12 February, 2019
So you have decided that you would like to put your property on the market and are pondering which estate agency to use. Interestingly, although you may be thinking whether it is best to go with a well-known chain or an individual estate agent, the playing field is levelled by the fact that although the larger chains may have a really good name, it is the quality of the staff in your nearest branch that will directly impact your whole property selling experience. You may well have discounted using an online estate agency for various reasons, so it is extra important that you are confident that you will 'get more for your bucks' by opting for your chosen local estate agency.
Putting your property sale in the hands of an estate agency is not something to rush because it is a big decision as they will be charging 1% - 3% commission. Before you agree to put your property with a particular agency ‐ large or small - it is well worth doing some research on them and how well they are performing.
A high proportion of potential buyers begin their search online so it is essential that your chosen estate agency has a really good, easy-to-navigate website. Have a browse through the various properties, does it feel to you that the company is doing well and has a good portfolio of properties? Are the descriptions well written? Does it offer 360º virtual tours of the properties?
Spend some time looking at the house prices. How well do they compare with other local agencies? It is essential that the estate agency does not over value property as this usually leads to a significant drop in the final selling price and on average, usually adds another 64 days to the required selling period. Another fact that rings 'a warning bell' is whether they are charging a low commission rate ‐ does this infer that business is not as buoyant as it could be?
How do you feel about the welcome you were given? It is important that you feel that you can discuss all aspects of the house sale easily with the agents. It is also a good idea to telephone them to check their attitude and to email to ensure that they respond swiftly.
Are members of staff friendly and approachable? It is essential that the person who will be handling your property has a really good local knowledge and plenty of experience. It is well worth asking them about a similar property to yours that sold recently. If they have a keen interest in the local property market (which is essential) they should be able to give you a few details of information about that property. Importantly, the estate agency must be handling similar properties to yours and have a list of potential clients looking for this type of property.
Other points to discuss with them is whether they will be conducting the viewings for you and whether they will be preparing floor plans and a 360º virtual tour. If you are confident that they will make a good job of selling your property, you can discuss their commission fee and negotiate and if you are happy with the end result. It has been a good job done and you can leave them to sell to find the right buyer.
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