How do I choose an Estate Agent?
Last week at a networking Christmas lunch I met a lovely lady from Australia. She was introduced to me as a land valuer in Australia who was keen to set up her own estate agency there. She approached me with â€śI bet you love selling properties here with 10% commission rate?â€ť
Once I had picked myself up from the floor and let her know that as an estate agent in Beckenham I could NEVER charge that much, it made me question what we do charge and ALL we do to earn it.
Commission rates have become more and more competitive with some agents charging bargain basement rates making the public at large question why not all agents do this. My answer is that not all agents are equal!
As an independent agent we provide a bespoke, personal service to all of our clients. Our job is not complete unless and until your property has been sold and you are happy.
When you appoint an agent to give you a valuation/market appraisal here are a few things to ask your friendly agent:
- Can they show you where they get their figures from?
- Do they have comparables, previously sold properties, properties on the market currently etc.?
- Where will they advertise your property?
- How will it be promoted?
- What happens when you do get an offer?
- Will they (purchaser) be checked for their eligibility?
- Will a dedicated person deal with it?
- What happens if they are away?
- Who deals with the sales progression?
- Will they give regular updates?
As you can see there are lots of processes involved in the sales process. Itâ€™s not just about getting a property, putting it on property portals (some agents are not on all portals; worth checking!) and hoping for the best. Properties need to be worked on every step of the way.
Estate agents have had a bad press for poor service in the past but most have raised their game. It is always best to shop around and maybe do a bit of homework before you actually sign up with one. Maybe do a bit of mystery shopping; calling the agent to ask about a property they have advertised. Are they knowledgeable about the property, are they friendly and not dismissive, do they want to register your details etc. etc.? You will be able to get a feeling for this agent and know whether you would want them selling your property.
What I am driving at is that it is not just about the commission rate charged. You need to have faith in the agent, trust that they will do their very best for you and actually like the person you are dealing with. This coupled with the list I have made will actually get you the most suitable agent for you.