11th December, 2015

Top 5 tips to choose the right estate agent

Top 5 tips to choose the right estate agent

Finding the right estate agent to represent your property could be the difference between enjoying a quick, hassle-free sale and suffering a frustrating, drawn-out nightmare.

Here we explain what to keep in mind when choosing your estate agent.

1. Ask for recommendations

Narrow your search down immediately by getting feedback on agents, whether that’s from family and friends or website comments. Good reputations are far harder to earn than bad ones so positive recommendations are worth following up.

2. Do your research

Once you have a shortlist, do you own research. How established are these firms? Do they have a good track record of selling properties similar to yours? If they specialise in city apartments and you have a five-bedroom house in the country, look again.

3. Don’t choose your agent based on fees
The costs an estate agent charges are usually presented as a percentage of the final selling price of your home. The fee is determined by the location of your home, market conditions and the number of competitor agents operating in the area. Bear in mind that if the agent has a track record of achieving the full asking price and selling quickly accepting a higher fee will be well worth it.

4. Choose an agent you can trust
When choosing your estate agent, find out whether they are a member of a redress scheme such as the Property Ombudsman. A redress scheme enables members of the public to be
compensated for financial loss and/or aggravation, distress and inconvenience caused by businesses (in this instance, those involved in estate agency).

Once you have whittled down your selection, request a number of free of charge property valuations from various agents and then make your final decision after meeting them in person.

5. Bigger is not always better…

… especially when it comes to house valuations. A high valuation may demonstrate the agent’s desire to win your business, rather than reflect the true value of the property. It is because of this that you should not be persuaded by an agent purely because they have given you the highest price. There are two basic steps to aid in avoiding accepting an unrealistic valuation.

Firstly, do your research. Look into recent sales of similar properties in your area will give you an idea of values. Some of these figures are available on Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.

Secondly, go with your instincts and select an agent you trust. They may not have given the highest valuation, but they may have given the right one. An accurate valuation may make the difference between a sale and no sale and will affect the length of time your property is on the market.

If you are thinking about selling your property, all Fine & Country agents are part of a redress scheme and can offer a free valuation on your property. Click here to request a free valuation or click here to find your closest Fine & Country agent.

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