7 Important Questions You...

7 Important Questions You Must Consider When Choosing Your Sidcup Estate Agent:  To help choose an appropriate local agent, there are a number of important questions you must ask to give you the best chance of selling your home quickly and at the best possible price – below are just seven that I feel are important:

1. Have they been successful in selling similar properties to yours? There is no point instructing an estate agent that mainly sells large detached properties if you have a small flat or house. Whether you're selling a house, flat, cottage, bungalow or studio apartment, it's worth looking for estate agents that have a good track record of selling similar properties to yours in your area. Are they currently advertising similar properties to yours? If so, they are likely to have a bank of buyers on their books looking for properties like yours. Have a look at estate agent web sites to see what properties are for sale on the books of individual agents and most importantly what they have recently sold.

2. Do they advertise properties on major property web sites? This may not seem like an obvious question to ask, but in today's market, it should be a mandatory requirement for any property seller. Literally millions of people visit the big property web sites (like rightmove.co.uk and zoopla.co.uk) every month and with nearly 90% of buyers starting their property search on the Internet, your property can't afford to be missing. You should also check Google to see where the agents own web site is listed – at the top or the bottom?

3. Are they regulated? You should check if any estate agent you select is signed up to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), or the Ombudsman for Estate Agents (OEA). Members of each organisation voluntarily sign up to a code of practice and are generally taken more seriously than those who are not.

4. Do they come recommended? As with most services, a firm recommendation from a family member or friend can be helpful. It does not always mean that their experience will necessarily be replicated in yours, but it should be an indication of the professionalism and performance of an estate agents.

5. Do they present properties to a high quality? Check the details of properties they are currently selling. Are the pictures of a good quality? Are properties presented as attractively as possible? Are the descriptions accurate? Do they use floor plans and Video Presentations? Have look at their own web site. Do you have confidence that the agents will present your property in the best possible light?

6. Fees and costs – Estate agents will usually charge between 1% and 3% of the final sale value of the property as commission. In some cases, you can haggle to get the fee down, but this may end up being a false economy. Remember, your estate agent works on a commission and you want them to be motivated to sell your property fast. By haggling too low, you may be taking away much of the incentive the estate agent needs to focus on your sale. Agree a fee that provides a fair deal for both parties.

7. Contracts – Once you've instructed an estate agent, you will need to sign a contract detailing the agreement between you. Make sure that you read ALL of the small print in the contract, so you know what you are signing up to. This is particularly important when thinking about the length of the agreement. You may want to insist on a flexible arrangement, whereby you can review the relationship from month to month. This allows you to switch estate agents if your current one is under performing, otherwise you may have to instruct another estate agent simultaneously, with more fees to pay as a result.

..And these important questions should always be asked at the valuation:

  • On average how long does it take your company to find a buyer?
  • What is the average percentage of marketing price achieved by your company?
  • What is your average fall through rate percentage (the number of sales that fall through before completion).

A good estate agent should be able to answer all the above questions and provide you with some form of proof to support his figures.Want to know the potential Sales or Rental value of your property? – use our FREE instant Online Valuation tool to give you a guide in less than 60 seconds:Read more articles: Why not read more of our articles on the Sidcup Property Blog click here

Speak to me: If you'd like to have a chat about anything in this article or property related, drop me an email at pj.long@drewery.co.uk – I'd love to hear from you.

Paul Long (Director & Author of The Sidcup Property Blog)

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