Choose your agent
Contact several potential agents either by phone, email or better still, in person. Question them on a property of similar style or value to your own, asking open questions to gauge their knowledge and passion for their portfolio. You should explore:
- Knowledgeability. Have they been to visit the property, do they actually know their product, or are they simply reading the details from a computer screen?
- Enthusiasm. Being eager to promote viewings would be a good indication as to how well they will promote your property.
- Forward thinking. Do they take your contact details? If not, how are they going to contact you in the future with other suitable properties?
- Curious. Do they ask you any questions to ascertain your requirements?
- Pride, passion and prestige. Do they provide professionally printed property particulars?
Compare the results
Having mystery shopped a number of potential agents, compare the results and check their current stock:
- Do they market properties on volume? If so, would you like to become just 'another client’?
- Are they renowned for specialising in properties of a certain value or type? Or do they simply deal with anything and everything?
- Do they deal in both sales and lettings? Or focus all their efforts solely on sales?
- How do their photographs, brochures and general marketing compare?
Interview the agents
Having shortlisted, it’s time to invite two or three agents to interview within your home. Listen to your gut; do you like the agent? If not, then it is likely that others could be put off by the same personality traits.
Ask the following questions, taking into consideration their professionalism and knowledge.
- What sets them apart from other agents?
- How will their marketing and services differ from competitor agents?
- Why should you instruct them instead of their competitor?
It is important to remember not to choose the agent that provides the highest valuation with the lowest fee. There are many agents out there who will quite happily tell potential clients what they would like to hear as opposed to what they need to know - after all do you wish to sell your home or simply advertise it?
Make sure you are not being tied into lengthy agreements - you should only instruct an agent on a 'no sale, no fee' basis, with no tie in period. This means that if the agent does not perform as promised, you can sever all ties immediately without incurring any costs.