There’s no doubt that selling your home can be one of the most stressful experiences you can go through. Your relationship with your estate agent can make or break the entire process of putting your property on market and completing as soon as possible, so choosing the right agent is vital. We’re sure you’d want that ‘sold’ sign up on the board sooner rather than later!
So, how do you go about picking the right one? Here are some key points to consider before you take the plunge…
Is their website in tip-top condition?
With the world now literally at our fingertips, potential buyers will often view agent’s website listings as their first port of call. Obviously your property will also be on the main property portals to gain maximum exposure, but an agent’s website is still an additional tool in getting your property to market.
Is the website easy to use? Are the properties presented in a professional and engaging way? Do they make use of high quality photography? A good agent will keep theirs up to date and presented professionally and at the end of the day, you want your home to look as slick as possible to drive those all-important viewing appointments.
Compare against others
If you ask your agent to show you some examples of similar properties they’ve sold, he (or she) should jump at the chance. Any agent who is serious about taking your property on, should be able to show you some examples of similar properties in your area that have sold. This way, you get a sneaky peek at how they have priced, promoted and presented other properties on their books.
Knowledge is king!
We’re good at what we do because our team are knowledgeable, and that in itself is worth its weight in gold. Finding agents who have solid local knowledge of the market can be harder than it seems.
Ask as many questions as possible and gauge their response, you’ll then get an opportunity to see how they respond to questions your buyers may ask. Standard key findings like average house prices in your area and how long properties are generally on the market for, are often common questions. Maybe ask about their experiences with price negotiations too, as it’s helpful to manage your expectations on realistic pricing strategies rather than have you expect to sell your house over and above the asking price. How do they intend to market your property? What is their strategy if it doesn’t sell?
If you have a question, ask it. This is not the time when you hold back! If you’ve found a diamond agent, they’ll be able to answer all questions confidently and in a professional yet friendly manner.
The dreaded agent fees and T&Cs
It’s likely that corporate agents and national chains will have imposed minimum fees, so you’re more likely to get flexibility on fees from independent agents. Just like any other business, they need to charge a fee to survive, but it’s always worth asking any potential agent to justify their fees. Their answer will give you an indication on how they will work and negotiate for you.
It’s wise to familiarise yourself about the length of any exclusivity period where you cannot market your property with other estate agents and find out how much notice you need to give should you wish to switch.
Choosing an estate agent may seem like a minefield but if you do your research and ask the right questions you should be able to find an agent that can work for you and make the process as easy as possible.
In case you weren’t already aware, this post was brought to you by the team at Ascend. If you’re looking for an independently run, independently minded estate agent with a difference, give us a call today on 0161 637 8336 or submit an enquiry online.