How to choose a letting agent

How to choose a letting agent

How successful you are in letting your property largely depends on choosing the right letting agent. If you get this decision wrong, then you could be left with an empty property or unsuitable tenants. If you are looking at agents, how do you select the right one?

Check Their Credentials

Choosing an agent who is a member of a professional organisation offers some assurance of their credibility and reliability. They should belong to one of the main trade organisations: the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Each of these associations has its own code of practice to which members must adhere.

What Services Do You Need?

The services carried out by letting agents can vary widely. You need to decide if you require a fully managed service or if you simply want the agent to find a suitable tenant. Many agents will offer both services and it’s a good idea to invite a couple to view the property. You can then discuss your requirements with them and see which is the best option for you.

Type of Property

Your choice of agent will also be determined by the type of property you want to let. If it’s a city centre apartment there’s no point signing with an agency that deals in large suburban houses. Have a look around the local area and see which agents are letting properties similar to yours.

You should consider whether you need the services of a specialised agent or a large estate agency. The bigger agency may have more marketing and administrative resources, but a smaller local agent could understand the market better and have tenants waiting to view the property.

The Fees

How much an agent charges should not be a primary concern here, although it is an important issue. Fees are usually worked out as a percentage of the rent and can vary from around 10% to 15%. The actual amount will depend on the size of the agent and the services you require. There are many factors to be taken into consideration when deciding on the best option, including the credentials of the agent, how quickly they can let the property and the rental price. The lowest price might not be the wisest choice.

Ask Questions

When you talk to an agent, make sure you ask plenty of questions. Not only will this provide you with useful information, but it will also give you a feel for the company and whether you can work with them. Ask questions on the services they offer, how they find tenants, whether they have people waiting to move in and how they carry out checks.

By following these tips when looking for your next letting agent, you can be sure of choosing the right one first time.

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