When choosing an estate agent, always try to get three agents round to value your property. Don’t automatically go for the agent with the highest valuation, this is an old trick and the chances are that they will put the house on the market and then when it does not sell they will persuade you to reduce the price.
Preparation is key, so it’s a good idea at this stage to instruct a solicitor to do your conveyancing early. Ask them to prepare a draft contract and apply for the title deeds, while you pull together all your own paperwork on the property, find all building certificates for any structural building work carried out, and any valid work guarantees.
Valuing property is not an exact science and many factors are taken into consideration. Agents don’t charge for valuations, so try to get 3 as a minimum. The agent should be knowledgeable about what is on the market, how long it has been on the market and what has sold, ask them for a report with comparable properties which are on the market now.
The most important factor in choosing your agent is being on the market with someone you can relate to personally; someone who is very active in the local market; and someone who is keen to sell your property. Ask the agent how often they will give you feedback and what level of communication you can expect. If the property remains unsold after four to six weeks it is important that it does not go stale on the market, a good agent will come up with new marketing initiatives such as fresh photographs, premium internet listings and new descriptions.
Don’t automatically go for the one that you may also buy your next property through – don’t get “forced” into this by the agent who you are buying from, they may not be the right one for you. Most agents will also often try to tie you into a lengthy (normally 12 weeks or more) exclusive sole agency contract – negotiate the minimum time possible, so that if you are not happy with the service, you can change agent or go multiagency.
With HomeXperts we do not tie you into any period, if you are not happy with our service you can give notice at any time!
Given Estate Agents’ fees, it’s cheaper to sell sole-agency rather than multiagency, so I recommend staying with one agent for the first 4 weeks, and giving them the best chance and motivation to sell your property fast. Also, ask your solicitor to fully explain all costs associated with selling.
Finally, find out from your mortgage lender whether you will be hit with any redemption penalties. Then you’ll know at what price you can afford to sell.
Always have a board put up outside your property, and tell your neighbours – word of mouth is such a powerful tool. You never know who might live just round the corner, waiting for your house to come to the market. Holding an open house is another great way of attracting viewers to your property.
HomeXperts offer a superior level of service for both lettings and property sales. For more information contact your local HomeXperts Personal Agent.