Home Sellers: Questions to ask your prospective estate agent

Home Sellers: Questions to ask your prospective estate agent

Most people looking to put their home on the market use the services of an estate agent. However, finding the right one can be difficult. If you’re looking to move, appoint at least three agents to provide a valuation of your property. Make sure that you ask them appropriate questions so that you appoint an agent who will find the right buyer for your home and achieve the best price.

Are they regulated?

It is a good idea to check whether the agent is signed up to an industry body such as The Guild of Professional Estate Agents (GPEA), the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or the Ombudsman for Estate Agents (OEA). While membership of such organisations is not compulsory, by doing so the agent will have signed up to a code of practice.

Where do they advertise?

It doesn’t always occur to people to check where property agents advertise. While a high street presence and adverts in the local press are all very well, millions of buyers focus their efforts on the big property websites such as Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation. Make sure that the agent you choose reaches these potential buyers.

Have they sold similar properties?

It is often a good idea to use an agent who has a proven track record of selling similar properties to yours. This way they will have a good idea of how much you can get for yours and will already have potential buyers registered with them who could be interested. Ask the agent for details of similar properties that they have recently sold – and how much they actually sold them for as well as the asking price.

How do they present properties?

Also ask them about how they present properties to potential buyers. Look at the particulars that are available for similar properties and check that you are happy with the photos that they use and that the descriptions seem accurate. Do they present properties attractively?

What would their marketing strategy be?

Different agents use different marketing strategies so make sure to ask about this. While some aim to get the biggest volume of potential buyers through your door, others look to identify those who will be genuinely interested in your property. Some book viewings across the week while others operate an “open house” policy on specific dates. Make sure the agent you pick has a marketing strategy that works for you.

How much do they charge?

Finally, of course, it is essential to find out how much they will charge for selling your home. You should expect to pay between 1% and 3% of the sale price if working on commission, or, if you prefer, a fixed fee which would also be in the same region.

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