Choosing the right real estate agent to sell your home is more important than it ever was. Asking about their experience with the local market is crucial. Likewise, you must ask about the marketing strategy they will put in place to sell your home.
To be able to make a final decision in choosing the right real estate agency, it helps to draw up a shortlist. To do this, we suggest the following:
Ask family and friends. It always helps to have personal recommendations about customer service and professionalism.
Read online reviews. Google reviews are impartial. Beware of biased testimonials placed directly on an agency’s website.
Check out articles in newspapers and industry publications. What do property experts say about the agency? Has the agency received any industry awards? How consistent and honest are the agency’s comments in the media?
Check the calibre of an agency’s website. How professional are the images? How well written is the copy? How updated and relevant is the content? Do they offer market information and guidance on selling and buying?
For sellers, some extra elements can help:
Make sure the estate agent has experience of selling similar properties and working with the area’s typical buyer profile.
Find out about their terms and conditions, in particular their standard commission rates for both exclusivity and non-exclusivity as well as the typical tie-in period.
What is their viewing policy? Do agents always accompany potential buyers when you are not at home?
Once you have drawn up a shortlist (three is probably the optimum), invite estate agents to your home to discuss conduct a valuation and to also ask them further questions such as:
How quickly do they sell homes? What’s their track record with achieving the asking price?
What factors did they take into account when valuing the property?
If the property did not sell quickly, what would their next steps be?
Are they open at weekends and do they do evening visits?
Decide when is the best time to sell. Maybe it would be better to wait when there are more buyers around depending on the demographics of the area.
Sellers need to be comfortable with the way their homes are marketed. You need to be crystal clear about what the agency’s approach is and crucially if there are any extra costs involved.
Which portals are they are using? Do they use both reputable national and international ones?
Do they use features such as virtual tours and property brochures to showcase your home?
Where else do they advertise properties? National and international magazines or newspapers?
Do they promote homes using a PR strategy?
Who are their collaborators and partners? And how do they help to further publicize your property?
When you decide on which agency to use to market your home, sellers will be bound by their terms and conditions, so make sure you read the contract thoroughly, looking out for issues such as:
Basic marketing such as “For Sale” signs and professional photos are included in the commission fee.
What is the situation if a seller finds a buyer directly?
What is the time limit on the contract? For exclusivity, it is normally a maximum 6-month period and for non-exclusivity it is a rolling 12-month contract. If out of contract, and the agency subsequently finds a buyer, contracts normally state that the seller is obliged to pay the commission fee.
Get in touch with our local experts to make your home sale a success.