Choosing an estate agent is very important and will significantly impact how quickly you sell your house and at what price. All agents will say they are good, but talk is cheap. How do you find the estate agent that will be most effective at selling your property?

How to choose the best estate agent

This guide will help you find an estate agent who will pro-actively market your property and help you achieve the best possible price.

Create a shortlist of estate agents

First of all, create a shortlist of at least three potential estate agents.

  • Walk down your high street, look for estate agents with attractive looking offices.
  • Ask for personal recommendations from friends and family
  • Look on Rightmove and Zoopla for properties for sale in your area. Which estate agents are most active in your area? Which have the best adverts?

Ensure that all of your shortlisted estate agents are part of a professional body. The main one in the UK is The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA). Reading customer feedback on review websites like TrustPilot or Feefo can also be helpful.

Visit their office to make an appointment for valuations. Do you receive a warm and friendly welcome? Are they professional and curious?

Compare valuations

All good estate agents will come to your home to give you a market valuation. Excellent estate agents will justify their valuation with examples of similar properties they have recently sold. Don’t be misled by high valuations if the agent hasn’t sold similar properties at that price.

Assess each agent

A great estate agent will be able to identify the features of your property that will be attractive to buyers. If the estate agent can’t convince you that your house is fantastic, how good will they be at talking enthusiastically to potential buyers about your property?

Assess each estate agent

You will have to work closely with your estate agent during the house sale process, so you must get along with them. During your discussions, think about whether you trust them.

Ask the following questions:

  • How quickly do they sell homes?
  • Do they have a database of serious buyers looking for property similar to yours?
  • What would they do if your property doesn’t sell as soon as expected?
  • How will your property be advertised? All good estate agents advertise on Rightmove and Zoopla. Find out whether they use any other online portals and if your property will feature in their shop window or local newspapers.
  • Who will do viewings?
  • Are they open in the evenings and at weekends? Estate agents available on Saturdays and evenings are more likely to attract potential buyers.

Compare fees

Fees vary between estate agents, with most charging a percentage fee of anything between 0.75% and 3% (plus VAT) of the selling price. Some estate agents will work on a fixed commission basis.

Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest offer. Choose the agent you feel most confident about and has convinced you that they can sell your property quickly and for a high price.

You will need to decide whether to sell your home through a sole agent or multiple estate agents. Most home sellers choose one estate agent because the fees are cheaper, and it is easier to liaise with just one company. Agents will charge higher fees if you advertise through more than one agency.

Read the contract

Estate agent contracts can be complex, and once you sign you will be bound by the terms. Read the contract carefully and make sure you understand what you are signing. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Always check if VAT is payable on top of the fee or commission amount
  • Pay attention to the tie-in and notice period. During this time, you will not be able to switch agents if you are unhappy. A tie-in period of between 4 and 12 weeks with a 2 week notice period is normal.
  • Check there isn’t an extended ‘introducer’ commitment period. Otherwise, the agent could claim commission if you later switch agents but sell to a buyer introduced initially by them.
  • Check for hidden fees such as extra charges for professional photography or For Sale boards.
  • Make sure you won’t have to pay if the sale falls through
  • Be clear on the type of contract you are signing. The two common types are ‘sole agency’ and ‘multi-agency’. Look out for contracts that give the agent ‘sole selling rights’ as this means that you will need to pay them commission even if you find your own buyer.

 

If you are thinking about selling your home in Wimbledon, Coombe, Roehampton or Kingston, contact us today – we would be delighted to give you a property valuation and advise you on how to market it effectively in the current climate.

About the author

Nicolas Holmes

Nick joined Robert Holmes to inject fresh ideas and help grow the New Homes department of Robert Holmes as well as helping to inject technology into the business and to grow its client base. Together with one of the Directors Nick is in charge of all Development opportunities that Robert Holmes deals with along with sales. Aged 40, he provides succession together with the two existing directors. Nick has always been focused on building client relationships and sales. He built up his own gallery in Chelsea, where he had a loyal following of customers and artists.

Related articles