How to sell your house Estate agents and finding the best
Choosing an estate agent to sell your house quickly and for the best price can be complicated. Some will offer you low fees or give an impressively high property valuation, but these can be red flags.
We've pulled together our own expert knowledge and tips from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and property guru Kate Faulkner, to bring you the top five things to think about when choosing an estate agent in our two-minute video.
Video guide: five tips for finding the best estate agent
Go down to the bottom of the page to download our free checklist of questions to ask your estate agent before signing up to their services.
How to research estate agents
It's really important to spend some time researching local agents. You should be looking for an agent that is experienced in selling property like yours - they will have a good pool of potential buyers and know what they are looking for in a property.
Look in the local newspaper or online but also drive or walk around your area to see which agents are marketing other flats and houses in your neighbourhood.
It's also a good idea to speak to friends, family members and neighbours to see if they can recommend an estate agent.
Once you've identified the companies selling properties similar to yours, visit their offices. To get a real idea of how hard they'd work to sell your property if you were to market with them, pretend to be a buyer interested in properties like your own and see how helpful the staff are.
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Choosing the best estate agent
Try to make a shortlist of three good agents as this gives you a decent range of views, and invite each to give you a property valuation. Although of course getting a good selling price will be top of your list, don't automatically go with the agent that offers you the highest valuation - they may be overvaluing your property in order to get your business.
Make sure you check exactly what services they offer and whether you will have to pay extra for them, for example:
- Will they conduct viewings, or will you need to?
- What marketing materials will they prepare? For example, floorplans, photographs or virtual online tours
- Where will they advertise? For example, newspapers, online property websites?
- Will they provide a 'for sale' board?
Make sure you confirm which property portals they will advertise your property on. Zoopla and Rightmove are by far the most popular property listings websites but a new portal called OnTheMarket.com launched in early 2015.
OnTheMarket.com is owned by a consortium of high street estate agents who want to disrupt the market dominance of Zoopla and Rightmove. If your agent has signed up to list properties with OnTheMarket.com they will only be allowed to list properties on one or the other of Zoopla or Rightmove (this is a contractual condition stipulated by OnTheMarket). If you're not comfortable with this then you will need to choose a different estate agent.
Find out more: Which? Mortgage Advisers (0808 252 7987) is an unbiased service which will find the best mortgage for your personal circumstances
Estate agent checklist
Our free checklist gives you a comprehensive list of questions to ask an estate agent - with space to make notes as well - before hiring them to sell your property. Click the image below to the download the free PDF checklist.
Know your rights: Can I instruct more than estate agent at the same time? - our guide explains all
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