Selling A House

What Do Estate Agents Do?

Choosing an estate agent is a pivotal step in the home selling journey, and understanding what agents do and how much they cost is vital for effective budgeting and a successful sale. In this article, we will delve into exactly what estate agents do, exploring the services they offer and how much it is likely […]

Choosing an estate agent is a pivotal step in the home selling journey, and understanding what agents do and how much they cost is vital for effective budgeting and a successful sale. In this article, we will delve into exactly what estate agents do, exploring the services they offer and how much it is likely to cost you when selling your home.

Helping You Set a Price for Your Home

Estate agents play a crucial role in accurately valuing your property. Their expertise allows them to assess market conditions, analyse comparable sales, and determine an optimal selling price for your home. Always get several valuations from different agents and do your own research, using sold prices on online forums and combining this with the information provided by the agent to agree on a realistic price.

To research online, visit Rightmove and set the search radius to one-quarter of a mile of your postcode within the last 12 months. (Extend this to half a mile if few properties are coming back). Look at the prices of similar properties to your house sold for.

Educating You on Current Market Conditions

Staying informed about the current housing market is essential for making strategic decisions when buying and selling your home. Good estate agents keep on top of what is happening in the market and can act as local experts, providing valuable insights into market trends, helping you navigate the ever-changing landscape and make informed choices about your next move.

Helping You Market Your Home

Effective marketing is key to attracting potential buyers. Estate agents can employ a range of strategies to ensure your property receives maximum exposure. This can include professional photographs, video tours, social media exposure, promotion on major property platforms, floor plans and detailed descriptions. Check with the agent what is included in your fee, and always get proofs of the photographs before they go live so you can make sure they meet your standards. Agents can also offer tips on how to prepare your home for sale. 

Getting an EPC

Having a valid EPC is part of the process of selling a house. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are a legal requirement for selling a property and are valid for 10 years. The EPC report shows the energy efficiency of your home, rated A-G (A most efficient) and includes recommendations on how to improve energy efficiency. Estate agents assist in obtaining an EPC, ensuring your home complies with energy efficiency standards.

Finding a Mortgage Advisor

Navigating the mortgage landscape can be complex. You do not have to go with the mortgage advisor recommended by the estate agent, but estate agents often have connections with mortgage advisors who can guide you through financing options tailored to your investment goals. The alternative to this would be to find your own broker. 

Find Potential Buyers

Estate agents often have potential buyers on their books who may be interested in your property, They also leverage their networks and marketing channels to identify and attract potential buyers for your property, increasing the chances of a successful sale, compared to if you choose to sell yourself. The estate agent will also have a responsibility to make sure potential buyers are serious buyers by confirming their proof of funds and checking they have a Decision in Principle from a mortgage lender.

Conduct Viewings

Coordinating and managing property viewings is a time-consuming task. Estate agents can handle this for you, scheduling convenient times and showcasing your property to interested buyers. The agent may even arrange a ‘block’ viewing or open viewing where several potential buyers view at the same time. This means less disruption for you. If you use an online estate agent, you will be expected to do your own viewings, although some offer this service for an additional cost. 

Answer Queries

Buyers often have numerous questions during the purchasing process. Your estate agent acts as a point of contact and can address queries about your property and provide information to facilitate a smooth transaction. The more information you provide the agent with, the easier they will find it to answer queries. Queries might include:

  • What council tax band is the property?
  • Are there certificates for building works?
  • Is the property leasehold, and what is the annual charge?

Manage Negotiations

Negotiating the sale price is a delicate process. Estate agents use their expertise to represent your interests as the seller, protecting your interests, whilst ensuring negotiations lead to a fair outcome. The estate agent has a responsibility to present all offers to you as the seller, with the aim of achieving the best price, given the circumstances of both the buyer and seller. They can also help with negotiations during the conveyancing process, such as resolving any issues raised from the survey. 

Deal with Minor Issues

Throughout the selling process, minor issues or delays may arise. Estate agents are adept at handling these challenges promptly, preventing them from escalating and delaying or even jeopardising the sale. This can include disagreements with potential moving dates to issues with items being included in the sale.

Keep the Process Moving

Maintaining momentum is crucial in the property sale process. From issuing a Memorandum of Sale to releasing the keys on moving day, estate agents play a proactive role in ensuring all necessary steps are taken promptly to avoid delays.

What Do Estate Agents Cost?

Estate agent fees typically range from 1% to 3% of the property’s final selling price. A typical fee is around 1.5%. This percentage may vary based on location, the level of service, and the chosen estate agent. Fees tend to be fixed, but depending on the property you have to sell and the location, you may be able to negotiate with agents on fees.

How to Choose the Right Agent

Selecting the right estate agent is key to a smooth sale. When considering agents, look at their experience, track record, local knowledge and the specific services they offer to market your property. Go online and read reviews and, where possible, ask for recommendations to help you make an informed decision when choosing the right estate agent to sell your property.

In conclusion, a good estate agent can be key to a successful property sale, making the process a lot easier for you. By understanding the array of services they provide and carefully selecting the right agent, home movers can navigate the selling journey with confidence and efficiency.

Buying Your First Home? Read Our Buyers Guide…

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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