Making the big decision to sell your home is only the very first step in a lengthy and sometimes confusing process. As a homeowner, you will want a smooth, hassle-free sale and the very best price for your property, and a lot of this depends on the estate agent you choose.
Working with an estate agent when selling your home can make the whole process easier and more manageable as they are professionals in the property market. Properly dealing with your estate agent can maximise your chances of having an effective sale. Whether this is your first time selling or you’ve got some experience under your belt, there are a few things you should know before you begin working with your agent.
Finding The Best Estate Agent For The Job
Before you can begin the process of selling, you first need to choose the right estate agent to work with. This is one of the biggest decisions to be made when selling a home, and ultimately can result in your sale being a success or not. Separating the good estate agents from the bad isn’t always easy, but there are a few things to bear in mind:
- Recommendations: One of the first things you should do when looking for an estate agent is asking friends and family for any recommendations from their own experiences. Personal feedback can be extremely valuable as you can hear first hand what an agent is like to work with. Also, look for online reviews and testimonials from other sellers that have used an estate agents’ services recently.
- Valuations: Ask a handful of estate agents to visit your home and give a valuation. These valuations might not be exact but will take into account their own experience of the current property market and the local area. Bear in mind, that some estate agents are known to give optimistic valuations in the hope that you will think they can get you a higher price than others.
- Local Knowledge: Always choose estate agents that have a thorough knowledge of the local area. They will know first-hand which neighbourhoods sell well and which can be a struggle. On top of this, they will understand the current local property market, how popular an area is and what kind of prices to expect.
When you are speaking with estate agents, be sure to ask them a lot of questions to find out as much as you can about their services. Ask about their typical sales times, track record and any accreditations they may have.
Checking The Property Marketing
As soon as you have chosen which estate agent to work with, they will arrange for property photos, floorplans and particulars to be completed. The images used to sell your property are one of the most important aspects to consider, as they are what buyers will use to decide if they want to see a property in person.
Before the photographs are taken you will need to ensure your house is looking its very best. Ask your estate agent for their advice and recommendations on how to best present your home for photographs. They will have the experience to know what works well and what doesn’t so tap into this knowledge to get the best from your home.
The estate agent will either arrange for a professional photographer to take the photos and draw up floorplans, or they will do this themselves. They will also write up the description of your home, including all the important details that buyers will look out for.
Before they begin marketing your property, they should ask you to check over all of these things and sign off that you are happy with them. If you have any issues or would like to make changes to the photos or property particulars, then be sure to let them know and do not sign off until you are in agreement and satisfied with the information.
If your estate agent does not offer to let you see the photos and ask your opinions, then ask to see them before they are used. You will be able to agree on which will be used and which shouldn’t. Some estate agents are also happy for you to take your own photos if you prefer, so ask if this is an option. Remember, however, that a professional will have the equipment to increase the light and improve the look of your home compared to a standard camera.
Staying In Touch And Tracking Your Progress
Once your home has been listed, it is often just a case of waiting and letting the estate agent do their job. They will likely be in touch to arrange viewings as soon as some buyers are interested, and your estate agent will be able to give you advice on how to prepare for these viewings. Consider if you want to be at home for viewings or if you would prefer to provide your estate agent with a set of keys and allow them to conduct viewings whilst you are out.
It is essential that you stay in close contact with your agent throughout the viewing process and as offers begin coming in. Ask them to provide you with regular updates on the progress of the sale and if you haven’t heard from them for a while then don’t feel like you can’t chase them up.
As soon as an offer has been made and you are happy to accept it, that does not mean the deal is done, or the process is nearly over. From this point there are multiple things your estate agent should be doing, including liaising with the buyers, solicitors and surveyors.
Keep in regular contact with your estate agent in order to track the progress of the sale, and if things seem to be taking longer than expected then ask your agent to chase up all parties involved.
Always remember that the estate agent is working for you and that you are their client. Every decision to be made is ultimately down to you, and while they may offer their advice, you should always be in control.