shutterstock_234232963Picking an estate agent to handle the sale of your home can seem like a stressful task, but if you know what to look for, the process shouldn’t be a daunting one.

We’ve pulled together a list of the five most important questions to consider when choosing an estate agent.

1) Are they a member of a professional trade organisation?

Many estate agents are now members of professional bodies such as the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA). Being part of an accredited organisation demonstrates that an agency is keeping up with industry legislation and is using the best practices to sell properties. It is always advisable to check the credentials and associated memberships of estate agents before you decide to sell your house with them.

2) Is the estate agent recommended by other vendors?

Testimonials are a great way of finding out first-hand how well an agency has performed in the past. Reading about other sellers’ experiences can help you to make an informed decision about whether a particular estate agent would suit you and your needs. Many estate agents will have a testimonials page on their website for sharing previous clients’ personal experiences. Reading feedback from previous sellers can help you make a decision about whether an agency is the right fit for you.

3) How much do they think your property is worth?

shutterstock_197292818It is always advisable to have a good understanding of the value of your property before you approach an estate agent. Most agencies offer a thorough and reliable valuation service, and will provide you with a realistic ballpark figure of the value of your home. However, it is important to be aware that some valuations made by estate agents might be overestimated or even underestimated as a way of managing your expectations. If you do your research beforehand, you will be in a much better place to decide whether or not an agent is giving you a reliable estimate in their valuation. Click here to register for a free valuation of your property.

4) How do they plan to market the property?

Estate agents should always use professional marketing practices to sell your property. Currently, most estate agents list properties through three key online portals: Rightmove, Zoopla and onthemarket.com. Agencies who use any of these popular websites to sell your property are increasing its exposure to potential homebuyers by thousands. However, estate agents should always have their own professional listings in addition to these sites. Take a look at how current and previous properties are presented by the agency. Listings should be detailed, eye-catching and high quality. Don’t be afraid to ask an agent about how they plan to promote your property.

5) What type of contracts do they offer?

This question is really important, as it is likely to determine the finer financial details of your agreement with the agency. There are two main types of contracts agencies typically use:

  • Sole-agency, which means you will not have to pay the agency if you eventually find your own buyer
  • Multi-agency, where you will only pay commission to the agency if they are successful in selling your property

When looking at contracts, it’s worth doing your own research too, so you can figure out which contract type will be best suited to your needs.

We understand the process of selling your home isn’t always straightforward, and we hope these questions will help make your selling experience that little bit smoother.

Register with us today to find out about selling your home with our dedicated sales department, Jones Estates.