How to choose your Estate Agent

East Grinstead certainly has its fair share of estate agents. With so many to choose from how exactly do you decide which one is best for you? Here are some useful tips on making the right decision when deciding which agent to use:

Research Estate Agents

Take the time to research estate agents in your area. Your home is your most valuable asset, yet it is still astounding how many people entrust it to an agent they know hardly anything about.

Time after time, we see two main 'criteria' as being perceived as the most important when selecting an agent; who charges the lowest commission rate or who offers the highest valuation. This, more often than not, leads to both frustration and disappointment for the vendor.

To find the best agent to value your home, you will need to research and assess which agents are selling a good selection of property in your area; local papers, sale boards, the internet and talking with friends, family and neighbours are a great way to do this.

Once you've identified the agents, pick up the phone or pop into their offices for a chat. Initially, visit as a buyer interested in properties like your own and talk to the staff; assess how happy you would be if it was your property they were talking about and if you were a potential buyer. You will be amazed at what you discover and how quickly an agent will emerge from the 'pack'.

Property Market 'Know-How'

There are some estate agents who are inexperienced at selling in a market like we are in now. Times have changed and your local estate agent should have changed with them.

Find three good, local agents and invite each to give you a valuation of your property, this will give you a good spread of opinion and you can decide on your favourite.

Before they visit, think about what type of services you want from an agent and any extras, such as virtual tours of properties on the property portals, or other services they might offer.

Estate Agent Checklist

Essential questions to ask:

  • How many similar properties have they sold? At what price?
  • How many viewings and how long did it take to sell the properties?
  • How many buyers are looking for properties like yours?
  • Are they a member of either the Property Ombudsman (formerly known as the Ombudsman for Estate Agents) or Ombudsman Services: Property? All estate agents must belong to one of these Office of Fair Trading-approved redress schemes. You can check on the schemes websites whether an agent is a member.
  • What price would they market your property for? What house price would they expect you to get? What price would they value your home for a ‘quick sale’?
  • Who will do the property inspections?
  • Can you have a copy of the agency contract?
  • How and where will it promote your property? Which property websites will the property be advertised on?
  • What are its charges – and when do you have to pay?
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