The guide to choosing the right Estate Agent
Whether you’re new to the property market or are a seasoned veteran, choosing the right estate agent is the most important decision you will make when selling your home.
Historically you didn’t have much option really. You would have to choose from the 3 or 4 estate agents on your local high street (dependant on the size of your town) and normally the choice would have been following a recommendation from a family member or friend.
In 2019 the high number of estate agents operating online and on the high street means vendors have never had more options. While choice is almost always welcomed, it can also make finding that perfect agent a daunting task with information overload around the different products and services on offer.
So how do you know when you’ve found the right estate agent?
Here are some of our top tips for finding the perfect estate agent for you.
Online or High Street?
As an online estate agent, we’re inclined to believe that digital is the is the way forward for the property market. Like other marketplaces (such as High Street Banks) the internet has allowed for business models to change in line with how busy consumers now want things.
There are many factors at play in the battle between online and the high-street model, which is why you need to ask yourself a couple of important questions.
What is the biggest factor when it comes to selling your home?
If it’s simply down to price, then it’s a no brainer – with online estate agents fixed fees being considerably cheaper than the high-street (percentage based) model.
Who does the viewings?
If you want an estate agent to conduct viewings for you, a high-street agent might be more, (excuse the pun) up your street.
Having an agent conduct viewings can also prove to be difficult at times. You need to arrange a time with them, and this tends to be the traditional 9-5 pm office hours, which makes it difficult to arrange around all parties.
Luckily for you
Homepage Estate Agents have looked at this conundrum from the side of both buyers and sellers, who are debating between Online Agents and High Street Agents.
Our packages are bespoke and can be tailored to suit everyone’s needs.
We can (like all High Street Agents) offer assisted viewings, or let the homeowner organise and carry out the viewings themselves.
We understand that buyers are also busy, that’s why we do a high majority of our viewings in the evenings or at weekends.
Our packages have the flexibility to let you have as much (or as little) control in the process and we have a robust system that keeps everyone up to date in a timely fashion.
We all know what it's like to call an office for an update and be waiting days on a call back.
Service is Key
We’ll say it again, service is key, no matter what the industry. Fortunately for consumers, in today’s world it’s impossible for brands to fake the quality of their service. Online reviews now make it easy to see a company’s customer service history – and that’s no different when it comes to Estate Agent’s.
Always check customer reviews when it comes to making a decision. It stands to sense that the ones with the best reviews will offer the better service. But don’t just look at the scores. Always look for why they are scoring highly.
Is it service? Is it Price? Or their ability to go way beyond the usual requirements? Ideally it will be a combination. All Estate agents are required to be members of The Property Ombudsman Scheme, which is something to keep an eye out for.
Your goal is to get the best price for your home, which is why its vitally important that the Estate Agent you choose is looking after your best intentions. Quite often agents will over sell themselves and under-deliver on the promises made.
The property market is saturated with competition, and many will say what they can to win the instruction, sometimes having a negative impact on the marketed value of your home. It’s best to look for a neutral agent, someone that doesn’t have anything to gain from commission fees.
It is seen all too often and is very frustrating when an agent promises a high sales price only to suggest lowering the price several weeks later because you haven’t achieved any interest.
This not only reflects poorly on the agent, but it may be considered that you are desperate to sell.
It’s one thing having your house listed only on local portals, its quite another to actively market the property to it's fullest potential across all available channels in today's modern digital age.
In simple terms there’s only 2 reasons why a property doesn’t sell:
Overpriced due to unrealistic market valuation.
Lack of / Poor marketing.
Always ask the Estate Agent how they plan to market your property.
A good indication that an agent understands how the audiences of today work, is an active social media presence.
You want to choose an agent that is up to date with current market trends which will lead to your property reaching its maximum audience potential and can find buyers across multiple channels.
Unlike a lot of traditional High Street Agents, Homepage offer the following marketing tools as standard:
3D Virtual Tours
Social Media Video Content
The T’s & C’s
Always ensure you understand exactly what the agent is providing, and how the services work. A lot of the following are very important questions to understand:
- Are you getting professional photos (not just taken with a smart phone)?
- Are floor plans included?
- Will the listing be on all major portals?
- What other marketing tools can be offered?
- Can you amend the listing detail?
- How are viewings arranged?
- How do the fees work?
- Can you introduce a second agent if the house doesn’t sell?
Whether you’re ready to instruct an agent to sell your home, or you are just doing that preliminary research, it is key that you ask plenty of questions and then make an informed decision as to what agent you choose.
Why don’t you talk to us now about our tailored packages, or avail of our FREE MARKET VALUATION service.
One of our property professionals would be glad to advise you.
We hope you found some of these tips useful.
We would love to add you to our list of happy Homepage customers : )