Estate agency is a very, very simple process that can be made unnecessarily complicated by those working within it.
So how do you keep things clear and you get the information you need in order to make an educated decision on who to sell your property with?
- “Can you show me an example of how my property will be presented to buyers?” This is the foundation of your property sale. If it’s not REALLY good, nothing else matters. I’d recommend checking the agents website too for quality of photos and descriptions.
- “What are the terms of your contract in relation to upfront costs, tie-in and fee on the back end.” You want to know what you’re paying for and when. The contract tie-in length is effectively an insurance policy for the estate agent if things don’t go right. If they don’t perform as they claim, how long will you have to stay with them? How long would you be happy putting up with a poor service?
- “Who will handle the viewings?” Viewings are a key part of the property sale process. It’s where you learn about how the market sees your home and also to obtain feedback. Will you be happy with who handles viewings of your home?
- “What ratio of properties you’re instructed on do you complete on?” The average estate agent runs below 40%. That gives you a 40% chance of successfully selling with them. Check online to see the proportion of sale agreed stickers to instructions with that agent.
- “What’s the average price you achieve compared to asking prices and how long does it take to achieve that?” There’s no point listing 5% higher with an agent that only gets 80% of the asking prices they set. If the agent skirts around this figure or it appears they don’t know, it’s probably not a figure they’re particularly proud of shouting about. I’d urge caution.
Ultimately, you want to be in a position to make the best decision possible for yourself when selling. It can be a pretty exciting time, or it can be a very stressful time. More of the former and less of the latter is the goal!
Mr Green Estate Agents