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Six Handy Hints For Picking The Right Estate Agent

Mar 21, 2008
When selling or buying a house it is common to employ the services of an estate agent. With so many offering their services however the choice can be head spinning. Getting the right estate agent can ensure that your property transaction goes through smoothly, if the choice is wrong you may have a string of unsuccessful deals and may find yourself questioning your motives to move. Here are six handy hints that should be considered when choosing an estate agent.

1. You get what you pay for:

Like most services in life, the cheapest is not always necessarily the best. It would be foolhardy to state that fees were of no importance as this is simply not the case, fees are a vital consideration. What must be remembered however is that services relate directly to the price you pay. Fees are negotiable, most agents will happily barter but the eventual deal may harm the efficiency of the service you receive, ultimately your main objective is value for money. The less you pay, the less effort your agent is likely to put into the sale of your house, if you want a quick sale, you may have to pay a little more.

When you are haggling for the best deal your major objective should be to achieve a realistic price, enquire how the estate agent is likely to market your property. Getting a clear idea of their methods is vital as it will enable you to get an idea of what your money is paying for.

2. Take your reading glasses:

When you see the contract, make sure to read all of the small print in detail. At the top of your list of items to discuss and check over is the time period of the contract. Try to only sign a contract that ties you to the estate agent for six weeks or less, at least initially. Also 'sole-selling' agreements are usually worth avoiding as this means if you happen to sell your property outside of the agent's area of control, you will still have to pay.

3. The multi-agency approach is not always advisable:

Many sellers think that having more than one estate agent will increase their chances of a sale. This is not always the case as using multiple agencies can often counteract each other and ultimately cause chaos. Added to this if your agent knows you are going down this route their willingness to help may wane. In terms of the image you are sending buyers, it can sometimes look like desperation. That is not to say that the multiple agency approach is always ill advised; if one estate agent can get along with another and have worked together in the past, it is likely that the chances of a sale will be increased.

4. Choose methodically:

Many of us are guilty of judging people as soon as we meet them and when we meet an estate agent it is no different. It is worth trying to avoid this approach as you may be missing the point entirely. While most of us trust the older more reliable agents and tend to discount the efforts of younger, flashier players it pays dividends to try and forget stereotyping. Look at the track record of an estate agent rather than the way they come across. By methodically comparing the success rates of all the agents you see, a logical choice can be made; hopefully it will be the right one.

5. Communicate:

There is little point in having an estate agent that will forget about you as soon as they have your property on the market, it is vital that you should build up a good working relationship and have a variety of communication methods that will enable you to keep up to date with any developments. Keeping in regular contact is fundamental to ensuring a quick sale. Allowing your estate agent to communicate effectively over issues such as the quality of your property, feedback from buyer viewings and the chances of a sale is also important.

6. And finally:

When the subject of the money comes up try and keep a cool head. It is easy to jump at the highest valuation and employ that estate agent but it is worth separating the valuation from the agents themselves. After all, the price you put the house on for is your choice and trying a higher asking price, at least for an initial period may be worthwhile.

If you have followed these helpful tips to picking an estate agent you may well be able to sell your house quickly and efficiently. Getting the right service at the right price is essential to effective sales. While you may not always want to hear your agent's theories, try and take on board some of the things they may say, ultimately, they are the expert.
About the Author
Property expert Thomas Pretty looks into considerations that must be made before hiring an estate agent. By matching these criteria it is possible to the find the right agent for your property.
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