Huge mistakes you can make when choosing an estate agent

Huge mistakes you can make when choosing an estate agent

One of the biggest decisions you will make when you sell your home is choosing the right estate agent to get your house sold.  There is a wealth of choice, from high-street estate agents to those working online; from big national companies to local independent estate agents, such as ourselves.  You may think that this decision is pretty straightforward, yet it is vital that you don’t make any huge mistakes by rushing your decision without doing your homework.  Instructing the wrong estate agent will do doubt lead to financial and emotional headaches ahead, so what do you need to look for when choosing an estate agent to sell your home?

Attracted by the lowest commission

Once you have decided to sell your home, it’s time to interview a number of estate agents. Where many sellers go wrong is that they see an agent valuing their property as just that.  It’s more than a valuation – this is your time to question, challenge and discover everything you can about this agent.

There are many estate agents who will offer a very low commission simply to win your business. You may see this as saving money, how can it be a bad thing?  As with every business, estate agents invests in many areas, from the marketing strategy for your property to ensuring you have the support you need as you move through the sales process.  At the end of the day, we have exceptionally high standards for what we believe a client experience – your experience – should look like, even if issues arise.

What experience will the other estate agents provide? Make sure you understand what and how they invest in selling your home.

They are going to sell it for how much?

Who wouldn’t be attracted by an agent who values your home at a few grand more than the rest? You can see pound signs popping up in front of your eyes. Choosing the agent who offers you the highest valuation is a very common and natural mistake to make, but think: is this price realistic, or are they sneakily trying to get your business?

Some agents may value the property higher than others; as long as they can show a track record of achieving their asking prices, you have nothing to fear. But overpricing a property is a curse – let us explain why. There is an optimum time period when your home will attract buyers when it is listed online; which is in the first few weeks.  Buyers do their homework; they will know every home on the market in the area within their budget and will have alerts set to be notified when such a home becomes available.

If it’s priced too high, your home won’t even come up in their searches. Even if they do see it, they will know themselves from viewing other similar properties that it seems a little steep. They will either view and put in a cheeky offer, or just ignore your home and move onto the next. The longer your home sits on the market, the staler it will become, losing its initial ‘star power’ to be replaced with a sense that it has been left on the shelf.

This is why you should research the agent’s track record; ask them for their results, make them prove to you they deserve your business. At Century Residential we want to show you what we have achieved for our clients; because we are proud of our successes.

Just because they’ve sold more houses

Of course, it looks good if an estate agent has sold lots of houses; but again you need to put that into context.  How many houses that they’ve listed have they sold?  Let’s explain. If this agent has sold 50 houses and their competitor only 20, then they must be better, right? Maybe not.

If Agent A has sold 50 houses but they listed 90; that’s a high percentage of houses that they committed to sell and didn’t. If Agent B has only sold 20 houses but listed 21, this shows they have been dedicated to getting those houses sold. The data is only a guide; but if you put it into context you’ll get an understanding of who the agent is and how they work.

I liked the first one

When you decide to sell your home, estate agents may have been recommended by friends and family; and one in particular may stand out to you so you decide to get them round.  You like what they have to say and without seeing anyone else you decide to choose them.

How can you compare different agencies if you only see one?  Each estate agent will have their strengths; they may offer different marketing approaches, some which may really suit your home and its potential buyers.  Interviewing more than one agent will give you a better understanding of the property market; and who will be the best fit to sell your home.

What do their clients say?

You may have already read the testimonials on their website or Facebook page; but why not ask previous clients their thoughts? By placing a message on one of the local Facebook pages you will no doubt get some honest replies. Another way is to do your own mystery shop. Call up the agency and ask some questions; this will give you an idea of how clients are cared for and supported by the agency.

Big decisions

Without doing your due diligence it is easy to make a mistake when choosing an estate agent to sell your home. We love it when a client puts us through our paces; because we know they are committed to making the right decision for them and their home.

Are we up to the task of selling your home? Call our team today on 01634 570057; so we can organise a time to tell you why we are the best agent for you and your property.

Content contributed by The Federation of Independent Agents.

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