How to choose an estate agent when selling your home

Selecting an estate agent to market your home can be a daunting task, with so many to choose from.

When trusting someone to sell your biggest asset, it’s essential you know what you’re signing up for in order to get it sold quickly, professionally and achieving the best price possible.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Here are guidelines from NAEA Propertymark to help you make the right choice;

Make a shortlist

Start by creating a list of possible agents. Reach out to family, friends and neighbours for recommendations. It’s important you do research to see if the estate agent is not only marketing, but is also achieving sales on your type of house in your area, as some estate agents specialise in specific types of properties. Consider looking online, on sites such as On The Market, Rightmove, or Zoopla and check that the estate agent includes good photographs of important features of houses being sold.

Ask questions and get a valuation

Once you have a shortlist of agents, arrange visits to their offices to meet them face-to-face, to determine if they are friendly, professional and knowledgeable. Then contact a few different agents to provide a valuation and marketing strategy for your property, and ask them for their advice for a successful sale. They should be able to provide local comparisons and reasons to justify the price. Ask questions and make a mental note of the agent’s punctuality, knowledge of the process and management of your expectations.

What are their fees?

You will then need to look carefully at the nitty-gritty of the contract and the agent’s fees. If you are selling your house using a traditional, high-street estate agent, their fee will be based on a percentage of the price paid by the buyer, but as in any contract check what you are paying for and what is not included. In order to avoid unexpected costs, don’t sign anything that you don’t understand... ask about anything that is not clear. Avoid tying yourself into a long agency period.

Check industry credentials

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Remember the industry is as yet unregulated. It’s wise to choose an estate agent that is a member of a trade body, who applies to a strict code of conduct, as this indicates a higher level of professionalism and diligence. NAEA Propertymark Protected agents will give you the assurance that your estate agent follows best practice, meets all requirements of the profession, has voluntarily chosen to be regulated and works to high industry standards. They hold professional indemnity insurance and if they are holding monies are required to be covered by Client Money Protection to give you peace of mind throughout the sale of your house.

See what kind of service is offered

Don’t be afraid of asking questions about the service offered. This includes finding out how easy it will be to get hold of your agent, and how often they will update you on their progress. As a seller, you need to be fully involved and informed at all times. You also need to trust that the agent is batting for you, not the buyer.

Find an agent you can trust

Finally, as a homeowner, having an estate agent that you believe in is a must. Whether through local word of mouth, testimonial or internet reviews, start off with an estate agent that you feel confident in, and with whom you have empathy.

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “Choosing the right estate agent is crucial to the successful sale of your property. Working with a professional agent who has an in-depth understanding and appreciation for the local and regional market place will ensure your property is marketed effectively to the right buyers. Contrary to common thinking, not all agents are the same and some will be more effective than others so it’s important that you do your research.

“Picking the right estate agent to market your home can make the whole process run smoother but can also make a difference to the general experience – which should be a very positive one.”