Estate agents are often employed in the buying and selling of property. With so many agencies out there however it is difficult to choose one, comparing services is obviously essential although there are many other key considerations that must be made. Picking the right agents can mean a smooth transition between properties while the incorrect selection can mean a number of unsuccessful deals and more stress for the homeowner. It is hoped that the following advice will give sellers the key information they will need in order to choose between different estate agents.
The first and most important thing to remember is that with much in life you get what you pay for. Fees are understandably an important part of the process but in most cases they are negotiable. It is important to realise however that the fees you pay will bear a direct relation to the service you receive. The general rule of thumb, although not always the case is that the less money you pay in fees will result in poorer services. This is why it is important when haggling with agents to barter for a realistic price and not simply the cheapest. In addition ask them exactly what you get for your money, how they will market the property and how they will entice buyers. Only through assessing this will you be able to find out the value for money you will be receiving.
Secondly, always take your reading glasses when visiting estate agents. Selling property is always complicated and hence a great deal of paperwork is integral to the process. Contracts are a necessary evil that must be undertaken and filled in properly. Reading them in their entirety is vital, skipping a clause could work out to be extremely costly. One of the clauses to avoid is a sole selling agreement; this will tie you to a particular agent for a period time, it also means that if you sell the properly outside of the agents control you must still pay their fees.
Many homeowners believe that by employing as many estate agents as possible the chances of selling their property will be increased. This however is not always the case, there is an element of 'too many cooks' when it comes to selling property, with agents pulling in different directions all fighting for the commission. In addition if one agent realises that you are doing this their effort may be reduced in terms of marketing. A final point on the multi-agency approach is that with numerous signs dug into the lawn buyers are often left with the impression that you are desperate to sell, the result being smaller offers. That said, there is no guarantee that two or more agents will not work together well; if they are able to pool their resources it can have a successful outcome. This however is a rarity in the property industry.
When selecting agents the best course of action is to interview each as if they were applying for a job. Essentially that is exactly what they are doing, applying to sell your home and make money from that sale. During this interview process it is important to remain methodical and logical; there is little point in holding misconceptions and being judgemental, after all the most practical decision is usually the best one. Practicality does however have limits; if an agent makes you feel wholly uneasy in their presence it is rarely worth using them; if they gave you this impression, just consider the impression being given to potential buyers?
Hopefully this article has gone some of the way to explaining the decision making process involved in choosing an estate agent. With a careful and conscientious approach it should be possible to find a great service, additionally if you can get a personal recommendation, take it; good customer service travels far. With this information it should be possible to find that dream home and sell your own with the minimum of stress and effort.
Property expert Thomas Pretty looks into the decisions that must be made when selecting estate agents in order to secure a great deal and service.