There are More Agents Out There Than Ever – So Choose Wisely
The internet age has brought greater choice than ever across every sort of product or service. How do you choose the best agent to sell your house?
In days gone by, the first step towards putting your home on the market used to be a relatively simple case of walking down your high street and choosing from perhaps half a dozen estate agents. Today, as with everything else, the internet has brought greater choice, and there is a dizzying array of estate agents out there, all clamouring for your business.
Here, we run through some considerations to keep in mind when deciding which estate agents to use.
1) You can’t beat local knowledge
When it comes to marketing a property, local knowledge is a huge bonus. So for example if you are selling a property in the Romford area, choosing an estate agent in Romford will give your property an edge over ones marketed by those national chains.
2) Ask for recommendations
These days, we tend to trust in the Great God Google for everything. Looking at online reviews is fine, but also speak to friends. Who do you know who has sold a property recently? Which agent did they use, and how did they get on with them?
3) Make a shortlist
It’s no use staring at 30 choices. Narrow it down to five or so that have either been recommended, are local to you or ideally, both. Now is the time to take a good look at their websites and their property listings. Are the descriptions informative or generic? How about the quality of the photographs?
4) Have a chat
That will probably narrow the choice further, so next, get out there and talk to the agents. This is another reason to keep it local – if someone is going to be entrusted with the sale and marketing of the most valuable asset you have, it’s better to look them in the eye and meet face to face than to talk to some faceless sales representative over the phone.
5) Ask questions
It’s easy to get a little overawed – after all, selling property is a specialist area that you probably know little about. So have some questions prepared. Does the agent have a “hot list” of clients looking for a property like yours? Do they do accompanied viewings? How to they manage the whole sales process?
6) Tell them what you want
Similarly, estate agents are not psychic. If you have particular motivations behind the sale, for example because you need to raise capital, you have changing family circumstances or a career change, then let them know. This is particularly important if you have time constraints. A good agent will listen and craft their proposed marketing strategy accordingly.
7) Weigh up the fees
Every agent has its own fee structure. Most charge a percentage of the sale price, while others charge a flat fee. As is the case with most things, you get what you pay for – the online national chains will be cheap, but will not put the same effort and attention into marketing your property. It comes down to assessing which agent provides the most bangs per buck – if you want high quality and a fast sale, don’t just choose the cheapest option, or you will be disappointed.