Sunday, 12 June 2016

HOW TO: Choose the Right Estate Agent for You

This week we chose the estate agent that we want to market our house through. 

Now, some facts about Estate Agents:

  • Most charge 1% or 1.25%, though some will barter down and others will remain extremely high.
  • Online Estate Agents are, undoubtedly the cheapest, but require you to do most of the work.
  • Try to hire an Agent that will advertise on Zoopla AND Rightmove, not just one or the other.
  • VAT is a killer.
The key to choosing is to really think about what you want this person to do.

Our criteria included: 
Not showing anyone around ourselves; good communication; good presentation skills - so will walk the potential buyer around; keen and enthusiastic; advertised on the right places, requested feedback.

A great way of finding out what kind of Agents they're going to be is to look around houses advertised by them. If you're shown around by the vendor on a weekend, you'll know that some of the pressure of selling will be down to you; if you're not happy with the tone of voice they use when guiding you around themselves; if they stand by the door and let you walk around by yourself, if they're late; if they do/n't give you a leaflet on the property to take home, if they do/n't follow up with a call for feedback.

We didn't choose the cheapest because I wanted to be babied whilst selling - I didn't want to have to figure things out on my own (maybe next time though). I didn't choose the second cheapest because they stood by the door when we looked around a property and were quite negative about us using up their time when the house didn't suit us. I didn't choose the most expensive because the first time I rang they didn't answer the phone and the second time I rang the person I needed to speak to wasn't there and the third time I rang, I requested a call back by the end of the day and I didn't receive one. 

I chose an Agent I know will get me the price I want and be available for queries or catch ups throughout the process.

To go right back to the start though, I held a coffee morning for Estate Agents. We had a week off and I booked in four of our local Estate Agents with 45 minute slots over the course of half a day. It was interesting to see how they presented themselves and their company whilst in someones home. It was even more interesting how much/little time they spent actually looking around the house. And it was even more intriguing that only one of them rang to say they might be late, but actually turned up 10 minutes before their slot began - the others were either spot on, or late but didn't call.

So to conclude:
  • Get as many Estate Agents to value your home as possible
  • Do you like them? Really simple, but they're selling your most valuable possession so you really need a good relationshop
  • Can you contact them easily
  • Do they have a good team - if you ring up do you get helpful service/callbacks/etc
  • Make a list of what you want from your Agent
  • Is it a low price you want or just value for money?
  • Where do they advertise?
  • Do they have an in house mortgage advisor (if you need one?)
  • Are they too pushy or not pushy enough?

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