Great estate agents are like fine wine – their prices are good, they have the ability to improve with age, and they possess rare qualities that go a long way. Whether you’re new to the property market or are a seasoned vet, finding the right agent is the most important aspect of selling your home.
The sheer number of estate agents operating online and on the high street means that vendors have never had more options. While choice is certainly welcomed, it can also make finding that perfect agent more akin to searching for the perfect needle in a giant haystack.
So how do you know when you’ve found the right estate agent? That’s what we’re here to tell you with our unbiased (ok, mostly unbiased) opinion on the traits you should look for when instructing an estate agent to sell your home.
Here are our top tips for finding an estate agent.
Online or offline?
As an online agent, we’re inclined to believe that digital is the is the way forward for the UK property. market. There are many factors at play in the battle between online and the high-street model, which is why you need to ask yourself a couple of important questions.
1. What is the most crucial factor when it comes to selling your home?
If it’s price, then there’s only winner – with online agents considerably cheaper than the high-street model.
2. Who does the viewings?
If you want an estate agent to conduct viewings for you, a high-street agent might be more, let’s say, up your street.
Having an agent conduct viewings can also prove to be tricky. You need to arrange a time with them for viewings, and they tend to work traditional 9-5pm office hours – which can make it hard for people to be available for viewings.
Online models are catching up in this regard: at emoov, we encourage you to the viewings at a time that suits you and the potential buyer. That doesn’t mean you’re left to your own devices, however. Our dedicated experts don’t offer viewings, but they are on hand to answer queries. Whether you have a question about price or how to conduct a viewing, they are here to guide you in the right direction.
Service is key, no matter the industry. Fortunately, in today’s world it’s impossible for brands to feign the quality of their service. Online reviews make it easy to see a company’s customer service history – and it’s no different in the property world.
Check customer reviews when deciding on an estate agent. The ones with a high volume of stellar reviews are far more likely to offer stellar services. Don’t just look at the score either. Instead, find out why the agent is getting a good review: which factors contribute to their high score?
Is it service? Price? The ability to go beyond the usual requirements? Ideally it will be a combination. Estate agents are also required to be members of The Property Ombudsman Scheme, which is something to look out for when choosing an agent.
Your goal as a vendor is to get the best price for your home, which is why it’s important to make sure an estate agent has your best interests at heart. Sometimes agents can overpromise and underdeliver on the value of a home.
The market is rife with competition, and many agents will say what they can to win the instruction – or they will be overconfident in their assessment. It’s best to look for an impartial agent, someone that doesn’t have anything to gain from commission fees.
The last thing you want is for an estate agent to promise a high sale price, only to be in contact a few weeks later, telling you to lower your price because the property isn’t selling. Their valuation should be based purely on your home’s market value.
It’s one thing having visibility on the major property portals; it’s another actively marketing a property to increase reach as much as possible. There are two primary reasons why a property doesn’t sell: unrealistic price and lack of marketing. Ask your estate agent how they’re going to market your property. What will they do to make sure it gains exposure other than listing it on the portals?
Do they offer professional photos and a floorplan? How do they tackle social media? In today’s world, audiences are scattered – it’s not merely a case of picking up your local paper and reading the property section or doing a few canvassing cards. A good social media page indicates an understanding of how audiences work today. You want to pick an agent that is on top of their marketing game, is savvy enough to maximise current trends, and can find potential buyers from a range of places.
Details of service
Make sure that your selected agent provides a clear, detailed explanation of what the service entails. Do you get professional photos and floorplans? Will you be able to edit your property description when required? How does the pricing structure work? Are they easily contactable?
Selling your home is a big decision, and you want to make sure that you’re one hundred percent confident in the agent you instruct. We make sure there is total transparency regarding everything our customers receive in terms of service.
Whether you’re ready to sell your home, are planning to sell or are just curious, research is the key to finding the best estate agent. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, either. In fact, why don’t you request a callback with us and ask as many questions are you need regarding selling your property.
We can do more than give you top tips for finding an estate agent – we can sell your home and add you to our list of happy customers.