How To Choose The Right Estate Agents
If you are thinking of selling your house, it’s important to make sure that you choose the right way to achieve a sale, for you and your property. Depending on how quickly you need to sell, and how cost effective you want your sale to be, will depend on which route you choose to take.
Our Property Conveyancing Solicitors would briefly explain that there are five common ways of selling your property:-
1. At Auction - auctioning a property can be a very popular choice for those who are looking to get rid of the property quickly. According to HomeOwners Alliance, you should expect to pay around 2.5% commission to the auction house for a successful property sale, and there may also be additional advertising costs. For some people, this would seem like a high price to pay. However, for some property sellers, this is the best option.
If you achieve a sale price of £500,000 at auction, you could expect to pay in the region of £12,500 in commission to the auction house.
The higher the value of your property, the more you can expect to pay, and the lower the price, the less you will pay. If you are considering selling your property at auction, you should make enquiries with at least three different auction houses to enquire about their fees for selling the property, how long this would take, and what price you could expect to achieve.
2. A private sale - selling a property to someone privately is another option that you may wish to consider when selling your property. For many, they may feel that they don’t know where to start with finding a private seller. However, if you have had interest in your property from a buyer directly, you may decide to agree a price with them and instruct our Property Conveyancing Solicitors to deal with the legal process of a property sale immediately.
This could be a good option for two main reasons: it may be quicker than trying to market the property with an Estate Agent, if you already have a potential buyer in mind, and you could save the costs of marketing the property with a third party agency.
However, one thing to watch out for is whether the buyer can afford to purchase your property. Quite often, Estate Agents will ‘vet’ the people that are viewing your property, ensuring that they could actually afford to buy it. With private buyers, they may not have the funds in place or the ability to obtain funds via a mortgage. If this wasn’t discovered until further into your property sale, the sale could fall through and you may end up breaking the property chain.
3. Estate Agents - probably the most common option for marketing a property that our Property Conveyancing Solicitors come across is using an Estate Agents. We’ll discuss marketing the property with an Estate Agents, and how to choose an Estate Agents in more detail, below.
4. A house buying company - now-a-days, it’s common to see advertisements for companies who purchase properties in cash. If you are already marketing your property with Estate Agents, you may find that you receive the odd letter from one of these companies, needing houses in your area between the value of XX and XX.
If you think that using a house buying company would be the best option for you, you should do research into the company online and read their reviews. If other people had good experiences with them, it may be the best option for you. However, if many people have found the company to cause them issues either during or after their property sale, you may decide that this isn’t a viable option for you.
5. Part-Exchange - Another popular option for many people, especially those who are purchasing a new build property, may be to part-exchange their current property, for a reduction in the price of their new home.
If this seems like your preferred way to ditch your old home, you should consider whether you will get the full market value for your property, or whether you may receive lower than the full market price.
You should contact the developer of your new home and ask about the options that they have available for new builds, and how much you could expect to receive for your new home. You should check that you will receive enough to cover any mortgage registered against your current property.
There are other ways of achieving a sale on your property, however, our Property Conveyancing Solicitors have outlined the most common ways above. Arguably, the most popular of the property sale options for many of our Property Solicitors’ clients would be to sell the property using an Estate Agents. So, how do you choose which Agent to market your property with? Our Property Conveyancing Solicitors explain what things to consider.
#1 Research Estate Agents
With the online market growing every day, it’s not always necessarily local Estate Agents that our Property Conveyancing Solicitors find themselves dealing with now. Some Agents will offer low fees, however, there can be hidden caveats, such as you have to use their associated legal team to deal with the sale (who then charge an extremely high fee), or you may have to deal with all the viewings, corresponding with potential buyers, and negotiating a purchase price yourself. Other Agents will jump straight in and state that they can achieve a sale price of over £20,000 more than the other Agents quoted.
So, before you get sucked in at the first words, take a minute, make a list of potential Agents (try and approach at least five, with a mixture of local Agents and online marketing), and contact them all to obtain a valuation and confirm what their fees would be for selling the property. You should also ask them the following:-
- How much will you charge for selling the property?
- How much will VAT cost?
- Are there any additional fees?
- Who carries out the viewings?
- How long are we in contract with you?
- What is the notice period?
- What do you do to market the property?
- Are there different packages or levels of marketing available?
- If yes, how do the prices differ?
- Do we have to use your legal team?
You should then compare this information for all of the Estate Agents, including where they are based, how easy they are to contact, how much of a good feeling you got for the Agents, and how much (say on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being didn’t like them at all, and 10 being liked them completely) you would want them to deal with marketing your property.
Other things to consider is how experienced the Agents are, how many properties they sell a month, do they have local knowledge, and, if your property is out of the ordinary, have they sold any properties like yours before?
#2 Ask for recommendations
You should ask about; text your friends, post in your local Facebook group, speak to your colleagues at work. Quite often, you won’t just hear about recommendations for good Estate Agents, you will also know who to avoid. When property sellers have a bad experience, they - quite often - won’t keep it to themselves!
#3 Shortlist your favourite Estate Agents
Once you have spent time considering all of the above, make a shortlist of your top three favourite Agents, and invite each to give you a full valuation of your property. Normally, the Estate Agents would arrange a visit to your property, to have a chat with you, look around at your property, and discuss their marketing strategy in full with you.
And remember, just because one Estate Agents offer you a high price, this doesn’t mean that they will be the best Estate Agents to sell your property. Quite often, an Estate Agent will market a property at the value that the seller wants to achieve, even if they advise you that you are not likely to achieve this. So, just because they’re offering the highest price, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider a different Agent.
#4 Consider Online Estate Agent Ranking Tools
One excellent tool, available for free on which.co.uk, is an Estate Agent ranker, which compares the percentage that each Agent had to reduce the property price from the original selling price that the property was marketed for, before the property sold.
You can also use getagent.co.uk’s tool for comparing Estate Agents.
No matter which Estate Agent you choose to market your property, MG Legal’s team of Property Conveyancing Solicitors can guide you through the next stage of your property sale.
We offer excellent fixed-fees, and a personal approach to all of our client’s property sales and purchases. You can contact our team for a fixed-fee, no obligation quote online, here, or email email@example.com. One of MG Legal’s Property Solicitors will give you a call back within one working hour with a full quote and to discuss your property sale.
And, if you want to know what our clients think, you can find our reviews for your local office on Google, here, or on our website, here.