The mention of estate agents to property sellers elicits mixed reactions. This is because some estate agents have failed to deliver thereby creating a bad reputation for the profession.
Consequently, property buyers and sellers are advised to pay attention when choosing an estate agent that will handle this major transaction on their behalf.
Choosing the right agent is a crucial decision that you make as it can make the difference selling your house for a good price and not selling at all. Therefore, as a seller you must choose the right agent. Remember, the agent can only advice as you hold the decision to accept or decline offers.
So then, how can you single out the bad agents from the good ones?
Single or Multiple agent?
First, you need to determine whether you will work with one or more agents. If you opt for a multiple agency agreement, you can put the property up for sale with any agent without having to choose between them.
Things to consider when choosing estate agents
Here are some guidelines to get you started:
- Seek referrals – You will do well to ask friends, family and even neighbours for a recommendation of an estate agent they have worked with before and were satisfied with the service they received.
- Draw a comparison of the agents based on facts – You may particularly want to compare how fast they sell, how close they come to achieving the asking price as well as how successful they are generally. You can use online resources to draw these comparisons.
- Go for a national agent – If you your property is unique, expensive or unusual then you will do well to consider working with a national agent specializing in homes similar to yours.
- Check the agent’s experience – You need to ensure that the agent is experienced in selling property similar to yours by checking if they have any property that is similar to yours in their property window.
- Ensure that the agent is competent – The best way to determine this is pretending to be a buyer of property similar to yours to see if the agent is professional and competent. If you are impressed with their service then you might as well work with them.
- Look at the agents sold boards – This usually gives you an idea of how your property will fair on the property market.
- Check the agent’s marketing plan – You need to understand the agent’s marketing structure and the price. A good agent must be willing to invest in marketing so that they get the best price.
- Find out about the viewing policy – It is important to find out if the estate agent will accompany potential buyers when you are not in. In addition, you must establish how soon and in what intervals they send prospective buyers to view the property.
Although you may feel pressured to hire a particular estate agent probably because they sold the property to you, you must be level headed when making this crucial decision. In fact, you will do well to narrow your choice of estate agents to a shortlist of three that you can then invite to do a valuation.
This does not cost anything. Once you have received a valuation from each of them you can then vet them further to eliminate the possibility of overpricing or underpricing as you get to know them better.
If you have opted for a single agent, you will settle on one that you consider most suitable. On the other hand, if you would like to work with multiple agents then you can let them all take a shot at selling the property but only pay the commission to the agent that will eventually sell.