How to choose an Estate Agent

The sheer number of agents out there can make choosing who is best to sell your home a tricky prospect. Fixed fee, percentage fee, high fee, low fee, shiny high street office, online, local company, national group, backed by TV advertising, recommendation from a friend or online reviews, there is a bewildering choice of Estate Agents out there. What’s more, new ones seem to appear almost daily.

So, how do you wade through these choices to ensure that you sell your home in good time, achieve a good sale price, receive a good service and all at cost which reflects value?

Put yourself in the shoes of the people who would be looking to buy your home, how does your prospective agent treat them and by extension how would they treat your property?

Here at Mortgage Advisory Network we have over 100-years experience of helping clients buy houses and one thing is evident time after time – many of our clients end up buying a different property than the one they enquired about!

Let’s think about that for a moment, you see a house listed on one of the online portals, either send a message to the estate agent or give them a call and yet you end up buying another one of their properties. Imagine how happy the vendor of the property you end up buying will be!

So, how do you get to be that happy vendor? Couple looking in Estate Agents window

Call all of the agents and enquire about one of their properties, don’t let on that you have one to sell just yet. A good agent will seek to question you about why you are interested in that particular property so they can gain an understanding why that property was on your radar. This understanding of your requirements will allow them to introduce other properties to you they currently have on the market and importantly, will allow them to introduce you to properties they are currently bringing or even hope to bring to the market.

 Look at the properties a prospective agent is selling. Ideally, you will want an agent who has lots of similar types of property to the one you’re selling. This gives them more opportunity to introduce your property to anyone who enquires about a similar one.  

Most buyers will look to see more property details on the Estate Agents website, visit your prospective agent’s website, is it easily navigable, does it present their properties in a clear manner. Now that you know these tricks to narrow the choice of agent down to a handful, it’s time to request a Market Appraisal where they will come out to your home and present their sales pitch and provide you with a marketing price for your home. 

Pay attention to the values suggested, do they end in £xxx,950 etc? If so, challenge it. Think back to where most people first look for a new home, Rightmove, Zoopla, OnTheMarket etc. All of the property portals allow you to search price bands which tend to be whole round numbers. For example, if your home is being marketed at £199,950 and a prospective buyer is looking at property in the price band £200,000 – £220,000, your property isn’t going to be seen. Don’t be reluctant to challenge an agent requesting that they market your property at a price which aligns with the price bands used by the property portals.

One last thing, before you start looking for a new home, it’s a good idea to speak to us first to establish your affordability. You might be surprised just how much you can borrow and at what price. You never know, your dream home could be closer than you think!