So you’ve boxed up a whole load of clutter, you’ve fixed that annoying dripping tap and buffed and polished your home. Well done! Now comes what for some sellers feels like a really challenging task: choosing your estate agent.
Most sellers invite three estate agents to give them an expert valuation, and discuss marketing approach. This does have the added advantage of giving you a balanced view of your home’s potential value, as well as to discover the various agency fees and range of services.
But how do you choose which three estate agents should be on your shortlist, and what criteria should you use to decide which agent will be the right one for you?
Broadly speaking, there are three main types of estate agents: the ‘DIY’ or online estate agent, the corporate, nationwide agent and the local independent estate agent, like us. There are pros and cons of each, and asking the right questions in your agent ‘interviews’ will help you make sense of your options.
Questions to ask prospective estate agents
Here are some pointers to help you prioritise your selection criteria, and sort the wheat from the chaff:
“What’s your commission?” - and no, this doesn’t mean choosing the agent with the lowest commission rate, or the one that allows his fee to be negotiated to below his proposal. One tactic is to select an agent who values his commission, and this may mean choosing one who charges above the area average, and who doesn’t discount it. After all, you will be putting your trust in him to negotiate on your behalf with a buyer, so you need to know he won’t crumble at the first sign of pressure!
“What happens if something goes wrong with my sale?” – if something unexpected happens with your home sale, you need to know that you can take the issue up the chain, to the most senior person available. Ask who that would be, and how you can contact them.
“What marketing do you use?” – your photography and online marketing created by the agent all need to be of the highest quality, so they stand out when compared with the competition, and successfully target the right type of buyer for your home.
“Is your fee payable if you don’t sell my house?” – make sure you’re entering into a no-sale, no-fee agreement, so if you don’t sell, you don’t pay. If you do decide to take your home off the market, there may be some incidental out-of-pocket expenses your agent will ask you to reimburse, so make sure you get these listed and in writing.
You may have the answers to your questions, but how do you choose the right estate agent and make sure they will be on your side, from beginning to end? Here are our five tips to help you choose the right agent for you and your plans: