So, you’ve decluttered your kitchen, freshened up your walls and scrubbed and cleaned every nook and cranny until it gleams. Now all you need to do is choose an estate agent. But there are so many agents to choose from, how do you know where to start?
Estate agents’ services and fees vary significantly, and their fees may reflect their effort and results. The services you get from a DIY online agent or standard local agent will be significantly different from a bespoke boutique high end agent. Not every agent is suitable for every individual. So, you need to determine what is most valuable for you and your house sale. It helps if you can start with shortlisting a few of your favourites. Inviting three agents to value your home can have the added advantage of helping achieve a more balanced view of your properties prospective value, as well as to determine the various estate agency fees and range of services they have to offer.
Remember, some of the key things to look for; Quality of presentation, marketing materials & online platforms, service & professionalism, experience & knowledge, innovation, fees & contract details, viewings policy & opening hours to name a few.
Here’s our top tips to finding the right agent for you:
1. Speak to friends, family and neighbours and check out social media:
It’s always good to go with a personal recommendation. The power of word of mouth is a great tool and can often give you a great insight from the customer experience. Keep in mind that each buyer or sellers individual experience is different just as each home is different and therefore the best agent to one person may not necessarily be the favoured one for another. You need to know firstly what is most important to you. Do you need a quick sale, are you looking for as much money as you can, do you want a stress free sale. Choose the agent that fulfils your requirement. And don’t forget, you often get what you pay for.
2. Research the estate agents website:
How many houses do they have sold or under offer? It does not matter how many properties an estate agent has for sale. You want to know that they are selling the properties they have. Look out for those agents that over value to get you on the market then force you to reduce the price later down the line to sell.
3. Check out the properties that the agent sells on Zoopla and Rightmove:
How professional do the photos look? Do the houses stand out with blue skies or twilight photos? How much care have they taken when photographing both interior and exterior rooms? Imagine it was your home for sale, would you be happy with the presentation? Ask yourselves why some agents photographs look better than others. Remember that your online marketing is one of the most important factors in selling your home. Nowadays, over 95% of people search for a new home online. This means that your property needs to really stand out from the crowd as buyers don’t like reading text and will often decide whether to view based solely on the photographs of your house. So choose an agent where the marketing is outstanding.
4. Mystery shop local companies and assess the way they handle your enquiry:
Perhaps book a viewing or question them on a property similar to your own. This is a great way to gage their service, knowledge of their local area or a property, their professionalism, helpfulness and willingness. You want an agent that takes the time to listen to your potential buyers and one who you can put your trust into to sell your home.
All in all, your property valuation is as much about getting to know an estate agent and what they offer as much as it is about finding out what price your property is worth. All agents are different, and you need to find that ideal match for you. You are trying to sell your biggest asset remember so it’s worth a little bit of time investment to get to know your agent.
If you’d like to chat about what you need to do before you put your home on the market, we can help. Just drop us a line at [email protected] or pick up the phone to us on 01204 329975.
Sam & Laura Newton