Finding the right estate can be tough. These days with the click of a few buttons on the internet you can find dozens upon dozens of potential suitors but how do you pick the right one that would cater for your needs?
Every estate agent you meet boasts about their client list and how good they are. You will have some that offer you very low completion fee’s and you will find some that give you an above market value valuation of your property. In both cases the said estate agents could be right but at the same time it could just be their way of misleading you in order to get you to sign up with them.
Home.co.uk has a selection of key property and estate agent related statistics they update on a daily a daily basis. Lets take a quick look at them. (see the table below)
The first figure I want you to look at is under the ‘other stats‘ section and then ‘estate agents listed in directory‘. As of the 24th of march 2017 this figure is sitting at 19,608 – wow that’s a lot and this probably doesn’t include many estate agents that work offline to get their customers. This does highlight however, how competitive the estate agents niche is and how much effort many of them put into getting new sign ups. Sadly, sometimes they do it using shady or unprofessional methods.
The second important figure to look at is the very first section ‘properties placed on market in the last 14 days‘. This figure is currently at 60,230. This shows that estate agents are still very much in demand and people still have confidence in the services they offer.
So how do you go about picking the right estate agent? We have highlighted a few things you can do below.
Research every estate agent thoroughly
Before deciding which estate agent to go with do some research beforehand. A few things you should look into while researching include:
- Approach friends and family who have already sold homes using an estate agent and ask them for advice or a recommendation.
- Look for an estate agent that is close to you and has experience in selling similar homes.
- Visit local areas and look for estate agent sign boards showing the ‘sold’ sign boards. This can help you gauge which estate agents are doing good.
- Take a quick trip to their offices and get as much information about them as you can. While you there you could even pretend to be a prospective buyer and see how the staff react. How interested are they in you? Are they helpful? Are they professional?
- Make a list of estate agents and then narrow it down to the 5 best. After this do some extra research on these 5 and then pick one that caters the most for your needs.
Find out how your property will be marketed
This is important. If the estate agent does a good job in getting your property out to the right people you could be in for a quick and hassle free sale. Sit down with your estate agent and ask them which methods they will use to advertise and market your property. If they have their own website that is a good start but you would still want your property on the bigger, more well known property portals such as Rightmove & Zoopla. Be sure to clarify this beforehand. Ask your estate agent if they will advertise your property in their office window and if so, for how long?
Finally you can ask them if they do any newspaper or magazine marketing where your property may feature. Keep in mind that not all estate agents do this.
How much will you have to pay?
Fee’s are one the main deciding factors for the majority of house sellers when choosing an estate agent to go with. It’s important to remember that in most cases when it comes to business, the more you pay, the better service you get. This is just a general term however and is not ALWAYS true.
For more details on Estate Agent Fee’s click here
Don’t let above market value valuations go to your head
Whilst there are some cases where people do get more than the average cost for a property, most of the time people have to settle with a little less. It’s important to understand that an estate agents main goal is to get you to sign up to their business as they are likely to get some form of commission so it’s not uncommon for some estate agents to give out optimistic valuations to potential house sellers in order to get them on their books.
The best way to beat this is to simply do your research. Check out properties that have been sold in your area recently and how much they sold for. If the figure you’re being quoted is much higher, question the estate agent and ask why. If they cannot give a suitable reason then it’s likely they are just over valuing your property in order to get you to sign up with them.
Whatever you do it’s important to remember, you are the one that pays the estate agent so they work for you. This gives you the power to dictate certain things and ask questions about anything you may be unhappy with – use this to your advantage. Be sure to read any contracts thoroughly and if you are really unsure about anything you could even get your solicitor to look over it. Do not sign anything unless you are 100% sure and convinced about its contents!