When looking for local estate agents to value your property, it’s important that you’re asking the right questions to determine which agent you think will work best for you.
It’s no secret that selling your home can be a challenging experience, so you’ll need to instruct the agent that’s going to make the entire process as smooth and hassle free for you as possible.
If you’re beginning the process of moving home, I’ve put together a list of 8 top questions you need to ask any estate agent before selling your property!
Take a look below and check it out!
1. What kind of marketing can I expect?
With the internet playing the dominant role in most buyers searches, it’s incredibly important the marketing of your home is to the highest possible standards.
Rightmove and Zoopla are the biggest players in the property world, so you’ll want to make sure the agent can market your property to audiences on both of these sites.
Most estate agents also now offer professional photography too (usually for an upfront fee) though even if you decide not to take this option, the final photographs should still be to a decent standard.
Aside from the internet, you’ll want your property to receive the maximum coverage possible to increase your chances of getting the best price, so ask the estate agent how they plan to do this.
2. What success have you had with similar properties?
It’s arguably essential that the estate agent you instruct to market your home has experience in selling similar properties within your local area.
They should be able to show examples of successful sales that have exchanged and completed as a way to demonstrate their knowledge and experience working in your local market.
Ideally, the agent will be familiar with people they know who are looking for a property similar to yours – and will have potential viewers in mind they can introduce it to!
3. Will you show potential buyers around?
You may want to conduct the viewings on your property yourself, or you may want to choose an agent to show any potential buyers around for you.
Some sellers prefer to do the tours and have no problem with presenting the property to perspective buyers, while others prefer not to be around and will leave them up to the estate agent to do.
There is an element of personal preference here, though, in my opinion, most buyers will tend to be more honest and open when giving their judgement to the estate agent.
With most online agents charging more for this service, it’s an important question to ask to make sure there’s no surprises later on.
4. How do you vet potential buyers?
All good estate agents will have a streamlined process in place to ensure that any buyer who walks through your door can afford it.
Whilst high viewing numbers can sound good, it would be pointless agreeing for anyone to view without knowing they have the relevant requirements and financial approval.
5. What factors did you consider when determining the price?
Estate agents will back up their given valuation price by using comparable evidence of similar properties to yours that have sold in the area.
This is a legal requirement and you should also be provided with a copy of their research for your own records.
6. Can you arrange my Energy Performance Certificate?
When selling a property anywhere in the UK, you are required by law to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which gives buyers an indication as to how energy efficient your property is.
You can place your property on the market without having an EPC, though you will have a maximum of 28 days to have one completed and made readily available.
Energy Performance Certificates are valid for 10 years so you may be able to use the one from when you purchased the property – if you’ve not owned it for more than 10 years already.
You can check how long is left on an EPC by clicking here.
It’s recommended you have a new EPC done if you’ve made significant improvements to the energy efficiency of your property. For example, you may have upgraded the heating system or installed new windows and doors.
Some estate agents will offer an EPC as part of certain packages or as standalone products, though some will require you to obtain this for yourself.
7. What are your terms & conditions?
When you instruct an estate agent, you may be asked to sign a contract with them on one of the following basis –
Sole Selling Rights – This means you give the estate agent exclusive permission to market your property for a certain period of time. Usually this is between 4-12 weeks. If you find a buyer for your property yourself during this period, you will still be liable to pay the agent their commission fee.
Multi Agency – This option gives you permission to market the property with several agencies at any time. You will only pay commission to the agent who successfully introduces the buyer to your home.
Sole Agency – This is the same as Sole Selling Rights, though you won’t have to pay the agent commission if you find your own buyer.
I would only recommend the Multi Agency option if the current market condition is not in your favour. In those circumstances, it can be useful to enter into such an agreement in order to reach as many people as possible. However, in better market conditions, this option can be perceived as a more desperate approach – leading you to receive lower offers.
Some estate agents may also charge a withdrawal fee if you take your property off the market during a sole selling period too.
It’s important you’re aware of this information and understand it clearly prior to signing any agreement.
8. Can you help me with my onward purchase?
Some estate agents are part of a wider property group and may operate under different names in other areas throughout the country.
If you’re looking to move elsewhere, ask if they have any branches in your desired location who can help you with buying your next property.
If you’re able to keep the process technically under one roof, the entire sale should be slightly more smooth and a little less complicated.
How was your experience when searching for an estate agent to sell your home?
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