How to Select a Competent Estate Agent
Published by Property Saviour
The UK's No.1 Fast House Sale Company
December 5, 2014 - Read time: 3 minutes
When selecting an estate agent you want to be sure that they are competent and will handle the sale of your property in a professional and effective manner. Ensure that you pick an agent who is a member of at least one, or ideally both, of the following bodies:
– The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors also known as RICS
– The National Association of Estate Agents or NAEA for short.
It is always a great idea to ensure that your estate agent is registered with the Property Ombudsman.
Decide which services you require from an estate agent. Would you rather conduct your own viewings and be in charge of discussing offers? In this case maybe you only want the estate agents services to better advertise your property, such as on Rightmove. This is known as the ‘Do It Yourself’ way to sell your house.
On the other hand, if you find a good estate agents they can make a huge difference in your success with selling your house. A good estate agent will use their skills to secure you a buyer by providing accompanied viewings, by following up offers, by qualifying a buyer’s status, and finally by negotiating a good deal for you.
How to pick an estate agent?
• Ask your estate agent if they have Professional Indemnity Cover. This allows you to hold them accountable and, in the worst-case scenario, sue the agent for any professional misconduct or any underhand dealings.
• Ask your agent if they will advertise your property on Rightmove, Zoopla and other online portals such as Gumtree. Ask them for details on exactly what methods they will use to sell your property.
• Ask the agent if they will be advertising your property in the local paper, and how regularly these adverts would appear.
• The cost of a professional valuation for your property can vary from as little as £500 to as much as £5,000 depending on the size and location of the property. Pick an agent who is a RICS certified surveyor. Don’t be afraid to ask them for details on how they have arrived at their valuation. What comparables have they used? If they have simply plucked a figure out of thin air, it will be a long while before your property sells!
• Negotiate a fee with agent. It can vary from 1% to 3.5% or more in some cases. Get a number of quotes before you make a decision. Then pick the best agent, who you feel has given you a realistic valuation, and give them the lowest quote to beat.
• Before instructing your agent, give them a fixed period to sell your property – two to three months is normal. If after that period your property has not sold, make it clear that you will leave and look to sell with a different agent. Amend your contract, initial it, and always keep a copy for your own records.
• Monitor your sale. Look at your competition. How much interest are similar properties getting? If similar properties are getting more interest than yours can you work out why? Perhaps it is because they are cheaper than your property, which could indicate that it your asking price is too high. Speak to your estate agent. Ask them how many click-throughs your property has had on its Rightmove listing. How does that number compare with their average? Is there a way to improve the number of click throughs for your listing?
• Finally, incentivise your buyers. For example, offer to pay £1,000 cash-back upon completion if they buy within a certain range of your asking price. Other incentives could include a contribution towards stamp duty or perhaps even to cover all of the stamp duty. If you are very generous you may even pay a 5% vendor gifted deposit.
Remember, selling property is a very seasonal business. It is very unlikely that you will be able to sell your property in the 6 weeks before Christmas, in early January, or between July and August. Holiday seasons are not usually a time that people are looking to buy a house. Buyers don’t want to move into a new property before Christmas or around the time of that family holiday in Spain.
If you are not having much luck with your estate agent, and you want to try a new tactic please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are different to regular buyers and can buy your property quickly, in any season, regardless of condition or the location. Make an enquiry by clicking here.