Mutual gives a professional’s view on what factors you should consider when you are deciding on which estate agent to use.
When choosing an estate agent, always try to get three agents round to value your property. Don’t automatically go for the agent with the highest valuation, this is an old trick and the chances are that they will put the house on the market and then when it does not sell, they will persuade you to reduce the price. Don’t go for the one that you may also buy your next property through – this is an old trick used to win instructions. Many agents will also often try to tie you into a 12-week exclusive contract – negotiate the minimum time possible, so that if you are not happy with the service, you can change agent or go multi-agency. With some agents you only have to give two weeks’ notice, others will try to tie you into a lengthy agreement. The most important factor in choosing your agent is being on the market with someone you can relate to personally; someone who is very active in the local market; and someone who is keen to sell your property and has fair agreement. Ask the agent how often they will give you feedback and what level of communication you can expect. If the property remains unsold after four to six weeks it is important that it does not go stale on the market, a good agent will come up with new marketing initiatives such as fresh photographs, premium internet listings and new photographs.
Preparation is key, so it’s a good idea at this stage to instruct a solicitor to do your conveyancing early. Ask them to prepare a draft contract and apply for the title deeds, while you pull together all your own paperwork on the property, find all building certificates for any structural building work carried out, and any valid work guarantees.
Given Estate Agents’ fees, it’s cheaper to sell sole-agency rather than multi-agency, so we recommend staying with one agent for the first 4 weeks. This gives the agent the best chance and motivation to sell your property fast. Always try to negotiate on agents’ fees, and ensure you have the final fee agreed in writing. Also, ask your solicitor to fully explain all costs associated with selling. Finally, find out from your mortgage lender whether you will be hit with any redemption penalties. Then you’ll know at what price you can afford to sell.
Valuation & Selling Prices
Valuing property is not an exact science and many factors are taken into consideration. Agents don’t charge for valuations, so try to get 3 as a minimum. The agent should be knowledgeable about what is on the market, how long it has been on the market and what has sold, ask them for a report with comparable properties which are on the market now.
Get the Word Out
Always have a board put up outside your property, and tell your neighbours – word of mouth is such a powerful tool. You never know who might live just around the corner, waiting for your house to come to the market. Holding an open house is another great way of attracting viewers to your property.
So now you are ready to instruct an estate agent and start on the road to moving house. Or if you are not yet ready to instruct an agent but you would like to test the market, list your property free on Mutual Pre-Portal Property Platform.