Appointing the right estate agent for you and your home, is an important decision and one that could affect the entire process. Let me try and assist and give you some ideas as to how get the right agent for you…
The right individual for you –
A great way to ‘try out your agent’ is to book a viewing with them, prior to asking them to value your home. This initial contact will give you a complete overview of how they will deal with your potential buyer. If the agent showing you over a property doesn’t fill you with confidence, is unable to answer simple questions about the home you are viewing, or seems uninterested in you or the house that are meant to be selling, then it’s time to move on. Look at Google reviews as they are a wonderful insight as to how previous clients have experienced their services. Does the agent suit your home? They may have quite a few boards in the area, but if they seem to be selling mainly 250k terraced houses, they may well not be the agent for your small one bedroom apartment, or 4 bedroom detached house. Can the agent display not only local knowledge, but knowledge of the whole property market and have the experience to overcome the inevitable issues that seem to arise through the sales process.
Bare in mind that the individual who comes to your home and tells you all about how good ‘Smith and Jones Estate Agents’ are and how they are the best agents in town, may not have much, if any contact with you from that point on. If you have bought in to that individual, how will you feel when you’re passed around the office team and no one seems to know what’s going in, or indeed seem to take any responsibility. Many agents have one person who’s sole job is to carry out the valuations and ‘win the business’. As soon as you have signed, off they go on to the next valuation and your sale is passed down to the other staff to do the viewings, negotiate the offer and progress the sale.
The marketing –
If you are looking for a property you have probably scrolled through countess, very similar descriptions of homes for sale on the internet. How many of these descriptions have excited you and made you want to jump in your car and view without delay? ‘We are pleased to offer for sale this blah, blah, blah….’ seems to be the ‘go to’ opening description of many properties listed by uninterested estate agents who have little imagination as to how to sale their clients property. Well written descriptions and imaginative imagery will make your home stand out and also reflects how your agent will perform when actually showing potential buyers over your home.
The experience –
All estate agents have access to a whole load of data that gives them information to assist in the valuation of your home. This data is great as a bench mark, but all homes are different and each one has its own special features. Experience, local knowledge and an open mind to the valuation all needs to be put in to the mix, and the agent that uses Zoopla Estimate as the valuation could be losing you many thousand of pounds or indeed over valuing with all the risks attached to that.
One of the most important services an agent should be offering is sales progression and this is a service often overlooked by a potential seller. A good agent will smooth the transaction and be in constant contact with the buyer, seller, solicitors, surveyors, and mortgage brokers not just directly involved in your sale, but the entire chain. More difficulties arise due to non-communication, than perhaps any other part of the process, Think about it – the chain, or individual sale is agreed because ALL parties wish to buy and sale the respective homes. The process can take many weeks to move through the various stages and each party can often begin to believe that ‘the other party’ is holding matters up. This is when the situation can become antagonistic and a good agent will be smoothing this process keeping the sale moving and updating their client at regular intervals.
The decision –
You will possibly speak to several agents and ask them to provide you with a valuation of your home. See this as an ‘interview’ process and ask them questions as to what they provide, what you require, the marketing that will be offered and the support that will be given. Many agents and indeed sellers, base their whole valuation meeting around two things – price and fee. Both are obviously a very large consideration, but you should be looking at the whole package rather than just these two triggers. You probably have a good feel as to what your property is worth prior to the valuation so please be aware of an agent suggesting a very high price which is out of sync with your thoughts and perhaps the other valuations that you obtain. Ask what term of contract the agent is looking for you to agree to. Anything more than an initial 12 week contract could suggest the agent is not sure they can sale your home in a reasonable timescale and this coupled with a high valuation should set your alarm off.
If you would like to discuss the sale of your home please do give a call on 0117 3634411 or 07976 707793 anytime. Rob Pain.