Choosing which estate agent to use to sell your house is an important decision. Choose a good estate agent and you’ll end up selling your house quickly and for the best price possible. Choose a bad agent and your property can sit on the market for months, sometimes years, with little interest from potential buyers. So, what should you be looking out for when selecting an estate agent?
Here are Our Top Tips!
- Which estate agents have sold properties near you recently? Estate agents tend to have ‘patches’; areas where they have a superior local knowledge in terms of the price local property can command and where they have potential buyers actively looking to purchase. These estate agents will be best placed to give you a realistic idea of what your asking price should be and what figure you can hope to achieve, and should also know how best to market your property to attract the more suitable buyer.
- How do their sales prices relate to their asking prices? This will give you an indication of how accurately properties are being valued and how good their staff are at handling negotiations.
- How quickly are their properties selling? If the estate agent is selling similar properties regularly and quickly, they’re likely to be a pretty safe bet, but if they’ve had similar style properties (eg. flats aimed at young professionals, family homes, bungalows etc) to yours on the market for a considerable amount of time, it’s likely that they’re either not marketing the property in the right way, or at the right price, or that they don’t have access to suitable buyers. Time on market varies hugely throughout the country, so it’s obviously important to look at general market conditions in the area to manage your expectations of what constitutes a quick property sale in your area, but again this is something that good agents should be able to provide more local information on.
- Compare success rates and fees – there are some great estate agent comparison tools available now, which show agents success levels and help you to compare costs associated with using each agent. Of course it’s worth paying more for an agent if they’re the most qualified for the job and able to get you a quick property sale at a good price, but it’s also worth keeping in mind that most agents are open to negotiation in order to get your property on their books.
- Consider whether an online estate agent would work for you? This will depend, largely, on how much of the work you want to do yourself. Online estate agents can be hugely cheaper than traditional high street estate agents, but won’t have the same local knowledge and many offer items such as ‘accompanied viewings’ as an optional extra. If you’re confident conducting property viewings yourself and handling some of the negotiations etc then an online estate agent could be perfect for you, and save you a pretty penny, but if you’re looking for someone to fully handle the sale of your property for you, a traditional estate agent is probably a better fit.