Happy couplelooking in an estate agents window

Finding an estate agent can be complicated. Besides looking for someone who can sell your home as quickly as possible, you’d also want a good salesperson who can negotiate a good offer. You don’t want to go for someone just because they give your property a high valuation—here are things that can help you choose an estate agent.

Ask Potential Agents to Give Your Property a Valuation

Request your potential estate agents to give your property a valuation. Don’t automatically go
for the person who gives you a reasonable selling price—some people will overvalue your property so you can be their client. Before signing with anyone, check what services they provide.

Will you handle viewings, or will these be part of their duties? Will they prepare a ‘for sale’ board, floor plans, photographs, and online tours of your home? Do they have relevant buyers? Knowing these details will help you gauge if you’ll be getting good value out of your partnership.

Know Which Online Portals They Use

Ask them where they’ll be advertising your company as well. Many estate agents will list you on places like Zoopla, Rightmove, and other online property portals. Some professionals also use OnTheMarket, a portal that launched in early 2015. At first, OnTheMarket allowed agents to list with only one other portal, but today it is no longer the case.

Agents who formed contracts after February 2018 do not adhere to the old rule and can post across different sites. Knowing whether an agent signed up for OnTheMarket early will help you determine how effectively they can leverage online portals.

Remember that Estate Agents Can’t Control Everything

The best estate agents are clear in their mission of helping you sell your property at the best price. However, agents might resort to inflating prices during valuation to get the client excited about the deal. Then, when they advertise the property, they will choose a much lower listing price and market it as “reduced.” What’s more, properties with reduced prices take approximately 64 days longer to sell.

There are many reasons why price drops might happen, and some of these are beyond the control of individual estate agents. For instance, the referendum to exit the EU and the changes to stamp duty has dramatically affected the London market.

Another factor would be the types of homes the agents sell. For instance, if most of their portfolio consists of new builds, the developer is probably setting prices and not them. If you want to verify how much your home should be selling for, do some independent research. Look at sites that use Land Registry data and determine how much similar houses sell in your area.

Besides getting you a buyer and assisting in the conveyancing process, the estate agent also acts as an appraiser of your home’s value. If you’re looking for a real estate agent, you have to do more than evaluate their offerings. Don’t get excited by a high valuation—you need to determine that your property is truly worth what the agent is saying through independent research.

Are you selling your home? Find an estate agent through Compare Agents. We are an independent, unbiased comparison site, helping you find the best estate agents in the UK. Our risk-free service involves zero fees, whether upfront or upon contract or completion. Compare agents now!

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