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What Should Your Estate Agent Be Doing For You?

May 20, 2008
When selling your house it is important to utilise the services of an estate agent; it is worth remembering however that an agent is there to make a profit. It is their job to ensure that properties are sold quickly in order to secure a rapid turnover. Subsequently, knowing how your estate agent will go about the sale of your property and understanding what functions they should be carrying out is advisable. Here is a brief description of the fundamental responsibilities of your estate agent.

When an agent has looked around your property it is their first task to find an appropriate figure for the asking price. whilst they should consult you in this process, ultimately it is the estate agent who will come up with the ballpark figure. In the property market, a house is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it; hence this valuation must take into account current market conditions and what similar properties in the area have sold for.

Necessarily it is important for your estate agent to fully understand the area and property prices for that region. It is sometimes the case that this asking price may be higher than the realistic price; this is all part of the bargaining process however. You do not have to take the valuation of the estate agent as gospel however; currently there is a wealth of property valuation websites that will give you an independent valuation of your house. These online property valuations use databases of properties nationwide to access the potential worth of a property; once again however these are purely a reference and should not be considered the final price you will receive.

One of the major functions of your estate agent is to publicise and market your property. They will normally take the photos of your house in order to show off its best features. With these photos it is the job of the agent to put them into a reasonable format that will be appealing to buyers. Modern agents should be able utilise a number of mediums in order to get your property out there. Most popular nowadays is the internet although the worth of local papers and the shop window should not be discounted.

It is also the responsibility of the estate agent to organise and manage the viewings of your property. This can be quite disruptive to your home life requiring you to leave the house quite often as well as trying to keep your house in an almost constant showroom state. Most viewings will take place at weekends and during the evening so be prepared to make allowances for those viewing your property. It is worth giving the agent a set of keys so they can gain access. Be wary however and make sure you completely trust your agent before you do this for security reasons.

Once an offer has been made on your property it is the job of the agent to broker the deal; it is they who should do the majority of the negotiating on your behalf. Most agents will charge around one to three percent of the final sale price so it is in their interest, and yours to get the best price possible.

While we have previously discussed the responsibilities of your estate agent you also have responsibilities. Fundamentally you need to study your contract with the agent in detail to gain a clear picture of the services that will be provided. As part of this you should also understand which services, if any, will require extra payment on your behalf. By following this advice you should be able to get the best from your agency and receive the best price possible for your house.
About the Author
Property expert Thomas Pretty looks into the responsibilities of your estate agent and the functions they should perform.
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