Choosing the right estate agent to buy/sell with can help seriously reduce this stress, and make the whole process as painless as possible.
It’s important you chose an agent that you are happy to work with. They’re about to help you sell or buy your most valuable asset, so you’ll probably want someone who can be trusted and relied upon.
Check their credentials
When vetting an estate agent, you should always check their credentials, estate agents are legally required to register as a member of a professional trade body or association – make sure to check whether this is the case.
Mr Homes are a fully licensed and regulated agent registered with Property Mark. We are also registered with the property ombudsman and are approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).
What are people saying?
‘Word-of-mouth’ can be a great key indicator as to whether an estate agent is worth their chips. Asking friends and family members if they have used a particular agent, or know of someone who has, if so would they recommend them.
Find out about the company; who will be carrying out the valuations, who will be answering the phone, who will be contacting the database. Many estate agents have shed staff over the last few years and now work on skeleton staff where one person does the valuation, does the viewings and answers the phone in between. You may consider this too much work for one person. Mr Homes have a highly skilled team who support the vendor throughout the entire process, thus ensuring the very best level of service.
Another great way of determining whether people would recommend an estate agent is to checkout their online reviews and ratings. Mr Homes are pleased to declare that we have been awarded best overall Cardiff Estate Agent by All Agents.
Beware of virtual, online agents
Online estate agencies are usually run via websites and call centres, and unlike your traditional high-street estate agent, they do not have a physical premises that you can visit.
Whilst employing these online agencies might seem appealing, offering convenience and flexibility, there are a number of risks associated with these virtual agents.
- Lack of knowledge – Virtual agents might lack knowledge of the local property market. This can put them at a serious disadvantage when compared to your local, high-street agent who will know and understand the local market.
- Viewings – Virtual agents usually do not conduct property viewings, so you will need the time, flexibility and be willing to do this yourself.
- Fee’s – A lot of the time, online agencies require you to pay up-front, meaning you will pay a fee regardless of whether or not they sell your property. In contrast, your traditional estate agencies usually work on a commission basis and are working with you to make sure your property is sold.
- Valuations – As previously mentioned, as most online agencies do not rely on a sale to receive their pay this means they are less motivated to achieve the best possible selling price for your property.
Its important to consider the above risks when deciding whether to opt for a traditional estate agency or a modern, online estate agency.
Beware of high valuations, given just to win the instruction. Many agents value at unrealistic levels to win a vendor's instruction, promising they have buyers willing to pay. Don't be fooled, once you are signed into the contract you will find it difficult to extract yourself and may well have to reduce the price of your property to below achievable levels and still pay a high fee!!!
Choosing your agent
Use the points featured in this article to create a shortlist of estate agents. You can then arrange to meet each individual agent to assess them and their capabilities.
Questions to ask
One of the most important things you can do when choosing an estate agent is to ask the right questions. The following questions can help you decide whether an agent will be best- suited to your needs:
Where will my property be advertised?
Your estate agent can advertise your property across a multitude of platforms, both online and offline, including: Rightmove, Zoopla, local newspapers and social media. Understanding what marketing platforms an estate agent uses might be the deciding factor between using one agent over another.
Mr Homes are one of the only agents who advertise on Rghtmove, Zoopla and On The Market, allowing our properties to benefit from maximum exposure. We also own one of the most interactive websites available, which allows for greater inclusion from our vast database of prospects.
Are there any relevant buyers?
Estate agents usually have the credentials of potential buyers that have contacted them previously. They should know whether your property will be of interest to any of their existing home-hunters. All agents promise this.. Don't be fooled! Ask to see the actual list of prospects, if the agent uses GDPR as the reason not to show you the list ask for a redacted format to view.
At Mr Homes we vet all potential buyers, so you can trust the prospects we put forward are serious about purchasing and have the means to do so.
What marketing materials do they supply?
When advertising your property, estate agents usually supply certain marketing materials such as ‘for sale’ signs, floorplans, professional photographs and virtual tours.
Mr Homes supply all of the above, as well as a unique property brochure for each individual property we acquire.
Most homeowners require the estate agent to host potential viewings when they are unavailable, or even all of the time should you wish to avoid viewings altogether. You should familiarise yourself with your agents viewing availability, do they offer viewings during evenings/weekends.
The team at Mr Homes are well-versed in property viewings, we have comprehensive knowledge of the property industry and are highly capable in answering any tricky questions that are thrown our way. We also know what NOT to say, what you think may be vital ..."the neighbours are lovely they are always popping in!" can put lots of potential buyers off.
The nitty gritty
Lastly, try to find out the nitty gritty; ask the agent what their standard commission is, whether they usually achieve asking price, how often they’ll keep in touch, whether or not they’ve sold other properties in the area and if so, how much for.
Any reputable estate agent should have no issues answering all of these questions and more.
Working with your chosen agent
By now, you should have chosen an estate agent to represent your property. It’s now on you to work collaboratively with your agent to help them help you. Remember, you and your agent should work as a team, both working towards the same goal; achieving the best possible price for your property.