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Choosing your agent


Choosing and Instructing an Estate Agent -
There are a number of points you need to consider when you choose an estate agent to sell and market your home

General advice is to invite three Estate Agents to value your home. This should give you a clear picture on which estate agent you believe will best work to your goal.

Here are some pointers to bear in mind when you meet your chosen agents.


Digital Marketing
When considering which Agent to instruct to sell your home, first and foremost visit their website, have a good look around to find out a little about the agency, how easy is the website to use for buyers searching for a home? This will also allow you the opportunity to consider their digital offering, such as pictures, floor plans, videos and their use of social media. Most buyers start their search online and 1 in 3 people in the UK go onto Facebook daily. Interestingly the fastest growing age group of social media users are 45 - 55 year olds.


Knowledge & Professionalism
It is really very important that you use a qualified professional; many agents are not qualified or regulated so look for as a NAEA Licensed agent with good local knowledge to sell your home. The real reason for this is that although it is possible that any agent could find a buyer, the knowledge, advice and help in shepherding an agreed sale to a successful exchange of contracts is the real value that you gain from using a licensed agent with knowledge of the legal process, construction and the importance of regularly checking the progress of the whole chain.


Mystery Shopping
If you are selling your home, it is likely that you will also be purchasing a new home. Regardless as to whether this will be in the area your home is in, I would strongly recommend that you register with a few of your local agents to experience first-hand and assess the kind of service any prospective purchaser will receive when looking for a home.


Market Reach
Also consider how many potential buyers the agent can put your property before. After all the more people that see it, the better your chance of achieving the best possible price for your home. It is important to consider what portals the agents list on and how their properties are presented. Buyers generally look more at the larger adverts with more pictures and those with videos, get even more attention. However, remember that the cheaper agents may rely solely on this advertising. Better agents can attract over 50% of their enquiry via search engine optimisation of their own website, external brand awareness and advertising, a high street office presence and reputation. When considering whether to instruct a larger agent with a network of offices, investigate whether they share applicants and properties; if they do this can double or treble the number of buyers your property is introduced to.


Fees
Looking for the cheapest fee is also a false economy. Your agent should be able to provide a high level of marketing exposure and coverage together with knowledge and experience to ensure you accomplish the best sale price. Saving a few hundred pounds on the fee should be compared to the potential of selling for thousands of pounds less than you could have achieved.


Valuation
Once you have chosen the three agents to value your home, this is your opportunity to interrogate each of them about their offering, be sure to try and find out the differences between them. For example an agent that shows the number of applicants they have registered that may be interested in your home is probably better than one that purely says we have lots of people that would be interested.

When the agent offers their view of the value look in detail at the comparable evidence offered to justify the price, are they in similar roads to yours? Are they really comparable? What other info has the agent offered to justify the price? Do not be flattered / swayed by a high valuation! Some agents will try and entice you to instruct them on a long exclusivity agreement.


Exclusivity Agreements
These are generally used to tie in a seller for a period in excess of 4 weeks, and are used to get the instruction with the view to persuading you to reduce the price to a more realistic level (which is likely to be less than you would have got if you priced it correctly in the first instance) when you are not at liberty to dis-instruct them and find a new agent. Any agent worth there salt will be happy to allow you to dis-instruct them on short notice if you are not happy with the service provided.

It is essential that the right asking price is set. Pitch it too high and you will lose the all-important initial impact, which could lead to your property sitting on the market and eventually selling for less than you could have achieved if priced correctly to begin with.

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