Finding an Estate Agent to sell your home is a significant financial transaction and can be a stressful process.
Choosing the best estate agent to assist you can alleviate some of the burdens. Although estate agents are often considered one of the least trusted professions, a competent property professional can help present and market your home effectively, ultimately securing the best price.
Here are some factors to consider when selecting an estate agent:
1. High Street vs. Online Agents
High street agents are the traditional option and provide a comprehensive range of services, including property appraisals, listings, viewings, negotiations, and finalizing the sale. Online agents offer a more basic service and typically charge lower fees. However, choosing an online-only agent means taking on more responsibilities yourself, such as photography, advertising, and buyer communication. Hybrid agencies blend online and local expertise, combining the convenience of online agents with the support of local property experts.
2. Look Beyond Fees
While the average estate agent fee for high street agents is around 1.42% including VAT, it's crucial not to base your decision solely on fees. Top-performing agents who achieve the asking price may be worth their commission. Opting for a lower fee agent who sells your property below the asking price could cost you more in the long run. Consider the overall value an agent provides, including their track record and ability to secure a favorable sale price.
3. Sole, Joint, or Multiple Agencies
There are three types of estate agent contracts that can impact the cost of selling your home. Sole agency agreements involve working exclusively with one agent, typically at a lower cost. However, this may result in reaching fewer potential buyers and a longer wait for a sale. Multiple agency agreements involve using more than one agent, which increases fees but also promotes competition among agents. Ensure the contract duration is reasonable, negotiating if it extends beyond four or 12 weeks.
4. Market and Property Knowledge
Choose an estate agent you trust and feel comfortable working with. Look for someone experienced, enthusiastic, and helpful. Ask about their understanding of the local market and inquire about similar properties they have sold. Seek recommendations from friends, family, neighbors, and online tools that provide information on local agents' fees and sale prices.
5. Beware of Estate Agent Tricks
Some agents may overvalue your home to secure your business, leading to a prolonged time on the market and potential price reductions later. Be cautious of additional advertising costs proposed by agents, as they should have already utilized all available marketing channels. Remember that most buyers search for properties online, so being listed on popular portals like Rightmove and Zoopla is crucial. Buyers should also be vigilant about deceptive practices by agents, such as phantom offers or conditional selling, and challenge them to provide written proof or report such behavior if encountered.
6. Maintain a Balanced Approach
While estate agents work for the seller, it's essential to exercise caution and not place absolute faith in them. Trustworthy agents can provide valuable guidance, but it's always wise to remain informed and involved in the selling process.
By considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can choose an estate agent who will effectively assist you in selling your home at the best possible price.