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Selecting and appointing an estate agent

Finding an experienced estate agent with expertise in your area will help you to sell your property. The right estate agent will be able to provide useful advice throughout the process. They will be skilled in negotiating and will have the means to market your property to the right audience.

The selling process will require a lot of communication between you and your chosen estate agent. To best understand their knowledge of the market and determine rapport to be comfortable working with them, you will need to spend time speaking to agents in person. Asking friends for recommendations, looking in the windows of local estate agents and visiting their websites are also useful ways to get a feel for the quality of service that the agents provide.

The below questions can be asked to gain more information on the estate agents that you are considering.

  • Are you a member of The Property Ombudsman or the Ombudsman Services?
  • Do you operate a sole agent and multiple agent service?
  • What fees do you charge for these services?
  • How long is the contractual period for these services?
  • Have you sold many properties like this one recently?
  • Is photography included in the price?
  • Is a For Sale board included in the price?
  • Where will you advertise the property?
  • On which websites do you list properties?
  • Do you offer an EPC assessment?
  • Are you open at weekends?
  • Will you conduct the viewings?
  • How much notice will you give before a viewing?
  • Will you create a floorplan?

The decision regarding which estate agent you decide to appoint should not be based solely on the one that offers the lowest fees or one that values your property at the highest price.

The right estate agent will be professional and should give you confidence. They will have experience in your area, and good agents will already have a database of relevant buyers.

Types of estate agents’ contracts

There are different types of contract available to you. Ask your chosen estate agent to clearly explain the details of the contract.

  • Sole agency: This agreement means that only the chosen estate agent is able to sell your property. If you find a buyer independently, you shouldn’t have to pay estate the agent’s fees. The commission is usually lower with this type of contract. It is important to confirm the fees before appointing your estate agent
  • Multi agency: In this type of agreement, more than one estate agent can market and sell your property. The commission is usually higher with this type of agreement

Each estate agent will have a different set of terms and conditions, so check the details carefully before choosing your agent. Work out what you expect the fee will be based on the asking price, and bear in mind that VAT will need to be added.

Some agents may recommend other services, such as EPCs or conveyancing. These are both services that you will need when it comes to selling your property.

Ombudsmen services

Choosing an estate agent that is a member of one of the following ombudsmen services will ensure there is a clear procedure in place should any major issues arise during the property selling process.

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