How to choose an estate agent to sell your property


As a successful estate agency business owner over the last 10 years, I have decided to write a blog on how I would go about choosing an estate agent to market my home.

Giving you the inside track on what to look for, how to choose and what is a good fit for you as a seller.

Here are 5 tips on what to look for…

Tip 1: Do your research online

Do your research, this is obvious. I would be trying to value my own house by looking online at what is available, what has sold recently and what agents seem to have properties on the market like mine, within my area and my price banding.

You don’t need to be an expert to do this, simply look on Rightmove, give your property a rough valuation within a £50,000 price band bracket and do the work.

I would be checking for a few things with the estate agencies.

A. What are their photos and floor plan like?

This is extremely important, we are in the ‘smart age’ where potential viewers will not view houses and waste their time on just a recommendation from your chosen agent, they want to see the photos and floor plan first, buyers (like anyone) are time poor and don’t want their time wasted. So marketing is key, make sure your chosen agent has good, professional-looking photos with a floor plan to go with them. Ideally a decent enough write up too with measurements. However, the write up is not the most important thing.

Customers are not going to be reading the fine details about your property, such as if you have power outside, electricity in an outbuilding or overlook a bespoke mature garden, you can tell them about this on the actual viewing.

B. How many have they sold?

A lot of agents will overprice a property, which doesn’t bode well with your initial marketing exposure period, which in my opinion is the first 2 weeks of a listing.

Buyers will sign up for Rightmove, Zoopla and On the Market alerts when a property goes live and reductions. If it is a brand-new property, that is the striking moment when many sellers will get the maximum exposure, the best buyers, and the highest price, because it is brand new.

If your potential buyer receives a ‘reduction’ alert because it was listed too high initially, this can have a detrimental effect and invites buyers looking for ‘deals’ and you don’t want that!
So, check their SSTC as well as what is available and at what time too, this will give you an indication.

C. What does their website say?

D. How much information do they give you online, is their website helpful and is it transparent in terms of fee structure and about the company.

Do they have their reviews linked to review pages and can you see who the team are, this is important to build and gain trust. You do not want an agent stuck in the dark ages, chances are they are not going to be as forward-thinking as modern agents, companies must invest in themselves and get with the times other than they will be held back, that is nature in the business world.

Tip 2: Call the agents up

Look at this from a potential buyer and sellers’ point of view, our job is communication and there is nothing worst than signing into an agency agreement with an agent that doesn’t communicate.

Enquire about fees, and valuation and see what type of service you receive on the phone call. If you receive someone who can have a good conversation with you about the market and your situation, then that is a good sign.

If you sound like you are dealing with a trainee or someone that doesn’t care, then this is usually a red flag!

Call 5 agents and invite 3 rounds to your house.

My advice is to get a High Street local agent, a High Street Corporate brand, and an online agent round so that you can see the difference.

Tip 3: Pretend you’re a buyer

Like tip 2, pretend you are a buyer instead, call them up and enquire about other properties, you will soon get an insight into what agents you are dealing with and what their culture is like.

Are they emailing you details of properties, calling you frequently to try to sell houses and what type of service are they delivering over the phone.

This will tell you a lot about whom you are dealing with.

Tip 4: Reviews Online

You wouldn’t book a hotel or a restaurant without first looking at the reviews online. The same goes with a letting agency, you get good and bad letting agencies. My advice is to check out the online reviews to make sure you see the experiences that other people have dealt with.

Over 100 online reviews probably will not lie, there are all types of review sites online to check. This should give you a broad range of what they are like to deal with.

Also, check out the bad reviews too. Bad reviews show you that a company is legitimate, you cannot please them all.

Tip 5: Check the small print

When you are ready to sign up with an agency, check the finer points.

Firstly, the price point, everyone has their fee but check the finer details. Is there a termination fee, do you have to pay for any extras, do you have to use their solicitors, how long is the contract period and any other small print that may trip you up?

Every agent’s valuer should know all the fees by the back of their hand.

Of course, you cannot expect it to be free but do your research.

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