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Choosing the Right Estate Agent

Choosing the right estate agent is an essential step when selling a property, but how do you know which one to choose? We've shared some top tips so that you can be confident that the estate agent you choose offers everything you need!

Ask the Right Questions

When you first start looking at estate agents, then it is important to shop around and ask a range of questions to see what they offer. Some of the best things to ask include:

  • How quickly do your transactions take to complete on average? It is also worth asking about their track record with achieving the asking price.
  • Are they a member of the Property Redress Scheme or the Property Ombudsman? They must be a member of one of them.
  • Will you work with one team member, or will the whole team be briefed on your sale or purchase needs? This is important because if you need a quick answer, then being able to talk to any team member will help.
  • What are their opening times? Many estate agents don’t open on weekends, making them less accessible.

Find Out About Fees

When you sell a property through an estate agency, you will need to pay a fee for their service. Unfortunately, these fees are not universal and can be anywhere between 0.75% and 3.0% plus VAT of the selling price.

There is always room for fee negotiation, and your aim should always be to go no higher than 1% plus VAT if your house is worth less than £500000. If your house is valued at higher than £500000, you may even be able to get the fee below 1% plus VAT!

Read the Small Print

Each Estate Agent sets terms and conditions, meaning that you will need to read the small print before you agree to a contract with them. Some of the key things to check include:

  • Whether the contract includes the sale boards and professional photos.
  • Do they offer sole selling rights, or can you use more than one agency? If they insist on sole selling rights, you must ensure that this is only for a limited time and reviewed regularly.
  • What time limit do they offer on their agreement. Many estate agents will push for twelve weeks, but it is worth negotiating for less.
  • Is their commission based on a sale or on finding a buyer? If it is the latter, you need to be aware that you will still be liable for the commission if you pull out of the sale.

Online or In-Person

Finally, working out whether to choose between an online and in-person estate agent can be difficult. Online agencies tend to offer lower fees, but they are generally fixed rather than based on a successful sale. Plus, you may find that you have to pay more for accompanied viewings and sales negotiation when you choose an online agency. Work out what you need from an estate agent, and then select the one that offers the best price for what you are looking for.

Remember, you do not have to use the conveyancers or solicitors recommended by your estate agent. To get a competitive conveyancing quote use our free tool here.