When choosing the best estate agent to handle the sale of your home, those with the biggest billboards or the most colourful ads do not always translate to being the best.
Note that if you get the agent wrong, it could mess up the entire selling process, so absorb the info in this guide as there is quite alot at stake.
It is therefore critical that you get an experienced agent to guide you through the process, especially if it is your first time selling property.
Here are some tips to help you pick a professional agent.
Research Thoroughly and Widely
One of the best starting points when it comes to looking for a service provider is recommendations from friends and family members, and even neighbours.
You are likely to get an honest, unbiased review of the agent if you ask from people close to you.
If the agent who sold you the house impressed you, you may consider hiring him to sell it.
It is advisable to stay local when looking for an agent.
This is because local agents are thoroughly familiar with the market, and are more conversant with the buyer persona of the area.
However, if your home is particularly peculiar and stands out in the neighbourhood, you might want to go with a national agent who specialised in that type of property.
Keep in mind that not all estate agents are the same so you need to handle them individually.
You can pose as a buyer and call up the estate agents in your area seeking to buy a property like yours and see how they handle you.
The way they talk to you is most likely how they’ll handle the potential buyers of your home. So make sure you pick one that impresses you.
Research on the agent’s previous sales; their website is a good place to start. Look at how they craft the ads. Are the descriptions and the pictures clear, relevant and appealing?
How do they handle clients who want to view the house?
Check On Their Expertise in Property Sales
One of the most vital characteristics of the estate agent you hire should be expertise in all aspects of the selling process.
Therefore, you might want to check, or ask details, about their previous sales, especially of properties similar to yours.
You can pick top 3 agents from you initial well-researched list and ask them to value your house and explain their reasoning.
Before you hire an estate agent, it is important to check whether they are qualified and licensed.
The agent you settle on should be a member of the Guild of professional Estate Agents or the National Association of Estate Agents.
They should also be accredited by an authorised independent trade body or redress scheme.
It is also important to check if they are knowledgeable about the process.
You can ask anyone in the office to give you information on similar properties and see how they respond.
Additionally, ask what their strategy would be if the property was in the market for some time and wasn’t attracting clients as expected. Experienced agents will always have contingency plans when it comes to selling property.
Evaluate Their Marketing Skills
The effectiveness of an estate agent is in their ability to market the property so well that it attracts the right buyer and is sold at the best price possible.
Choosing the right estate agent is a surefire way to sell your house quickly therefore, you need to work with a firm that can market the house well, both online and offline.
When evaluating an agent’s marketing effectiveness, look at their strategy:
- What online portals do they use when marketing the property and how many potential buyers check out those portals?
- When do their ads run on those portals and will the target clients have adequate time to view the listings?
- Look at the options that offer your property maximum exposure at the best possible costs.
Additionally, use portals that give the potential buyers the best possible feel of the property such as virtual tours.
Consider The Estate Agents’ Fee Levels
Though the amount of the agent fees is not always directly translated to their ability to get the job done, it is as important an aspect as any other.
Keep in mind that the average estate agent selling fees are a maximum of 3% of the property’s value, and these charges are exclusive of VAT.
Remember that the fees are inclusive of marketing and legal fees.
Agents who charge a wholesome fee for the entire process (without any other hidden charges) are preferable as they make budgeting easier.
When looking for an estate agent, it is very easy to fall into the common traps and fraudsters.
- Therefore, be especially keen when hiring an agent.
- Look critically at their credentials and accreditations.
- Additionally, scrutinise the contract before you sign it.
You can even get someone else to go over the contract with you so that you understand fully what you are getting yourself into before you sign it.
Next Lesson: How to present your house for sale so you find a buyer quickly