When it comes to home hunting, the first port of call is usually the estate agent. With good reason. They are fonts of knowledge regarding property trends, prices, and know the pros and cons of the different districts in their catchment area.
Estate agents may be the butt of more than a few jokes, but when it comes to selling and letting properties, they can be incredibly useful. Estate agents are experienced in the legal side of things and also know how to market properties for sale effectively. Would you really want to be without one?
Choosing the right estate agent can make the difference between a stressful and pain-free home hunting process. Their purpose is to help you sell a home or find one. From arranging viewings to writing and placing adverts, they’re supposed to take the hassle out of home hunting. Your job is of course to make sure you choose an estate agent who will work hard for your money.
Where to start? Good question! Using the search facility on the home page to choose an estate agent is a good place to begin. Select around 3 different companies and check they are members of a professional body, such as the NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents). Membership of this particular professional body is a good guideline when it comes to choosing an estate agent. You’ve got the security of knowing that the company’s values of integrity and service are being adhered to.
Asking friends, relatives, and colleagues is another good method of choosing an estate agent. Many get referrals as a consequence of retaining a good reputation. People tend to remember a positive experience when buying or renting a home, and they’re usually keen to point you in the right direction.
Another good trick to choosing an estate agent is to start looking at the For Sale and Sold boards in and around your area. You’ll soon get a good idea of which companies are popular with your fellow home hunters. If you fancy testing their service, take the ‘mystery shopper’ approach and pose as a potential buyer to get a feel for their level of service.
It’s important to have a good working relationship with your estate agent. Outline your needs from the start and give them as much information as possible, especially if you’re looking to sell a property quickly. Take the time to jot down a few questions when choosing an estate agent. They should be happy to answer any queries, or at least offer to obtain any information they don’t have to hand.
Looking to sell your home? Check fees before you choose an estate agent, especially if they want exclusivity. The general rate is 1.5% of the total sale price. However, there are no set industry rates so make sure you obtain this information under your own steam.