18th May, 2017
Selling your house isn’t something you do every day, and it can feel very daunting, especially if it’s the first time you have ever put your home on the market. The first thing to contemplate when preparing to market your property, is how much it might be worth, which in turn, clarifies the type of house you may be able to purchase next. And, choosing the right estate agent is the key to this whole process!
So, where do you start? Here are some top tips to find the perfect agency for you…
Create a shortlist
It’s always a good idea to start by creating a shortlist of possible estate agents, so you’re not overwhelmed with the large number that is available. You can begin to compile this by firstly asking friends and neighbours if they have any recommendations – it’s always helpful to get a personal endorsement. Searching online is also a good way to decide whether a company is worthy of a place on your list.
Ideally, you should have between 4-6 options written down, then from here you can refine the list, as your search deepens.
Do your homework
After creating your initial shortlist, you can begin to look at the potential providers in more detail. Look at their websites, paying close attention to the quality of the photographs, floor plans and the information that is present. Then, take a look at whether they’re selling any properties similar to yours, and the price, which will give you an idea of how much your home may be worth.
If, after all this, you would be happy to see your property being sold on their website, your next step is to visit them. Remove from your shortlist any agents that you don’t feel are right for you.
Now that you have done your homework, you are ready to visit the estate agents that remaining on your list. It may be tempting for you to simply call or email them, but you will get a much better sense of who they are by seeing them in the flesh. Remember, you are about to ask them to deal with probably your most important and valuable asset, so it is crucial you feel you can trust them.
When you arrive you will instantly get a feel of whether you like them or not. How do they respond to you when you walk in? Are you made to feel welcome? Is it a professional and friendly environment? If you feel at ease and comfortable, they can probably jump to the top of your list! But, if you don’t, it may be best to walk away.
How will they market your property?
Here, you need to think about where you want your property to be placed, in terms of advertising. Assuming they promote properties on the internet, it is good to know which portals you would want to be listed on, and which ones they use. Of course your house will be on their company website, but will they also be placed on other popular property sites? These are the types of things you should find out before deciding on one estate agent. After all, you want maximum coverage on your property to hopefully help you sell it as quickly as possible.
Estate agents will usually charge you a small percentage (+ VAT) of the price at which you sell your property. Opt for a partner whose fees you are comfortable with, relative to the level of service provided.
It is a great idea to get two or three different agents to value your home, and ask them to explain how they intend to market your house, to get the best possible price. It is a common mistake that some people will choose an agency simply because they have come up with the highest price for the property. It is flattering to be told your home is worth more than you anticipated, but remember, there is a lot more to successfully selling a property than putting a huge price tag on it! A range of valuations can help you to pick the right agency for you.
Help them to help you
Finally, tell them what you need! In order for you and the estate agent to work well together, you need to be clear about what you want from them. A good agent will ask you the right questions to help them determine your needs, but if you feel there is something important they should know, and it hasn’t been covered, voice it! It may be that you must sell your house by a certain date, but regardless of what it is, be honest about your circumstances. This will help the relationship run smoothly, knowing that all bases have been covered.
If you are looking to sell your property, take a look at what we could do for you here.
Similarly, if you’re in the process of moving house and want some tips on settling into your new surroundings, check out our tips here.
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