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The Responsibilities Your Estate Agent Should Be Able To Fulfil

Apr 26, 2008
When selling your house making the choice of estate agent can be difficult. Getting this selection wrong can be extremely detrimental to the sale of your property, costing you both time and money. While this advice is in no way all encompassing it acts as a brief advisory tool for those selling their property. Hopefully it will allow the reader to select the right estate agent and receive value for money and a speedy sale.

First and foremost a major concern should be the operating hours of your estate agent. Many agencies will shut at around five in the evening which can be a problem if you work all day. As a result, finding an estate agent that stays open until later in the evening can be advisable. Obviously weekends are an extremely busy time in the property market so make sure your agent is open at least Saturday and preferably all day Sunday. It is also worth asking who will be on duty over the weekend as full time staff are usually more efficient than part timers.

When selecting your agent have a look at the way their pay structure is formulated. Advisably you want an agent that operates on a 'no sale no fee' structure. This put simply means that the agent is paid on results. It also means that you will not have to pay anything until the successful sale of the property is evident.

Look at the means of advertising that your estate agent will employ. The exposure of your property is of vital concern and should be one of your highest priorities. The agency you use should have a regular page in a local newspaper and preferably more than one. Added to the shop window, they should also utilise the internet effectively to market your property to the largest possible audience. The fees for this advertising should form part of their fees.

When it comes to the pricing of your property your agent should be well informed on the current housing market and the prices that similar properties in the area have sold for. The price that is given to your property is extremely important to the chances of a sale. Over valuation can harm the sale by putting buyers off while an undervaluation may leave you with less funding than you had initially hoped for.

Another important consideration is how the estate agent contacts possible buyers. Most should have a computerised database of buyers that may be interested in your type of property to achieve ultimate efficiency. By asking how many buyers they already have on their database who may be interested in properties like yours is important to evaluate how much interest will be generated. It is down to the agent to contact these buyers and secure a viewing of your property.

Finding an estate agent that can communicate with you effectively of feedback from viewings will help the sale of your property. An efficient operator will keep you up to date with regular contact on any developments. It is not just information on viewings; they should be able to provide you with information on the response to the advertising campaign and the number of buyers who may be interested.

Once you have experienced initial success and a sale has been agreed, your agent should be able to pursue this vigorously. Currently it is estimated that almost a third of sales fall through so enquiring about the procedures that occur when a sale has been agreed is an important question to ask.

While this advice is in no way a complete guide, it gives property sellers some idea of the responsibilities that an estate agent should be performing. If your agent is failing to fulfil these tasks it may be worth finding a new one.
About the Author
Property expert Thomas Pretty looks at the responsibilities your estate agent should fulfil to aid the sale of your house.
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