Estate agents often like to mince words and not reveal the whole truth when negotiating contracts, discussing fee’s, progress reports, availability and more. Get a step ahead of them by asking these 8 smart questions we have listed below.
Although estate agent fee’s vary, they normally charge a percentage fee which can be anywhere between 0.75% to 3.5% of the agreed selling price. If the estate agent is leaning towards the higher end, get ready to haggle as you can definitely push them down a little.
There will almost always be other fee’s involved but in many cases the home seller never becomes aware of these until they actually become payable.
Ask your estate agent what comes under the percentage fee that you are paying.
Your estate agent should mention that you need an Energy performance certificate (EPC) at some point as well. Legally, you have to have at least applied for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before putting your house on the market. They last for 10 years so ask your estate agent if there is already one availble. If not, ask your agent how much they can get one done for you. You can also get this done yourself and it is often cheaper.
It’s important to remember that the price the estate agent puts your house on the market for is the MOST important part. If the price is too high, your house will simply not sell. If the price is too low, you’ll be getting less money. A couple of thousand pounds either way could make a huge difference when it comes to selling your property.
In general, honest estate agents will do the research and create an accurate valuation of your property.
Estate agents deploy a variety of methods to market your property. It makes more sense to pick an estate agent that uses both online & offline marketing platforms to advertise your property as this will give it the most exposure.
Ask them if they will advertise on industry leader websites like Rightmove and Zoopla or use well known estate agents like Foxtons, Countrywide, Stags and others.
If you’re of the mindset ‘i need someone to buy my house fast’ then definitely make sure your home is being advertised on the big marketing platforms!
Home sellers tend not think about this when they are looking for a potential estate agent but generally speaking, the more sellers an estate agent represents, the less time they will have to work with you. Saying this, some firms have a huge work force and can deal with any number of clients.
From a home sellers point of view, ideally you want an estate agent on medium ground – Not too much work and not too less. This makes them look both trustworthy & reliable.
There are a couple of different types of contracts each with their own set of benefits and drawbacks. It’s imporant to know which one your estate agent will be giving you.
Sole selling rights – This contract means the estate agent that you have picked is the only one allowed to sell your home during the said time period. Even if you find a buyer yourself, you will still have to pay the estate agent.
Sole agency – This is the same as sole selling rights but you do not have to pay anything if you find your own buyer. However, in some cases the contract is left ‘open-ended’. If this is the case, the estate agents might be able to claim commission even years after the contract has expired.
Multi agency – You can use as many agents as you like and will only pay commission to the firm that sells your property.
Ready, willing & able purchaser – You should avoid this one. It means you have to pay the agent for finding a buyer, even if you decide not to sell.
More & more estate agents are including tie-in periods into their contracts. You never know the exact level of service you will get until you actually experience it so you do not want to be tied into a contract for a long period of time.
Negotiate this with your agent – as a home seller you do not want to be tied in for more than 4-6 weeks.
This goes without saying but you should try to remain on the same wave length as your estate agent. Tell them exactly what you expect from them & be firm on the price you want your property sold for. We often hear stories of how estate agents almost ‘bully’ home sellers into selling their home for less than they originally wanted.
If something does happen and you feel theres no going back check that the estate agents are members of one of the grievance bodies who can pursue your claims if things get really bad. All agents must be a member of either the Ombudsman Services Property, Property Ombudsman and as of 2014 the Property Redress Scheme.
You should mention to your estate agent that you want updates on your property as regularly as possible. Ask them when they’re reachable & when not so you know when you can contact them if you have any urgent questions.
So there you have it – 8 smart questions you should ask your estate agent before selling your home with them! If you enjoyed the article, feel free to visit our homeowners advice centre for more!
If after asking all these questions you’re still not convinced about selling via estate agent, consider selling your home to genuine cash house buyers like us. We here at Housebuyers4u buy any house in any condition with zero added fee’s!
Give us a call and see what we can do for you. Get your free no obligation offer today!