When finding the right estate agent to sell your property, there can be a lot to consider. We've outlined 10 key questions you should be asking to ensure you make the right choice:
1. How long are homes in this area typically on the market?
Several factors can impact the amount of time a home remains on the market, including price, changing interest rates and economic trends. It’s a good idea to get a sense of how long the process of selling your house will take, and your agent should have a good understanding of what may affect it.
2. What type of contract are you offering me?
There are several types of estate agent contracts and each has benefits and drawbacks, so make sure you know what you’re being offered. Some contracts state that your agent must be the only one to sell your home during a certain period, whereas others let you market your home with multiple agencies. Pay attention to the length of the contract offered – if your agent has told you how long it will take to sell your home, your contract should reflect this.
3. Have you sold properties like mine before?
Agents who have sold similar homes to yours will understand the features that current buyers are looking for. They’re also more likely to have a large pool of prospective buyers already on their books, so will be able to present your home directly to them as well as advertise to new buyers.
4. How well do you know the area?
It is important that the person showing your home is someone that knows your area well, so they have a personal knowledge of nearby schools, transport networks and other important facilities. You want them to be able to really sell the idea of living in your home, and someone with first-hand experience of the local area is best placed to do so.
5. How quickly will my property be up for sale?
Before your property hits the market you’ll need a valuation, photographs taking, a property description writing up and other tasks your agent may need to do. Asking your estate agent what their typical time is for getting a home up for sale will help you avoid any unexpected delays, and allow you time to prepare your home to be presented to potential buyers.
6. How will you market my property?
It’s more important than ever that your home is presented to potential buyers in the best possible way, so make sure to find out how your agent plans to do this. Online listings and window displays are standard methods of marketing, but some agents offer social media promotion and quality brochures to advertise what your home has to offer.
7. How will you communicate with me?
Some agents communicate via email or texts, while others prefer regular calls or arrange in-person meetings. Whatever your preference regarding method and frequency, it’s best to outline your expectations upfront to enable quick and easy communication throughout the selling process.
8. How do you conduct viewings?
Viewings are essential to any property sale, so vital you’re clear on how they’ll be carried out. Timings and length of viewings, how much notice you’ll get, and who will be accompanying them are all good things to ask, as well as establishing whether you would prefer to be present whilst potential buyers are in your home. This is especially important if you have young children or pets, so arrangements can be made to make the experience as stress-free as possible.
9. What is the follow-up process with buyers who have viewed the property?
After a viewing, it’s important that you understand the process for establishing whether a buyer is interested in your home. You want to know how quickly your agent will follow up with buyers, how they will be presenting offers to you, and what checks are carried out to ensure a smooth sale. The more efficient and thorough this process is, the less likely you’ll have a sale fall through.
10. Do you handle offer negotiation and sales progression?
When you receive an offer, your agent should be willing to help you negotiate for the best possible price. Once you’ve accepted an offer, they should be happy to oversee the sale right through to completion. That means regularly chasing all parties in the transaction to ensure the sale is completed as quickly as possible, giving you peace of mind that everything has been taken care of.
If you're looking to move home in the near future, make sure to contact your local Guild Member to ensure you're enlisting the right team to help you along your journey to finding your dream home.