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How To Pick The Property Shop That Will Work Hardest For You

Mar 23, 2008
These are interesting times for the property market. The introduction last year of the Home Information Packs, or Hips, combined with the credit crunch and the effect of a number of interest rate rises has slowed the growth of the market.

While that means that this is primarily a buyers market right now, it also means that when you do come to sell your home, you can really make the different estate agents in the area work hard to get your business.

But how do you pick the property shop with the most motivated agents that will work their socks off getting the best possible price for your home, or the property to rent you are selling? Here are a series of items to check so you know you are picking the most suitable agent for you.

Local knowledge

In the property world, knowing the market and the local area counts for a lot. Look for a property shop that has been around for a while and employs local people. Ensure the directors running it are local and not just successful agents from nearby areas who expanded their business into your town.

Relevant experience

There's no point trying to list your three bedroomed semi detached with a property shop that specialises in country properties worth half a million and more. They may be willing to take the work on (anything for money when times are tough), but it's a waste of your time. Once an agency has a reputation for a certain kind of property, they will generally struggle to attract buyers searching for other kinds of property.

Right price

The worst thing you can do is pick a property shop that frequently overvalues homes. You'll spot these by the number of times they are forced to reduce the price of homes to get them to sell. When you get your house valued before putting it up for sale, get quotes form as many agents as you can, and pick one that quotes the average price. It's commonly thought that houses that have had a price reduction are less appealing to buyers, so it's a situation you should try hard to avoid.

Marketing methods

How will your chosen property shop ensure as many buyers as possible know about your house sale? Great marketing is key to getting your home sold efficiently and quickly. Look for an agent that advertises on all of the major internet property portals, as well as takes regular adverts in the local newspapers. The smartest agents also maintain lists of potential buyers, so new properties can be quickly marketed to willing buyers.

Membership of organizations

Agents don't have to belong to an organisation. But the most reputable will have joined a voluntary scheme. Look out for membership of the National Association of Estate Agents, or the guild of professional agents.

Cost of sale

How much will your property shop charge you to sell your home? You'll normally find it's a percentage charge of the final sale price. It might make more sense to your wallet to go with the agent that charges the least commission, but that route may not be the best for a quick sale. The less an agent earns on a property the more incentive there is for them to cut corners and do whatever it takes for a quick sale, including undervaluing your home. In life you get what you pay for, so be prepared to spend a little to get good service, an authentic agent, and a proper sale.
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