How to choose an estate agent
There are a number of ways you can go about finding an estate agent. But how do you choose the best estate agent for you? We’ve asked the property website, The HomeOwners Alliance for their top tips.
Paula Higgins, their chief executive gives the following five tips:
- A good place to start when looking for an estate agent is with family, friends and neighbours – it’s always good to have a personal recommendation.
- Make a note of For Sale signs near you. This should give you a good idea of the more popular local agents and which ones sell houses like yours.
- You’re not obliged to use the estate agent you bought your house through. By all means approach them, but make sure you shop around and compare them to other agents to check they provide the services you want at the best price.
- Most importantly, compare local estate agents based on the facts like how quickly they sell and how close they come to achieving the asking price. Our free, impartial Best Estate Agent Finder tool lets you do this. Simply enter the details of
- Draw up a shortlist of agents and invite them to your home for a free valuation. This is your opportunity to get a feel for their local knowledge and professionalism and to discuss their service and fees. Read our full list of questions to ask the estate agent.
- Getting your house sale price right from the start is important, as it avoids the property languishing on the property portals for too long. A good estate agent can help you be realistic with price based on what is happening in your local area. Don’t let a higher valuation seduce you into choosing that agent.
- Ask the agent to email you a copy of their contract and fees. Estate agents usually charge a percentage fee. At the moment you should aim to get a fee that is 1.2% (1% + VAT) for a sole agency contract. So don’t be shy about negotiating.
- It’s also important to make sure the estate agent has experience of selling homes like yours. Look at the properties the agent sells on Rightmove. While you’re there, check that the pictures are well taken and the descriptions are clear and relevant.
- Ensure your estate agent is a member of one of the redress schemes – The Property Ombudsman or Property Redress Scheme – who can help you pursue any complaints should things go wrong.
With thanks to HomeOwnersAlliance for this informative article.