How to choose an estate agent
When the time comes to sell your home, how do you choose which estate agent to appoint? On the surface, most estate agencies appear to do more or less the same thing. But there is far more to moving than simply finding a buyer, and it is critical that when the time comes, you choose the right agent for you, your property and your situation.
Here are some guidelines which we hope will help you choose the right agent to sell your home.
An experienced local agent will know the property market in their area inside out, and is likely to have sold many, many properties similar to yours. This knowledge is invaluable when it comes to the successful sale of your property.
Buyers also overwhelmingly prefer to work with local experts, who they regard as "in the know", so choose a well-established local agent, and preferably one that has the backing of a national support network.
It is well-known that some agents deliberately over-value in order to impress you to secure your instruction, so don't fall into the trap of simply choosing the agent with the highest valuation. An inflated price attracts the wrong buyers to your property, and the right buyers never see it, resulting in the property going stale on the market.
It is critical that you appoint an agent who not only has a track record of successful sales in the area (not just properties on the market) but also has a thorough working knowledge of current buyer activity, and who can interpret prevailing market trends to your advantage.
Many sellers are unaware of the considerable differences between agencies and have no alternative than to decide whom to appoint on the level of commission charged. This is often a huge mistake and is a bit like buying a car purely on price considerations. All cars go from A to B, but the vast price differential is related to issues of quality, reliability, security, performance and the whole driving experience.
The same is true of estate agents. Some agents simply cannot afford to provide a level of service that is either effective, or makes the selling experience hassle-free.
The net amount in your pocket is surely more important than the percentage fee charged!
Good agents are in frequent contact with their clients and have the guts to advise you if anything needs to be done to improve your chances of a successful sale.
If an agent is not enthusiastic about your property - don't instruct them. A positive approach to selling your home is essential if buyers are to be inspired into buying your home.
Personal, Professional and Independent: Choose an agent that is owned and run by property professionals who are interested in your sale. Could you get hold of a Director if you needed to?
Seven-day Opening: Buyers are most active at weekends and more buyer activity usually means a better price for your home so make sure you choose an estate agent that is open 7 days a week.
Good estate agents provide floorplans on their particulars. They are far more helpful and accurate than the flowery descriptions some agents still use, and buyers find them invaluable. Floorplans improve the quality of viewings because they weed out clearly unsuitable purchasers and can motivate those who might otherwise not have viewed your property.
Advertising and marketing:
Make sure you choose an agent who advertises properties similar to yours in the local press and online. Chances are that they will already have a large pool of buyers who have enquired about similar homes to yours.Enquire as to how they market to these people. Do they send property alerts and regular e-shots? Do they use social media?
Open Houses are planned viewing times that, when marketed correctly, often attract large numbers of buyers who might not otherwise have viewed a property. So for maximum exposure, choose an agent who uses the open house method as part of their marketing strategy.
You need to be sure that your property is found and promoted - quickly and easily. Over 80% of people looking for a property are using the market leading sites like Rightmove and OnTheMarket and it is important that you use an agent who is listing here. At Hudson Moody we also are able to upgrade your property to a premium listing.
When you are choosing a selling agent, do make sure you choose one who also does lettings. Letting agents have long-term buy-to-let property investors permanently on their books who buy regularly. They know the agent, and they make quick decisions and reliable offers.
About 35% of sales arranged in England and Wales fall through (although far fewer than this in our case). So choose an agent that provides a dedicated sales progression service that employs people who are trained to spot potential difficulties long before they arise, and who spend 100% of their time working towards a successful outcome.
Get in Touch
If you would like to speak to Hudson Moody about selling your home please call: 01904 650650.