7 things to watch out for when appointing an estate agent,
23rd November 2016
Jack and the Beanstalk may be a fairy tale but it demonstrates the importance of choosing the right person to act on your behalf. Jack’s mother asked him to sell the family cow and he came home with some seemingly useless magical beans in place of the cow.
The cow was a valuable asset to the family, and Jack just wasn’t the man to make the sale. Away from fairy tales, you always want to make sure that your valuable assets are in the right hands.
So what are the important things to consider when appointing an estate agent?
Are you selling a red brick house or a particularly distinctive home? Well, you’ll probably want to avoid an estate agent who specialises in inner-city apartments. It’s always advisable to get an agent who’s used to selling similar properties.
If they’re experienced at selling properties like your home, they’ll know how to get the best deal for you and they’ll be able to offer you expert advice. Check an agent’s website to look for similar properties and see if they’re a good match for you.
In some cases, the estate agent may even have a list of potentially interested under bidders from other, relevant properties.
2. Are they favourably reviewed?
There’s a reason that peer reviews are so popular when it comes to restaurants or online shopping. We like to know what other people think and to be able to draw on their experiences of a service or product.
So it makes sense to ask your family and friends for their opinions or to find if they have a personal recommendation. The chances are that some of them have dealt with estate agents when buying or selling a house in the past. They should be able to help you separate the wheat from the chaff in your area.
3. How do they market properties?
If a tree falls in a forest and there’s no one there to hear it, does it really make a sound? We can’t say for sure. What we do know is that a property that isn’t properly promoted is unlikely to make a big noise in the market.
Find out what an estate agent will do to market your home. Having brochures or pictures in the office window is one way, but what digital channels do they use to promote your house? Videos and quality photos are more important than ever, so see what marketing tools your prospective agent will employ on your behalf. If you're selling a luxury property in particular, you'll want an estate agent who is experienced in homes in the one million plus bracket.
4. What services do they provide?
It may seem obvious but it’s worth finding out exactly what an estate agent will do for you. Are they going to handle things like viewings and marketing? Will they help you to stage the house?
It’s a simple discussion to have and it will reassure you about what an agent will or won’t do for you. Depending on what you’re looking for, a simple chat about the services they’ll provide might make it easier to decide which estate agent will meet your needs.
5. How do they treat customers?
One way to see how an estate agent will treat potential buyers is to become one yourself. Visit some local offices and ask about properties that are similar to yours. It will give you a good idea of how they’ll handle queries on your home and about how they do business.
Don’t be afraid to dig deep and go looking for niche or local information. A good estate agent will know their locality inside out.
6. The valuations seems off/too high/too low
Some estate agents offer very optimistic valuations in the hopes that you’ll choose them over agents who quote more realistic figures. Be prepared to do some research on the value of your own house so that you can judge what would be a realistic price. Don’t just sign up with whatever agent promises you the most money.
Check the Property Price Register for the sale price of houses in your area and get a second (or third opinion) if you’re not sure. Click this link to read more about what an estate agent looks for when valuing a house.
7. It feels off
Call into a few different estate agents to see what you think of them in person. Are they professional, attentive, knowledgeable and friendly? Do they seem like the type of people you’d like to deal with?
Trust your instincts and choose the one that feels like the best fit for you. Just like Jack and his beans, you want a happy ending for all involved!
Do you want to sell a property?
At Lisney, we’re experts in selling houses and we know how to get the best deal for you. We’ve been helping people to sell their houses for years so we know just what you need to do to win buyers over.
If you’d like more info on selling a home, download our home seller’s checklist now!