How do you go about choosing an estate agent to sell your property?
First, check which agents have a strong local presence. Look out for “For Sale” and, ideally “Sold” boards in your area before choosing an estate agent. Also, check which ones advertise regularly in the local press. Ask any friends and neighbours who have moved recently for feedback on the estate agents they used.
Make a shortlist of 3 to 4 estate agents and ask them to view your property to suggest an asking price and indicate a likely selling price. Ask them for details of similar properties they have sold recently, including the actual selling prices and the length of time between putting on the market and completing. There is little point in advertising your home for an unrealistically high price if there is little chance of a sale at that price. Ask whether they currently have any similar properties for sale and whether they are attracting interest. This will enable you to judge the level of demand.
Do your homework. You can check the sold prices for similar properties in your area on www.nethouseprices.com
Check their fees. What percentage of the sale price do they charge? Are there any additional fees, eg, for advertising?
Decide between “Sole Agency” and “Multi Agency” and check the contract details carefully before choosing an estate agent. Sometimes a fee may be charged even if you sell your property privately or through another agent.
Ask how they propose to advertise your property. An estate agent will produce sales particulars to advertise your property. In addition to paper copies they will normally make use of online resources, such as Rightmove, as many potential purchasers now do their searching online.
Obtain copies of the contracts before deciding which agent to instruct and read the contract carefully. Find out how long you will be tied to them before you are able to change to another agent or take your property off the market in the event your circumstances change.