6 Questions to ask when choosing your estate agent
Congratulations! You’ve decided to put your home up for sale. Now you have the difficult choice in deciding which estate agents to ask out. No doubt you eager to know how much your home is worth. But which agent do you choose to sell it? The one which values it the highest? The one which charges least? Or maybe the one which you feel most confident with?
Over the past 14 years I have been valuing property, I have been asked a whole range of questions. Here are my tops ones, all asked in the past 3 months. If you can think of any better ones, please let me know. I’d love to hear!
1. Have you sold many homes like mine in this area recently?
It is always advisable to choose an estate agent which actually sells property like yours in you area. Ask them to show you what they have recently sold and how long it took. The likelihood is that they could very well have a buyer who missed out on a previous one. A prime example is a house we have recently sold on Windsor Avenue. It sold in 3 days. We had lots of interest. When Shrewsbury Drive came up for sale (2 streets away) we had a ready made waiting list of people to call. That house had several offers. It also sold in days.
2. How many buyers do you currently have registered on your system who maybe interested in my home or looking in my area?
An estate agents mailing list is like his/ her bible. An agent without one or indeed a very small one, can only hope that by advertising a buyer will find your house. We call them sit, hope and wait agents. Agents who have lots of registered current buyers should know what their buyers are looking for. They will be able to contact them to let them know straight away that your home may just suit them. Out last 4 sales were all from buyers on our mailing list. All sold in under 3 weeks.
3. Where do you advertise?
Everybody wants to make sure that their home is getting advertised but you really should check where they are advertising and how. Not all estate agents are the same and the packages that they offer can vary greatly. Also check out their own website. How does it compare to other estate agents. Do they use social media and to what extent (check out our Facebook page) You can also see easily there how they are actually selling! Cheeky but it will give you the confidence that they are selling property.
4. What do you think the key selling points of my home are?
I was asked this question last week. I liked it. I was able to demonstrate to the lady my knowledge but also this lady owner could see I understood her home. I could see what made it both special to her and what would appeal to the next buyer. I told her what I liked about the property. I could explain how we would market the home to capture the next owners imagination. Your chosen agent needs to know your home. There is nothing worse than being shown around home and the agent has no idea or can’t answer your questions. Make a mistake here and it could end up costing you £1000’s.
5. How many people are in your team?
I think this question is important. A single person maybe very good but realistically there is only so much work any one person can do no matter how good they are. At JDG we have dedicated viewers, dedicated valuers and a dedicated office team. There’s actually nine of us. Small teams will struggle to fit viewings in their diaries. In some agencies, the valuer, also views and photographs the houses. Your home needs full attention. If a potential viewer cant see your home when they want, there is a strong possibility they will view something else and you’ll miss out. Make sure your agent as the time for you!
6. Why should I choose your agency?
Why should you choose me? What makes us so different and special? I have some great answers to this. I’m not going to tell you now but when we meet, please ask me, it’s my favourite question. A little tip though. If an agent answers because they are cheap or because they advertise on Rightmove, it’s not really a good enough answer. All agents should be on Rightmove. And quite often cheap means expensive. After all if they can’t negotiate a fair fee for themselves, imagine what they will be like negotiating on your behalf!
Ask these 6 questions and you should be able to quickly work out the agent which is perfect for you. You need to be able to work closely with your agent. It really can make a great difference. Give it a go. You’ll be surprised!
If you are already up for sale or indeed considering selling your home, please give us call. We give all of our clients free moving advice designed on getting you the best price in a time frame to suit you. Call us on 01524 843322 for Lancaster, or our Morecambe team on 01524 409100