Top 7 Questions to ask When Choosing an Estate Agent

Oct 03

Top  7 Questions to ask When Choosing an Estate Agent

The choice of an estate agent is crucial when selling your property. This is because they are going to handle a huge transaction on your behalf. As such, you need to ensure that you settle for the best estate agent possible. To do this, you need to research about the estate agent, review their profile as well as record of sale and even ask for references. One of the ways to do this is by asking questions.

Here are some top questions you need to ask when choosing an estate agent to sell your property:

  • How much will you pay in estate agent fees?

Estate agents charge a percentage fee that ranges between 0.75% and 3.5% of the selling price you have agreed on. However, this is dependent on the type of contract that you will choose. It is advisable that you aim for a fee of 1% +VAT if you opt for a sole agency contract. This does not come easy so you must be ready to haggle.

  • What other costs will you pay?

It is important to establish upfront if there are any other costs associated with the sale of your property. Find out if you will be required to pay for the For Sale Board, 360 degree photos and floor plans. Even then, keep in mind that these costs are usually included in the percentage estate agent fee charged to you. You also need to find out about the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that id necessary before the house can be put on the market.

  • How will the estate agent market your property?

The ultimate goal of the estate agent is to sell your property, they want the commission and you need the sale. Therefore, you need to know how they are going to market your property. Some agencies claim to be quicker than others but the only real way of selling fast is by getting a we buy any house online quote. Remember, you need to sell the property within the agreed tie in period. Thus, be sure to find out if the platforms where the agent will advertise your property. In particular, find out the portal that can accommodate as much information as possible while optimizing the exposure of the property to as many prospective buyers.

  • What type of contract is suitable for you?

You will do well to understand the differences between the terms of the different contract types in order for you choose a contract that is suitable for you. The best way to do this is by carefully looking at the contract terms of each of the contract types and the implications that come with it. Only then can you make a decision on the contract that is best for you.

  • Does the contract have a tie-in period?

The majority of estate agents will include a tie in period in their contracts. Thus, you need to keep in mind that you may need to terminate the contract before the contract term expires. So you need to ensure that the contract explicitly give you the flexibility of termination without attracting a penalty. Feel free to negotiate the tie-in period as it tends to vary between 4 and 6 weeks.

  • Will you shoulder future liability when you take the property off the market to sell to another agent later?

Although this is ignored most of the time, it is important to find out the repercussions of taking the property off the market while you have signed up a contract with the estate agent. Some contracts allow estate agents to claim payment even when they did not sell the property or you sold the property long after you left the original contract. As such, it is important to read the contract carefully while being keen to understand if there is any continuing liability.

  • What if you disagree with the estate agent?

Here, you need to be careful to avoid being bullied into accepting a contract just to get the estate agent to feel good. Most importantly, ensure that there is mutual respect and that the agency has clearly outlines method of resolving disputes. If you disagree with them in any way in regards to the valuation they have set; be it because they have not taken into consideration your large garden, or failed to realize the expense you paid for max-top worktops in your kitchen, you need to resolve disputes quickly. This way, you can be sure to seek a solution in the event that anything goes wrong. In addition, ensure that the agency is either a member of The Property Ombudsman, the Ombudsman Services or The Property Redress Scheme that handle disputes that cannot be solved at estate agency level.

Before signing up with an estate agent to sell your property, it is important to have a closer look at the implications of the contract before signing it and the best way to do this is by asking these questions.