Top 7 tips for finding the best estate agent.

Selling a home is a long and stressful process, so we offer some tips on finding the right estate agents and what you can do to get the best price.

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  • Online only could be the future.

  • Keep your options open.

  • Review the agent's fees 

  • Make sure their valuations align with the market.

  • Do you need multiple agents?

  • Check for hidden fees or clauses in your contract

  • Remember, you are the client. 

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Online only could be the future

With the wave of online disruption hitting every business model, it was only a short time until we saw it impacted estate agents. Online property marketing is a digital alternative to the traditional local estate agents, for a low-cost fee an online estate agent will manage and advertise your home on all the biggest property websites. They will also help manager enquires, potential viewings and help secure offers from buyers without the need for meeting estate agents.

The difference between a traditional brick and mortars estate agents and online is down to the workload. High street estate agents will offer a more complete service, they do everything, all you have to do is sit and wait. This comes with a higher commission fee, however.  This explains why online only agents are becoming a cheaper and more efficient prospect for sellers, as it appeals to modern, busy scheduled property owners.

 

Keep your options open

It's important to have a short list of potential agents who could market your property, here are a few points to think about when shortlisting agents.

 

  • Make sure that the agents have experience in selling your type of property.

  • Do they have good recommendations? Do your homework, it's important you research into what other buyers thought of the agent, this way you have all the knowledge and opinions to make the right decision. A good website for finding the best estate agents is a tool called estategent4me, here you can see the fees they charge, the time taken to sell a property and their experience selling similar homes.

  • Look how the agents market their properties, either on their website or property sites like Zoopla or Rightmove.

  • Ask close friends and family,  having a personal recommendation from someone you know will go a long way in making the best choice.

 

Review the agent's fees 

The biggest issue when deciding how to find the right estate agent is how much do they charge for the sale. Traditionally agents charge a percentage or commission fee of the agreed selling price.

According to the consumer body, Which? the average agent fee from July 2018 is 1,42% of the final selling price (inc VAT), though this figure can go from  1% to 3.5% depending on approved contract and the selling price of the home.

 

Do you need multiple agents?

 Having a second opinion can go a long way in selling a property, so it’s always important to consider, do you need a second agent. This means multiple agent fees but if you’re selling a home at a premium seller’s price, a second opinion on the valuation is vital.

 

Make sure their valuations align with the market

One of the biggest issues when hiring any estate agents is the fear of over-optimistic valuations, high valuations can certainly seem an attractive prospect, but remember that it's an agent’s job to get the highest commission possible,

It’s so important to research when selling your home, a lot of money can be made from buying and selling homes and it's important to research every step of the way.

 

Check for hidden fees or clauses in your contract 

When hiring an estate agent there will be a contract and terms to adhere to, understanding the ins and outs of your contract is vital to ensure you’re not paying extra or hidden fees, a few things to think about when signing any contract.

 

  • Are there any extra fees for marketing your property? Examples being sale signage and online fees. If you can, try and get an all-inclusive fee that includes marketing and signage costs.

  • How long is your time agreement? Over time if you’re not happy with the service the agent is offering you may want to leave, so having a break clause in your contract is important to ensure you’re not stuck with the agent.

 

Remember, you are the client

An important thing to remember is the agents are working for YOU! , so don’t be intimidated by the agents and don’t let them pass you by on anything because, at the end of the day, you are paying their fees and it is your property on the market. Working with an estate agent should be like working with a colleague so ensure you're both on the same page.

 

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