5 Things your estate agent should be doing to sell your home


There are a lot of misconceptions about what an agency should or should not be doing when selling your home.

As a client paying money, there is of course a different service between an online agency vs a high street agency and ultimately you get what you pay for with the online model. This is a case of just listing a property online with the major property portals to hopefully get a response.

Some of the online agencies give better customer service and others simply list it online, again it depends on what service you are looking for.

I have a different blog in terms of what you get with different types of agencies and how much they charge.

But there is essentially a grey area of what an estate agency should do to get your home sold. Whilst some will look to go the extra mile and give more value than they are offering initially, which is great, there should be a standard of ‘what am I actually paying for?’ and ‘Is the agency doing the job.’

So, here is a blog on my tips of what should be expected as a given with any estate agency whether that be online, hybrid or high street.


Let’s be honest, no estate agency would exist without marketing. The property portals are the lifeblood of the property world. Three main portals own the public being Rightmove, Zoopla and now you have On the Market. An agency should advertise on all three portals, but most do two portals. Depending on the area will depend on what portals are the strongest. London is a favourite with Zoopla whereas Essex is Rightmove.

Please do not be fooled though, it is not just property portals and leads that sell houses. A good estate agency that will get the most buyers through the door, therefore chances for the most offers and therefore the probability to achieve the most money for the seller will revolve around the phone. The basics have not changed, the team should be calling through their database to exhaust the most viewers, also calling the leads that come in from the portals.

A bad estate agency will miss the leads or only call them once rather than adopting the approach of trying the leads via phone (a few times before they give up), text/WhatsApp or email. There are many ways to get through to buyers nowadays.

Photography is also part of marketing. I would advise sellers to use an agency that has the added lure of a professional photo package. They truly make a difference compared to an estate agent taking the photos.

We live in the ‘Smart Age’ where most buyers won’t even get up from the sofa unless the photos of your house look good. People do not make time free anymore and won’t just view a house on a whim. It is getting harder and harder with the amount of technology out there now. So, you must make your property attractive and stand out. Pro Photos and floor plans at the very least will make your marketing stand out.

Accompanied Viewings

I am sure that there will be a difference of opinion on this, but I am a great believer in accompanied viewings. I would even want accompanied viewings in my own home. The reason, it takes the emotion out of it.

Most sellers will know their home better than the estate agent. They will know how many outside taps they have, what the planning potential is like, how the boiler functions and who the neighbours are. But there is too much emotion tied into it.

There have been too many times when a seller is simply ‘messing up the viewing.’ There is something such as ‘talking too much’ on a viewing.

The potential buyer is thinking A LOT when he is viewing your home. They are imagining where they will relax after a hard day’s work in the evening, where they will bring up their children, what they could do with the garden and a million other things that are running through their minds.

They need space to take it in! Every agent has his viewing style, mine personally is to point key things of the house out to the viewer but to get out of their way and tell them that I am on hand should they have any questions. There is such a thing as over selling a house and I have seen too many owners getting too emotional and over selling.

My advice is to keep calm, leave the house and let the agent do what they are being paid to do.

If the seller is accompanying the viewings, then of course point out all the plus sides but just keep calm and let the viewers take the house in.

Feedback & Frequent Check Ins

This is so important that I cannot stress it enough. We have real communication issues in society today, but this transpires between the estate agent and sellers too. On both sides of the coin.

I have come up against this so many times in my career where the seller doesn’t want to tell us the truth because it is confrontational, and the estate agents just assume everything is okay when it is not. A good agent should just feel it.

I always explain to the employees in my company that every single seller is on a personal journey, their home is all that they are thinking about, we may have 30 homes on the market and unfortunately, it does become unemotional to us and more like a job, we are human. But every single viewing is like gold dust to a seller, the minute viewer leaves they want to call the estate agent to see if the viewer liked it, but they don’t want to seem too keen.

It is even more important that the communication is there.

24 hours of a working day after viewing, the agent should be obtaining and giving feedback to the seller, even if there is ‘no feedback’ and the viewer is not answering the phone, emails, or texts. That is still feedback that every agent should be giving to the seller.

It is not the feedback that is the issue here, it is just that the seller wants to ‘feel valued as a customer’ and not taken for granted. There could be a £5,000+ fee which the agency will be paid on completion of a successful house sale, there is no better way to get value for money than you give your money away to someone whom you like to do business with.

Weekly to ten-day check ins are important too. The seller may not be happy with how things are going and may want to get things off their chest. The agency has a responsibility to let the owner know how things are going and what the feedback from the marketplace is on the sellers’ homes.

The house selling process is a relationship that can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 1 year or more, therefore, agencies need to be malleable and have a personality to get on with their sellers.

My advice is to choose an agent with good communication.

Vetting Buyers

I am not a fan of lazy estate agents, let’s be honest, who is? Every enquiry must be dealt with properly, we have a process at Keystones to vet every single applicant, as much so as the staff can ‘be fined’ for not registering an applicant sufficiently.

We want our staff to have a conversation with your potential buyer asking about their criteria and requirements. If we happen to find the perfect property for them, are they able to move forward with a purchase.

One of the most important things in the house buying process is the financial details of a potential buyer. I speak about the importance of this in one of my other blogs, and what can go wrong in the selling process.

We ask every applicant if they have a mortgage agreement in principle if they have lost out on any properties if they have had any offers on any other properties recently that they have lost out on, how much of a deposit they have to put down and we also make an attempt to get the applicant to speak with our mortgage broker so that our trusted consultant can vet them accordingly.

These details will also be more clearly checked at the point of offer, we ask all offers to submit paperwork to our agency in terms of proof of funds, and agreement in principle to validate their offer. Anything can go wrong in a house sale, most of the time it tends to be with the financials. As mentioned in another blog, there is only so much an estate agent can investigate someone’s financial situation.

Real Negotiation

Many estate agents and sellers underestimate this process. There is a real skill factor in the power of the negotiation process and as a seller, I am sure that you would want your estate agent to be skilled enough to handle an offer. Albeit, the final say is ultimate with the seller and buyer but as an agent bridging that gap, I would like to think that we can get a good understanding of the market, economy, emotion, and individuals behind the process of every offer that comes into us.

We advise our team that every offer is an important one, even if it is a low offer, it can always be rejected and that no offer is an insult. An agent is there to bridge the emotional gap between the seller and buyer.

We embark on negotiation training in the company a few times per year so that our tools are brushed on this aspect.

We also only want the more experienced team members handling the negotiation process because our goal is to work for the seller and try to achieve the best offer.

The best offer doesn’t always have to mean the highest offer, although, of course, this is an important factor, more important is the situation that presents itself.

If someone is selling their home with us and they have their family life invested in the move, then a huge range of factors come into the scenario, such as schools, children, family life, work commitments, grandparents, and other things too. We try to take everything into account, hence why a more experienced team member will have the life skills too to understand each situation.

Our offer process is to look at the buyer’s financial position, speak to their mortgage broker, vet them properly and try to achieve the highest offer for our seller.

We are also looking into the finer details such as ‘how quickly or slowly they want to move,’ ‘if there are any other factors attached to their offer,’ and ‘what type of character and demeanour the buyer displays to us too.’ These things are important as the selling process can take from 6 weeks to 4 months on average and in some cases, even longer.

Transparency and honesty are also important in terms of communication too, surprises can happen, but some things can smell off from the get-go, it is our job to find out if there are any potential issues from the onset.

The role of our team member is to guide our seller with discussion on choosing the right buyer to go for; factoring in the offer price, situation, financials, and any other variables that come into play.

Be very careful when choosing an agency when it comes to the offer phase. If a busy agency does not have enough staff members, then they may be rushing certain aspects of the job, which can involve this stage too. This in turn can be detrimental to the sale of your home.

I hope that you have enjoyed this blog and the information that it has brought you.

Any questions, feel free to get in touch with me at 01708 909 100 or email me at [email protected]

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