Buying and selling a property can be complicated and stressful. There are several factors to consider too. This article will help you choose an estate agent, one of the first steps of selling your property. Choose from the best estate agents HERE.
Remember, when selling property, it’s vital that you find an estate agent that best suits your specific needs. The same agent won’t be the best for everybody. Also, bear in mind that estate agents work on a commission basis, which means they are naturally keen to market your property efficiently in order to sell it and earn a wage. So here are the steps to consider when the time to find an estate agent arises.
How To Choose An Estate Agent
Naturally, you will ask for recommendations from friends, neighbours, and family members. Whilst these recommendations are based on the person’s individual experience of a specific agent or even second hand information, a reliable recommendation is a good place to start. However, choosing an estate agent based on recommendations means understanding that others’ expectations might not necessarily reflect your own. If you are considering recommendations, speak to several agents in the area.
Estate agents must be members of The Property Ombudsman or The Surveyors Ombudsman Scheme. Many will also be members of trade bodies. This means that they are obliged to comply with a certain code of conduct which protects you as their customer. This may indicate a higher level of professionalism.
- Trade bodies that many agents are affiliated may include:
- Guild of Professional Estate Agents (GPEA)
- National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)
This information should be available online. Members of these schemes will be keen to display their membership on their websites.
Choose from the best estate agents HERE. We analyse the performance of every active estate agent in the UK and using basic information about your home, we provide you with a list of agents that cover your postcode and how they perform against each other.
Do Your Own Research
Visit and speak with your local estate agents as a potential buyer. This way you will get a sense of their professionalism (or lack of). You’ll get a general idea of whether you would be happy with them selling your home. Consider whether you feel confident that they would present your property in its best light?
Ask At Least 3 Agents To Value Your Home
Ask at least three agents to carry out a valuation of your property. Don’t be surprised if there is a variation in the price and the credentials that they base this valuation on. Do not necessarily be inclined towards the agent that values your property the highest. It is not a guarantee that this is the most realistic asking price. You need a realistic valuation, not an overvaluation of your property which will put off potential buyers.
Local Estate Agents
Visiting your local estate agents, or even making a cursory search of ‘local estate agents near me’ allows you to find potential Agents quickly. However, this does not indicate how each agent actually performs. Approach the agents you are considering and ask a number of questions that will indicate their level of professionalism as well whether you are likely to get on with them or not.
Important questions to ask
- How many similar properties have you sold recently?
- How much do you charge for a sole agency sale?
- What contracts do you offer?
- Is there a tie in period?
- What is their selling experience in the local area?
- Where do you advertise (papers/boards/property portals)?
- How long do your properties take to sell on average?
- Do you have buyers ready for a property such as mine? If so, how many?
- What checks have you in place to ensure a buyer can afford my property?
- How are viewings managed? Who conducts the viewings?
- Are there any additional charges?
We can help you to choose from the best estate agents to sell your property. We believe local knowledge is a big part of what an estate agent offers, so our technology analyses the following data for every postcode in the UK.
Compare Estate Agents Online
If you want a comprehensive choice of estate agents you should compare estate agents online. This is where compare-agents.com comes in. Our site offers a free, unbiased collation of estate agent information in your area, meaning we do all the leg work for you. Databases such as ours hold the following information so that you don’t have to:
- The % of asking price the agent usually achieves.
- The number of properties they have listed in the area.
- The average time it takes the agent to sell a property.
- Information about fees.
With data sourced from the major sites like Zoopla, Rightmove, OnTheMarket & the Land Registry, they will provide an objective view of important sales figures. This allows you to view the highest rated estate agents in your area.
What About Online Estate Agents?
Using an online agent to sell your home can save you hundreds or even thousands of pounds. But conducting such a high value transaction this way might seem like risky business. Whether you are considering sites such as PurpleBricks, eMoov, Tepilo, HouseSimple or YOPA, you’ll need to know what to watch for.
Online estate agents are often cheaper than high street estate agents and vary in terms of what packages and prices they offer. Fees can start as low as £300 which might be a flat rate fee paid upfront. Other pricing plans vary, and most offer payment on completion. However, this can cost more. An agent conducting viewings can cost extra.
High street agents typically charge around 1.5% of the sale price, or a pre-agreed fixed fee. For example, even on a 1.5% commission you will pay £4,500 if you sell your home for £300,000. This is a large amount compared to online agents where packages range from about £300 to £1000.
If you do choose an online estate agent, always get a few local estate agents to value your home first. This will give you an idea of a reasonable asking price.
We can help you choose the best estate agents to sell your property. We use actual, real-time property sales data to provide you with performance details of your local agents.
Referral fees are standard practice in the property industry and are used commonly. This is most often known as an ‘introduction fee – a fee that’s paid once you’ve agreed to work with the recommended conveyancer. It can be a percentage of the amount you pay to the legal firm, or a fixed fee.
Some referral fees are ‘pay per lead’ or pay a ‘marketing fee’. It’s therefore incredibly likely that when your estate agent recommends a service, they are getting paid to do so. These are a fixed fee paid in exchange for information on potential clients (or leads). So an estate agent might get paid for passing on your name and contact information to a firm, so that they can be in touch with you directly.
Both types of fee are used commonly in the property industry – within the limits of GDPR and any conflict of interest.
How Will I Know If This Is The Case?
In February 2019, National Trading Standards (NTS) released new guidance on referral fees saying that any referral fees have to be disclosed by agents to both sellers and buyers.
Similarly, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) states that solicitors are required to set out the full details of their fees, and any expenses associated with your transaction, including how much they paid for a referral. The Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) has a similar rule for their members too.
Introduction or referral fees are common practice and it shouldn’t be something that puts you off using a particular estate agent or conveyancer. So long as the fees charged are reasonable.
When choosing an Estate Agent, do not be tempted to instruct the cheapest based merely on price alone. The lowest price doesn’t necessarily mean the best Estate Agent to go with. Of course you want to achieve as much of the sale price as possible, but you may actually achieve more back from an ambitious, hardworking Agent who sells your house for a slightly higher price but charges a slightly higher fee. An agent who charges a lower fee might not necessarily achieve their asking price.