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Helpful guide: choosing an estate agent

With so many estate agents fighting for your business, including traditional agents with shops and the more modern internet or virtual agents, what is the best way to choose between them? Here are some hints and tips:


•Traditional agents typically charge between 1% and 1.5% of sale price (plus VAT). This can add up to quite a large fee especially on higher value properties. The traditional agent will have a shop usually in the town centre.


•Internet or ‘virtual’ estate agents do not have a shop front. Their overheads are lower and hence their fees are lower. Some will be based locally and can provide a full service just like a traditional agent, including accompanied viewings. Others may not be able to accompany viewings as they are based further away.


•Over 95% of buyers find property using the internet so, we believe, a property can potentially be sold just as effectively through either type of agent.


•What’s most important therefore is that your agent can give you sound advice on all aspects including value, take excellent photos, advertise on the major sites (most importantly on Rightmove and Zoopla), accompany viewings (if you want them to), negotiate effectively to get you the best price, and liaise with solicitors and other agents in the chain to bring about a speedy completion.


•Get recommendations. Ask your family, colleagues, friends etc about their recent experience with an estate agent they may have used.


•Search online for any customer reviews about the estate agent’s service.


•Find other properties that the agent is selling on Rightmove - have they got LOTS of good quality, sharp, bright photographs and clear concise details?


•Don’t assume that lots of ‘For Sale’ boards means the agent is good. Many people choose an agent simply through brand awareness so boards can lead to more and more boards. The agent may well be excellent, or they may be struggling to cope with business levels, providing a poor service and hiking their fees.


•Don’t fall for “we have buyers waiting to buy your property”. All decent estate agents can make that claim - any agent that advertises your property effectively and at the right price on the major property sites will attract the serious buyers.


•Do you like the agent and feel you can trust them? Listen to your gut.


•Higher fees does not mean better service.


•Don't necessarily go for the agent that suggests the highest valuation, this might be a ploy to win your business and then they will work on you to drop the price when you get no interest.


For more information about the service Right Estate Agents offer please call us on 01527 956123.

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