5 Questions You Must Ask Before Choosing an Estate Agent

Most people look to meet with two or three estate agents before deciding who they will ask to market their property. I’m assuming that you will already some awareness of each company and the types of properties they normally sell before you contact them. The questions below are designed to dig a little deeper and help give you the information you need to make the right decision on who is best placed to be entrusted with the sale of your property.

How will you present my property?

With the vast majority of property searches starting online the way your property is presented is crucial to attracting interest. A poor property advert will mean that potential purchasers who may well have bought your property will instead never even get through the door to see it.

Quality photographs and a floorplan are absolutely essential nowadays and you should ask to see examples of similar adverts the estate agent has created. The photos need to be taken using professional equipment and be properly edited to make sure that the lighting is right, looking at the way an estate agent has photographed other houses will give you a good idea of the sort of quality they would be able to produce for your property. It’s also really helpful to have a video made as this can attract more interest and really shows your property off in its best light.

How will you advertise my property?

To get the best price you need to make sure that your property is seen by the widest possible audience of potential buyers. To achieve this you need to check that the estate agent will advertise your property on the two biggest websites; Rightmove and Zoopla. Not everyone does but by not being on both sites you will be missing out on potential buyers.

You also want to ask whether the estate agent will use any of the additional advertising options on Rightmove such as Premium Listings and Featured Properties to make sure your property is seen by even more people. No agent has an exclusive list of buyers who are only prepared to buy through them so from your perspective one of the most important things an estate agent can do is make sure as many potential buyers as possible see your property.

How often will you contact me?

You should really expect to receive weekly emails and a phone call at least every fortnight to update you with what is happening and the interest that your property is receiving. You need to receive feedback but just as important is for the marketing to continually be reviewed and tweaked to stop your property becoming stale. You want to make sure that your property won’t just get put on the market and forgotten about alongside all the other properties the agent might be marketing.

What is your valuation and suggested marketing price?

You want to get a realistic valuation backed up by examples of similar properties that have recently been sold. The estate agent should also be able to talk you through their pricing strategy and whether or not in their opinion your property is best marketed with an asking price, offers over price or a price guide. It’s important to ensure that it is put on the market at the right level as otherwise it will sit on the market likely meaning that you are forced to reduce the price and ultimately meaning that you achieve less than you might otherwise have done.

Who will be responsible for negotiating any offers?

Negotiating offers is one of the most important roles for an estate agent and the difference between a good negotiator and a bad one could be many thousands of pounds. Find out who in the office will be responsible for negotiating any offers and what their level of experience. Ideally you want to hear that only senior members of staff will be involved in negotiating any offers to ensure that only experienced professionals will be involved in negotiating any offers.