Despite an increase in the number of properties being sold privately the majority of properties today are marketed today with the services of estate agents. Picking the right agency however can be difficult; there is a plethora of different considerations to be made before the correct service can be found. But as a consumer, as a property seller how can you pick between estate agents? The following article intends to highlight the most important questions to put to agents before subscribing to their services.
First and foremost it is vitally important to define the price of the agency services. Typically estate agents charge around one and three percent commission on the eventual sale price. This price can be negotiated but remember that the less you pay; the agent may inclined to put less effort into the marketing of your property. Once a price has been settle upon check the contract carefully highlighting any contentious clauses with the estate agent.
As there is no compulsory scheme for estate agents to join it is important to ask whether the agency is part of a bodies such as the National Association of Estate Agents or Ombudsman of Estate Agents. Both of these organisations strive to regulate the industry, ensuring their members meet certain codes of practice and giving consumers a format to complain.
After these two questions have been settled it should be asked how viewings of the property will be conducted. Some homeowners prefer to perform the viewings although many agents argue that they should be allowed to conduct the viewings solely. Research shows that estate agents are more successful at performing viewings although the choice is ultimately the customers.
Any agent should be able to answer questions about the local property market. Particularly, an agent should be able to give information on property prices in the area, especially those properties that are similar to the customers. While the answer should not be taken as gospel as an indicator of the eventual sale price, it is important that the agent is able to produce a clear, concise and well informed answer to the customers.
It is important to understand exactly how agents intend to market a property before the process is commenced. In the modern world it is vital that an agent can make use of online property websites as these have become a first port of call for many buyers and hence using the internet to its full advantage is essential. That said, a traditional focus utilising a shop window and the local press can be extremely beneficial yielding considerable results.
Sales are not always guaranteed once an offer has been put in and accepted. Recent research reveals that almost twenty percent of sales fall through. This is why it is important to ask the estate agent the percentage of their sales that fall through. If it is above this average number it may be a cause for concern, showing a lack of enthusiasm for pursuing sales.
Finally it is extremely important to find out exactly how you can contact the agent. The majority of agents will have an office phone number but in addition it can be beneficial for them to provide a mobile number and email address. By having as many means of communication as possible it is possible for customers to stay abreast of new developments and potential problems with the sale process.
By utilising this information effectively it should be possible to find agents that are effective and efficient. An agent that performs their role well smoothes the cogs of the property sale process, making life far simpler for homeowners and those selling property.
Property expert Thomas Pretty gives questions to ask estate agents when looking for an efficient service and value for money.