How to Pick the Perfect Estate Agent

Here is a handy summary guide courtesy of NAEA PropertyMark which we think should form the basis of any selection procedure for choosing an Estate Agent to sell your home.

  • Make sure your agent is PropertyMark Protected.
  • Make a shortlist of agents to carry out a valuation of your property.
  • Question their advice and choose an agent who explains their decisions well and has lots of information about comparable sales in your area.
  • Check the price and details of the contract.
  • Choose someone you feel comfortable working with and who communicates well.

PropertyMark advises that choosing the right estate agent is very important and will have a big impact on how quickly you sell your house, and at what price.

Contrary to common thinking, not all agents are the same and some will be more effective than others. 

Propertymark Protected agents will give you the assurance that your estate agent follows best practice, meets all requirements of the profession and works to industry standards. We always recommend that you use an NAEA Propertymark estate agent. They hold Professional Indemnity insurance and if they are holding monies are required to be covered by Client Money Protection to give you peace of mind throughout the sale of your house.

First of all, PropertyMark suggests making a list of possible agents and also provide some tips to get started:

  • Ask family, friends and neighbours for a recommendation.
  • Is the estate agent selling your type of house in your area? Some estate agents specialize in specific types of properties.
  • Look at online sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla and check that the estate agent has taken attractive pictures of all the important features of the houses they are selling.
  • Check that it is their policy to accompany potential buyers around your house.
  • Check when they work at weekends – just Saturday mornings could significantly limit the number of viewings that can be arranged.

Next PropertyMark recommends that when you have a shortlist of possible agents, go and visit their office. Are they friendly, professional and knowledgeable?

Then PropertyMark advises contacting a couple of agents to provide a valuation of your property and to ask them what their advice is for a successful sale. They should be able to provide some local comparisons and reasons to justify the price they have come up with.

PropertyMark encourages you to ask lots of questions and make a mental note of the agent’s punctuality, politeness and knowledge. Does the estate agent seem to understand and recognize your personal circumstances, like whether you need to move before a baby arrives or in time to start a new job?

Some crucial PropertyMark advice comes next –  you will need to look at the nitty-gritty of the contract and the agent’s fees. If you are selling your house using a traditional, high-street estate agent, their fee will be based on a percentage of the price paid by the buyer. PropertyMark reckons that a high-street estate agent fee can vary between 1% and 3.5% including VAT.

Some sellers may negotiate the fee with the agent. In order to avoid unexpected costs, don’t sign anything that you don’t understand and make sure to ask about anything that is not clear.

Finally, PropertyMark recommends that you choose someone you have felt comfortable dealing with and who you feel you can get along with. And rest assured, any agent operating with the NAEA PropertyMark accreditation has already been thoroughly checked and approved by PropertyMark.

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