How to choose the right estate agent . . .
The best agent for you is the agent that you are able to trust to guide you through the process. A few indicators of a good agent are:
Industry qualifications and professional memberships
These can include being members of or holding qualifications from:
- NAEA Propertymark
- Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
- The Guild of Professional Estate Agents
All members are required to work to agreed codes of practice and the relevant logo will be displayed in their offices. You can check on the trade body websites to ensure an agent is a member if you have any doubts.
As part of being a professional and holding membership, there are a number of key areas an agent needs to ensure are in place:
- Professionalism and Training– Agents will need to maintain professional standards by ensuring that their staff have a minimum level of on-going training to keep up to date with their skills.
- Redress Schemes– All member agents will be part of a redress scheme. If you have a complaint about their services and you are unable to resolve it with the company directly, you can refer your complaint to the redress scheme and they will adjudicate in order to resolve the dispute.
- Reputation– Agents have to uphold their reputation to maintain their business and therefore need to take a professional approach to their work.
- Knowing their client– As part of taking on a new seller and buyer, an agent will need to take some basic information and identity documentation so that they know who they are dealing with.
- Compliant – Being registered with HMRC to ensure they comply with all the obligations under the money laundering regulations
A strong local presence
Knowing the local market is key to getting the best price for your property and if your agent has an identifiable local presence this will help reach the maximum number of buyers. Sold boards locally will demonstrate what they have sold, along with a comprehensive website and portal listings.
Positive first impressions
A professional agent will know how to make a positive impact on buyer and sellers alike. If your agent creates a poor impression with you, the chances are they will do the same with any potential buyer. The same applies to their websites and online presence, if it doesn’t work well for you it probably won’t work well for your buyer.
The relationship with your agent is important and if you don’t believe that they will do a good job for you or are trustworthy, then they are not the right agent for you.
As with most professional services, a recommendation from neighbours or friends is a great endorsement of an agent’s services. You can also look at reviews given my previous clients on estate agents Facebook pages or those left via Google.
Creating your shortlist
We recommend picking a shortlist of two/three agents to value your home. They should each confirm with you their terms of business, provide a sample of their work, along with their marketing recommendations for your property. Take time to compare their services and what they have on offer.
The price the agent charges for their services is, of course, a key consideration when selling your property but do remember that not all agents are the same and getting the right one for you is more than just the price tag.