Selling your home can be a long, stressful process. There are a lot of things to remember, things that have to be done in a certain order, and things that can go wrong, all of which could leave you out of pocket and still with an unsold property. And while some of these things can’t be helped, no matter how well you plan, many of them can be avoided simply by working with the right estate agent. But with so many options out there to sell your property, how do you choose the right estate agent for you? That’s what we wanted to talk about in today’s blog.
Ask For Recommendations
They say word of mouth is the best form of advertising, and as a consumer it can certainly be one of the best ways to find a high-quality service. So start by asking around the people you know – friends, family members, clients, neighbours or other people in your network. Ask them what agents they considered and which they ended up using, and why. Check on what their experience was like, and if they would recommend them to sell someone else’s property. You will likely get both good and bad stories for all sorts of agents, but this gives you a good place to start looking. Just remember to ask people whose opinions and judgements you trust, so that you get a fair view of their experience.
Do Your Own Research
That being said, recommendations aren’t everything, and just because one estate agent worked for a friend or family member doesn’t necessarily mean they will work for you too. That’s why doing your own research is just as important. Take a look at each of your chosen agent’s social media presence and look at their listings on property comparison websites like Rightmove and Zoopla. This will give you a good insight into how they promote the properties they sell, and the level of value you can expect from your own listing. Look in particular for the detail in the listings and the quality of the photos they use to showcase a property – since these are often what draw buyers in. Their social media take up will give you a good indication of how proactive they are in selling properties, and how much you can expect from them. You can also take a look at their reviews and see what other customers thought of their service, which will help you create a complete picture of each agent.
Narrow It Down
By now you probably have a long list of estate agents, and its time to start narrowing them down. Otherwise you will spend days talking to agents trying to find the right one! So go through your list and give each agent a ranking of 1 to 10, based on the recommendations and research you have already. This will help you create a shortlist of agents you would like to work with. You can use things like online reviews to help you narrow this down, as they will give you a good indication of the company’s reputation and standing in the marketplace. Companies like Trustpilot, allAgents and Google can be a great resource here.
Have a Meeting
Now you have your shortlist, it’s time to arrange some meetings! Get in touch with your top picks so far and ask to arrange a consultation and market appraisal. A good estate agent should be able to provide you with a valuation of your property based on local market conditions and their own experience. They will also be able to give you an idea of how they would go about selling your home, and what you can expect from the process. You don’t have to commit to anything just yet, but by the time you leave each agent you should have a good gut feeling of if they are the right agent for you.
Don’t Forget The Fees
Before you go ahead and pull the trigger on your preferred estate agent, there’s just one more thing you should do. Estate agents can offer various different fee structures and levels of service, and you need to understand what those are before you sign on the dotted line. Some estate agents will opt for a more traditional commission-based fee (meaning you pay the agent a percentage of the sale price of your home), while others will charge a one-off upfront fee, and others still will spread the cost out. Find out what the fee structure is for each agent beforehand, as this may help make or break your decision. Also ask how long an agent will “lock you in”. The good agents don’t have any lock-in period because they know that if they do a good job you won’t want to change.
But above all, we recommend going for an estate agent you feel that you can trust. You will be dealing with them a lot, and putting your most valuable asset in their hands, so you want to make sure it will be treated properly. At Northwood, we want to be the estate agent you can trust, which is why we offer a customised approach to selling your property, every time. You can read more about our approach to selling property here, or just get in touch with the office, and we will be happy to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.