How to choose an estate agent

choose an estate agent

Moving house is one of the most stressful processes you can go through, and is certainly made about 100 times more so when you have a little bundle of joy or two to keep track of. To keep it as painless as possible, you can’t beat having the right sort of professional support. That’s why it is so important to choose the right estate agent to sell your home.

A few years ago, it was a case of walking down your local high street, popping in to two or three (they were always clustered together for some reason) and seeing which took your fancy. When it came down to it, they all offered pretty much the same service for pretty much the same fee.

These days, there are far more options. Different types of agents operate in different ways and, reasonably enough, charge different amounts for doing so. How can you make the right choice?

Traditional agents

The first decision to be made is the type of agent to use. Traditional agents are still clustered together in their shops, although they also have websites. This type covers every aspect of the sale, and will liaise closely with your conveyancing solicitors. Sometimes, they even have their own in-house conveyancers. They will charge a percentage of the sale price (typically around one to two percent) on a no sale no fee basis.

Online agents

Online agents usually operate only over the internet or by phone. You will not meet them personally, and they are only involved in connecting your property with potential buyers, the rest is down to you. They charge an up front fee that is non-refundable. Online agents are far cheaper than the traditional ones, usually charging around £250, but of course, you have to do far more of the leg work yourself and they do not have the same incentive to get a quick sale for the best price.

Read the reviews

There are more online resources than ever to help you make the right decision. As well as looking at the agents’ own sites, you can browse reviews of Fox & Sons, along with various other agents, to find out what previous customers have made of their services.

Go and see them

Assuming you are using a traditional agent, it is now time to put away the computer and use the old fashioned approach. If you are going to work with someone on such an important matter, you need to meet them face to face. Pop in to the office, and rely on your instincts. Are they friendly, approachable and professional? Be nosey, and listen in to how they are dealing with other customers.

One or several?

You are not restricted to just using one agent, but if you use several, it will cost you more. Here’s how it works: Agents charge a lower fee when they are the sole agent, but you are only tied into this sole agency agreement for a set time (perhaps eight weeks). The best plan is to sign up for the sole agency deal, and if they’ve not sold it when the time has elapsed, you can always rethink.

Are you planning on using an estate agent in the near future? Or perhaps you have used an estate agent recently and have some advice to pass on. Do leave a comment and share.

*This is a collaborative post

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