking viewings.
Estate agent fees can vary, typically ranging from 0.75% to 3.5% of the property’s sale price, but they usually sit somewhere around 1.5% (check this includes VAT). Fees are likely to be higher if you instruct more than one estate agent to market your property. A sole agency agreement means the agent you sign with is the only agent who has the right to sell your property, but if you sell your home yourself, you won’t have to pay a fee.
Some agents offer fixed fees, which means it will be the same price regardless of the asking price and time taken to sell. These fees cover the services provided by the estate agent throughout the selling process.
For instance, if your property sells for £300,000 and the estate agent charges a 1.5% fee, the fee would amount to £4,500.
When looking at different estate agents, take into account their fee structures and be wary of overly high or low fees, as they may impact the quality of service.
A reasonable fee reflects the services offered and should include VAT. Estate agent fees typically include a range of services such as property valuation, marketing and floorplans, arranging viewings, negotiating offers, and overseeing the transaction process until completion. Ensure each agent is transparent regarding additional costs and inquire about a breakdown of the services covered in the fee.
Many agents are open to negotiation. Discuss fees upfront and consider the value of services offered, aiming for a fair agreement that benefits both parties.
You can find local estate agents by using online tools such as Rightmove estate agent finder, by asking for recommendations from friends or neighbours and by getting out and about and looking for agents who have the most ‘sold’ boards up in your area.
You can start to evaluate agents by doing your own research online. Start by looking at properties in your area that have been recently listed by the agent and note the date the property was listed and whether it is ‘sold subject to contract’ to get an idea of how long it took the agent to sell the property or if the property has been on the market for a long time. Also, check the type of properties being listed to make sure the agent is experienced in selling properties like yours. Evaluate an agent’s communication skills, marketing strategies, and understanding of your needs. Check their listing pictures are of good quality and whether they have a strong online presence, including portals and social media, which can optimise exposure for your property. Ultimately, choose someone you feel comfortable working with and who demonstrates professionalism.
Look for an agent with a comprehensive marketing plan, strong negotiation skills, and a proactive approach to property viewings. A good agent should guide you through the process and keep you informed at every stage of the process to make sure the sale progresses as seamlessly as possible.
Comparing at least three agents provides a broader perspective on market conditions and helps identify the most suitable candidate for your property sale. Don’t be tempted just to go with the agent who gives you the highest valuation, because they could be over-optimistic or even just want to get the listing. The problem with this is that, if the valuation is too high, it could result in it taking a lot longer for you to sell, price reductions and even down valuations from the buyer’s mortgage company. Be sure to ask each agent relevant questions to make sure they align with your requirements. Key questions include:
* What is the cost of the service you provide?
*In addition to asking the right questions, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.
While an agent’s valuation is valuable, cross-reference it with your own online research and the other independent valuations to ensure accuracy. If a valuation is overly optimistic, it could result in it taking longer to sell the property, price reductions and even down valuations, which will result in disappointment further down the line.
Opting for multiple agents can increase exposure, but using one agent can be more simple and it’s crucial to have clear agreements in place to avoid conflicts. Consider the benefits and drawbacks before making this decision.
Choosing the right estate agent involves thorough research, open communication, and a clear understanding of your property’s unique characteristics. By considering these factors, you’ll be well-equipped to select an agent who aligns with your goals and facilitates a successful property sale.
From mortgages and insurance to viewings, offers, exchange and completion, our Buyers’ Guide will take you through everything, step by step, from start to finish.
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