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Responsibilities That Your Estate Agent Should Undertake

Apr 16, 2008
When most people decide to buy or sell their property it is usually common practice to utilise the services of an estate agent. But so many do not realise what duties an estate agent is supposed to perform, how they extract their funds or how you, the consumer can get the best service. Here is a brief guide to the work of estate agents and how those selling or buying property can get the best deal.

It is important to realise that not every estate agent will have professional qualifications, these qualifications are however available should the estate agent wish to undertake them. Unlike say, a chartered surveyor, an estate agent does not need to be regulated and officially qualified to operate. Hence it is possible for a person with little or no experience to start business as an estate agent without any semblance of training. It is usually worth pursuing those agents who have some form of professional qualification.

There are a variety of qualifications that are worth looking out for if you are in the process of selling or buying property. An estate agent may have an NVQ level two or three in the 'Sale of Residential Property' or a technical award regulated by the National Association of Estate Agents. If your estate agent has neither it does not necessarily mean that they are under-qualified but it is always worth checking their levels of experience and training before signing any contracts.

So what services should your estate agent provide? There are a number of services that should fall under the control of the agent; here is an outlay of these services. After looking at your property it is the agent who should come up with an asking price in consultation with yourself. This price should be gained by comparing your property with similar properties on the market in your area. It should also be competitive as having too high an asking price can lead to buyers being reluctant to put in an offer on your property.

This valuation is not the same as that of a chartered surveyor. An estate agent will arrive at a potential price for the type of property you own in the current market conditions. This valuation will not be accepted by lenders as a cast iron price and will usually demand the valuation of a chartered surveyor in order to release funds for a mortgage.

The estate agent is also responsible for the marketing and publicising of your property. This includes the photography of your home and the literature that accompanies the advert. The usual methods of publicising a property are window sale boards, newspaper articles as well as more contemporarily the internet.

Your estate agent should also manage the viewings of your property. This includes organising the appointments with buyers at suitable times. The times that viewers are available can often be inconvenient, so be prepared to give up the occasional evening to allow potential buyers around your home.

Most importantly it is your agent that brokers the deal. They must manage the offers and consult with you over the accepting price as well as keep the potential buyers well informed. This where it is important to find an estate agent that keeps in contact readily, if you have to constantly chase down an estate agent it is rarely worth employing their services.

By following this advice it should be possible to get a good idea of what an estate agent is supposed to do. If your agent is not fulfilling their duties it may be worth employing the services of another. After all, moving house is a stressful enough experience already, the agency is supposed to take some of this stress away. If they are not, find a new agent who will perform the tasks outlined above.
About the Author
Property expert Thomas Pretty looks into the responsibilities your estate agent should perform to aid the sale of your property.
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