How to choose an estate agent

Making the decision to sell your property is not taken lightly. There are many factors you have already taken into consideration to get to this point with the key one being the potential value of your existing property and what that would give you to spend on your next move.

Choosing an estate agent to help you realise that potential sale price is critical. So how do you differentiate the best estate agents in your area from a growing network of high street and online providers? Here are a few things to consider.

Ask for recommendations

As with finding a tradesman, or where to go on holiday your friends and family will either have direct experience or know someone who has recently bought or sold a property. Awards and estate agent comparison sites are a good marker but personal reviews of service received from a person you trust will offer more insight into what you can expect.

Do some research

Now you have a few possible options have a look at the properties the agents have listed either in their shop window if they have one, website and property portals such as Rightmove.

You’re looking to see if,

  • they have similar properties to your own so you can be confident they can attract potential buyers for yours
  • they have experience selling properties like yours in your area
  • they price them right with not too many flagged as ‘reduced’ without a specific reason
  • they produce a professional listing with clear, concise information and good quality images, videos, walk throughs to market your property well.

Once you’ve determined your shortlist invite them to your home individually to discuss their offer and conduct a valuation. You want at least two, but ideally, three so you can compare.

Finding the estate agent that’s right for you

All estate agents will be enthusiastic about your property and the prospect of selling it for you - that’s their job. What you’re looking for is an agent that you’re confident will sell your home quickly and for the right price.

Questions to ask:

  • how they came to the valuation they’ve given you, so you can determine if it's aspirational with a view to reducing later if you don’t sell or more realistic given the current market.
  • about similar properties they’ve sold like yours and the selling price they achieved.
  • who will conduct viewings, yourselves or the agent and the process so you know what to expect
  • How they would look to market your property on social media, property portals and to existing contacts, and how you can support them
  • When would you expect a review of your property if you haven’t received viewings or an offer.

How much will it cost?

High street estate agents charge a commission fee for their services based on a percentage of your agreed sale price. If you don’t sell your property you won’t be charged though you may want to enquire if there is a tie in period before you can move to another agency.

Online estate agents price themselves like budget airlines with a lower starting price for a basic service and add ons for additional services such as an EPC certificate and agent viewings. This can make the overall cost higher than your local estate agent and it's payable whether you sell your property or not.

Each option has its merits and it's important you choose the right one for you.

Remember the agent works for you

Ultimately you want an estate agent that will be proactive in supporting you to sell your property. One that is able to guide you through the process with their extensive knowledge of your local area and how the national and local housing market may impact your ability to sell.

At Poole Townsend, we have over 30 years experience of selling property throughout the South Lakes across our five branches. Over that period we’ve sold some properties more than once and supported generations of the same families move around the region both up and down the property ladder.

Last year out of the 650+ properties we sold, 99% were at the asking price and we scored 100% in our customer satisfaction survey.

If you’re looking to sell your property, give our team a call and let us start the conversation.

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