How to make sure you get the right Estate Agent
Thu 10 Aug 2017
When you find yourself in need of the services of an estate agent, whether it be to rent or sell a property; make sure you don’t just go for the first one you find, or the one closest to the bus stop! Moving home can sometimes be a very stressful time and so you should take your time to pick the one that is right for you, the one you have the best relationship with and the one you feel understands your requirements the best.
The best people to ask for advice and suggestions are those you trust – friends, work colleagues, neighbours and family. You could even go so far as to ask your financial advisor or local solicitor as these people deal with estate agents on a daily basis and will happily tell you the ones they find the best to work with. Just bear in mind that different people want and expect different things from their estate agent, so make sure you get as many opinions as possible.
Understand what they are offering
Sometimes we ‘assume’ a service level based on our expectations. Don’t! Make sure you completely understand the service you are signing up for and what you are expected to pay. Some agents charge more for glossy brochures or professional photography and floorplans. Also make sure you know who will be conducting the viewings on your property. Many of the newer and cheaper online agents don’t offer an accompanied viewing service and so you would be expected to show potential buyers round yourself. Some people are ok with this while others hate the idea. Make sure you know what the viewing arrangements are and don’t be afraid to lay down your requirements.
The most important thing to look at when choosing an estate agent is the contract. Be sure to understand how long you are ‘tied’ to one agent for, as if you property is not getting as much attention as you want or hasn’t sold quick enough, you may not be able to switch to another agent until after the end of the contract term.
Be upfront about your situation
Estate agents like to know what it is they’re dealing with. Once you have agreed a sale price on your property make sure that you are both singing from the same sheet. If you have to stick to the asking price and won’t accept anything lower – tell them! Equally if you are prepared to be flexible, let the estate agent know how much as they can try to get you the best price from a buyer.
Trust your estate agent
Your agent will obviously value your house. This is based on many factors, including the value of properties nearby that have sold etc. They also know their buyers. They will give you an idea of what they think of any offers they receive on your home. They may advise that they think the offer is the best you’re likely to get or they may say that they think they may be able to get a better offer for you. Remember, you are paying for their services so listen to what they say!
by Sally Wykes