We are looking at efficient approaches to shortlist, consult with and manage to work with estate agencies.
This might look like an obvious point to start, but often it is neglected. Have in mind that it is always better to consult with family members, friends and colleagues from work, who have recently used an estate agency. Have a quick talk with them, ask for the pros and cons of the estate company they worked with.
Estate agencies and agents now need to be part of The Surveyors Ombudsman Scheme.
Being members indicates that they must comply with a code of manner, which means a greater level of expertise and quality. Trade bodies to pay attention to are:
• (RICS) Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors;
• (NAEA) National Association of Estate Agents;
• (GPEA) Guild of Professional Estate Agents;
Do a quick research online without the need of stepping into an estate agent's office. Branches of trade bodies will have them listed on their webpages.
Take the list you made earlier with potential estate agencies. Visit the first one as a client looking for an estate similar to yours. Be careful! Stay focused on how they act and ask yourself just those two questions:
• Would you feel satisfied if the house they describe was yours?
• If you were a buyer, would you buy a home from them?
Once the valuation is over, it is crucial not to be influenced by the agency that gave you the highest valuation - this could just be a tactic to win you as a client.
After all, you need an agent who is going to be reliable, fair and honest. You do not need a company that is going to overvalue your home and then fail to find a buyer.
A sole agency is usually cheaper. A multi-agency costs more, but indicates that your home will obtain more exposure, which enhances the prospect of a quicker sale.
You decide whether to start with a sole one, and then move to a multi-estate agency at the end of the tie-in time.
If one of the agents is more expensive, see if you can bargain their price down.
Make sure you're satisfied with all T&D of the agreement before signing anything. Be sure to question things you can't understand or you do not agree with.
• How many potential clients viewed your property for the whole time?
• What was the outcome?
• Did the agency work as hard as you expected?If there is a lack of viewings or offers, you can ask the agent for feedback as well. The agent can give you insights on if the price was too high or if there is a part of the property that could be advertised more.