Choosing an Estate Agent is a highly significant decision during the Home Buying process. That’s why its important to be aware of all the potential considerations that any prospective buyer should be aware of. We are very pleased to welcome Andrews Property Group, an award-winning Company with 49 branches throughout the South of England to our blog today to share their expertise.
With so many agents out there, it’s tricky knowing which will be the best at selling your property. On the surface they might all seem the same, each offering a similar package – but there will be big differences from one agent to the next.
Although you’ll be driven by price, don’t automatically go with the agent that offers you the highest valuation and the lowest fees – neither will necessarily equate to a quick sale and good service.
Instead, look at the whole picture. Everything from the length of the notice period should you want to terminate your contract, to exactly what you’ll get for your fees. So, before you sign on the dotted line, check these five points. They’ll help you to make a confident decision about instructing an agent.
Five Things to Consider When Choosing an Estate Agent
1. Check the notice period
Every estate agent will offer you a sole agency contract, lasting for a fixed period of time. Once that contract is up, you can terminate it if your house hasn’t sold. Now the thing you want to look out for is the length of the notice period (the time you’ll need to give to end the contract), as they vary greatly from agent to agent. If it’s really long it could be quite restrictive if you want to switch to another agent. At Andrews, we only expect two weeks’ notice, as we’re confident we’ll sell your home before your contract is up. However, some agents will expect you to give as much as 12 weeks’ notice.
2. What’s included in the estate agent fees?
It’s important to find out what you get for your fees – and what you’ll need to pay extra for. So ask your agent these questions:
- Do their fees include VAT?
- Will they carry out the viewings?
- What marketing materials will they create?
- Where will they advertise?
- Will they give you a ‘for sale’ board?
3. What’s the marketing package?
A quick sale will heavily depend on how well your property is marketed. So we recommend that your agent offers as many of these things as possible:
- Listings on the three main property sites – Zoopla, Rightmove and PrimeLocation
- Professionally printed literature complete with large, high-quality, colour photos and detailed floor plans (Andrews also provides state-of-the-art Matterport 3D virtual tours)
- Photograps taken by a professional photographer
- Your property advertised in local magazines and newspapers
- Late night and weekend branch openings to give your property maximum exposure
- An online site where you can track your sale, 24/7
4. What’s their background?
You’ll also want to find out what experience your agent has of selling a home like yours. So ask them:
- What similar properties have you sold? What price did you get?
- How long did it take to sell them?
- Do you have many buyers looking for a property like mine?
- Do you think I’ll get the asking price?
5. Ensure there’s a redress scheme
Hopefully your sale will go smoothly, but if it doesn’t, you’ll want somewhere to turn.
Every agent should be a member of a Fair Trading-approved redress scheme. So when you’re looking, make sure they’re either registered with the Property Ombudsman (previously called the Ombudsman for Estate Agents) or Ombudsman Services: Property.
This post was provided by Andrew’s Property Group – Andrews is now into our eighth decade, and you can count on us to look after you and your property needs properly. As a business that is 100% owned by charitable trusts, giving back is in our DNA. Social conscience might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think about estate agents, but a big part of our philosophy involves philanthropy. A large slice of our profits go to causes that tackle big issues in our communities and overseas, and it’s not just money we provide – we make plans, we take action, we put ourselves out there. Since 1994 we’ve contributed over £10 million to fund social enterprises and innovative charitable enterprises.