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Why A Logical Approach Is Key When Choosing Estate Agents

Aug 9, 2008
Living and moving house in London can be an extremely expensive and troublesome affair. Thankfully estate agents in the capital can help to find the right properties whilst also helping you to find suitable buyers. London has so many different types of property and distinct areas that the local knowledge provided by estate agents can be invaluable. How else are you supposed to know about the local nightlife, schools and shopping facilities? Ultimately the power of local knowledge is highly desirable. When selecting estate agents however there are a number of factors to consider; here are some of the most important:

Firstly you will get what you pay for when hiring estate agents. Just because an agency quotes you the lowest price, it does not mean that they will be able to supply you with the best deal. Fees are naturally an important consideration but should not be the most important; ultimately you want to receive the best service, even if this means paying a little more. Fees are always negotiable and it is always advisable to haggle for the best price, however try to remember that the less you pay the less effort the agent will devote to your cause. Fundamentally it is about balancing cost against service.

As with most serious considerations it is always advisable to take a great deal of time and care reading over the small print in the contract. One of the important factors is the time period you will be tied to the agent for; around six weeks is normal, any longer is rarely advisable. As well as the temporal factors, clauses such as 'sole-selling' agreements should be avoided. These will limit your opportunities to use as many agents as possible in your selling efforts.

That said using multiple estate agents is not always the best idea, in London there are so many services it is easy to think that more agents will mean a faster and more profitable sale. This is not always the case however; there is an element of "too many cooks" syndrome arising, the result being absolute chaos. It is possible to find a balance if the agents can work well together and for some sellers using the multiple agency approach has worked extremely well.

It is sometimes the case that we will judge an agent as soon as we meet them. While first impressions can be important they are not always the best guidance when making logical and sensible choices. Ultimately after you have met a host of agents and weighed the pros and cons of each it will be time to make the decision of which to use. You can weigh an agent's ability by looking at their past record and assessing the average time of sales and percentage they may take. Try not to buy into sales technique and keep a clear head and you should be able to secure the right service.

Of vital importance once you have hired an estate agent is to communicate with them on a regular basis. In the same vein your agent should be able to reciprocate your efforts and fundamentally should always be in contact. Having an agent that will inform you of changes as they happen is the ideal situation; once again your choice of agent is essential in finding one that can communicate effectively.

Hopefully this advice should make the process of buying and selling property that little bit easier. If you remember to keep a methodical approach at all times and realise the importance of local knowledge you should be able to move happily with the minimum of stress.
About the Author
Real estate expert Thomas Pretty looks into how estate agents London services can help buy and sell property by providing unique local knowledge.
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