15 December 2020, By Gabriella Edwards
1. Types of properties they’ve sold before
It is essential that you search for estate agents that are knowledgeable in selling properties similar to your own. Investigate similar properties which are on the market in your local area and identify which estate agents are listing these. This is an effective way to ensure that the agent that you choose will have the knowledge and experience in order to market your property effectively. In addition, your agent will already have a pool of perspective buyers that may be interested in your property.
2. Comparing reviews
It is important to research the experiences that previous buyers and sellers have had with the agent and compare these against the other agents that you are considering. It is important to research the positive reviews that the company has received, however, it is equally important to research the negative reviews they have as this may highlight that there is a common theme or pattern of issues that customers have experienced in the past. This is an important indicator of whether to use an agent as your experience will often be similar to past customers.
According to a ‘which’ survey, 65% of people said that they would compare valuations from different estate agents in order to come to a decision on which agent to use. If the valuations you have been given from multiple agents are consistent, then you can be confident that the agents have given you a reliable valuation. However, this may not be the best indicator in choosing which company is best for your property as the agent may over value the property in order to win your business. This could mean that your property will take longer to sell and you may have to reduce your asking price in the future. Therefore, your agent should provide you with evidence of sold prices for similar properties in your area which they base the asking price on.
A better indicator to use is how often the agent achieves the asking price as this will show whether an agency has the tendency to initially over-value on properties. However, an agent that frequently completes the sale at the properties initial asking price may be more likely to price your home realistically.
4. Property Marketing Techniques
Initially, 99% of property searches start online via property websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla. This means that it is vital to ensure that the estate agent you use has the ability to market your home using these portals in order to have an effective sale.
In addition, research what marketing techniques agents are using to showcase their existing property listings. Traditionally, agents use photographs and floor plans, however some agents offer more modern techniques such as video tours and virtual tours, which are an interactive method which can provide a better insight into the property that photographs cannot always provide. Therefore, this results in more genuine parties which may result in a quicker sale.
5. Agents fees
Estate agents’ fees tend to sit anywhere between 0.75% and 3% depending on the type of contract you opt for. However, you can negotiate with the estate agent on the fee and they may even compete on cost in order to win your business. Remember, cheapest is not always best - and old adage 'you get what you pay for' can often ring true in the world of property.
6. Multiple agents
The majority of sellers usually only have one agent because it is easier to manage and usually cheaper as agents will charge more for multiple agency arrangements. However, some people decide to use more than one agent as this can widen your pool of potential buyers.
7. Monitor their performance
Once you have chosen an estate agent it is important to monitor your agent to ensure that they are fulfilling their contract. It is important to monitor how they are marketing your home, are they making use of portals or social media to advertise your property? It is also important to pay attention to the quality of communication you have with your agent, if you are struggling to communicate with your agent then perspective buyers for your property may be having the same problem.