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Helpful guide: changing your estate agent

If you have been on the market for some time you may be thinking of changing your estate agent. It is easy to blame the estate agent when a property is not selling, and often rival agents will add fuel to this fire, but it is a myth that other agents have a different box of buyers to the one that you already with. Serious buyers are searching the internet daily (mainly Rightmove) and they DON'T CARE which agent you are selling through.


That said, there are some things an agent can do (and often don't) that can help to sell your property:


1. Photography: how good is it? How does your property look compared to others on Rightmove? Are the photos bright and inviting or dull and slanty or blurred? First impressions count, massively.

2. Staging: did the agent remove shampoo bottles from the bath, clutter on work surfaces, washing lines, etc, prior to taking photos? If you are going to do a job...!

3. Accompanied viewings: is the agent doing the viewings for you, turning up a little earlier to open windows, get lights on, etc? Some agents charge extra for this (we don't).

4. Floorplan: a must have, it is proven to result in more viewings and of a higher quality. Some agents charge extra for this (we don't).

5. 'Featured Property' on Rightmove: This gets your property to the top of search results and results in significantly more interest. Some agents charge extra for this (we don't).

6. Pro-active feedback / property reviews: Do you hear from your agent much, giving you detailed viewing feedback and stats from Rightmove, or do you feel like you've been forgotten?


If your agent is doing all of the above, and you can't fault them in any other way, then perhaps you need to discuss a new pricing strategy with your agent first.


Common myths: Some of the things that vendors believe may thwart their sale are, in our opinion, unlikely to make any difference:


Myth 1: Not in the paper or in the shop window

Over 95% of buyers find property online. Right Estate Agents do not advertise in the paper and have the quickest average time to sell of all Bromsgrove agents (source: Rightmove Intel, May 2017). The local paper is hugely expensive for the minimal advantage it provides to buyers. Estate agents advertise in it mainly for their own promotion and generally you will pay higher fees to agents that do.


Myth 2: The description is not 'selling' my property very well

Buyers are unlikely to buy a property based on someone else's opinion or the estate agent's embellishments (that invariably contravene the Property Mis-descriptions' Act).


Myth 3: 'X' agent has sold similar properties in my area quickly

If the agent does a good job, and the price is right, it will sell. Buyers are not going to dismiss their dream home because they don't like or recognise the board outside.


Myth 4: 'X' agent specialises in my type of property

The job of selling property should be the same from a 1 bed apartment to a million pound mansion. Glossy brochures, virtual tours and aerial shots are nice to have, but mean nothing when the agent can't get the basics right (as some 'prestige' agents consistently fail to do). At Right Estate Agents, we do not discriminate based on property value; all our vendors get the same excellent level of service.


So with all this in mind, if you have decided to change estate agent, here are some final checks to make:


1. Check your contract. Most contracts have a sole agency period, and possibly a notice period as well.

2. Get it in writing. When you dis-instruct your agent, or give notice, it is best to do it via email and ask for them to reply to acknowledge this. If they do not reply quickly, hassle them until they do or ensure you keep a copy of the sent email / cc. in a friend etc.

3. Their fee may still be charged. If your eventual buyer had viewed through the first agent, they may be entitled to their fee. Check carefully if your new agent would also charge.


For more information about the service Right Estate Agents offer please call us on 01527 306420.

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