Selling your home is all about decisions - and making the right ones at the right time.
an estate agent is one of the most critical and can be the difference
between a quick sale for a good price and long, painful months of no
action before the reductions start.
But with so many
options available, how do you even begin to start sorting the wheat
from the chaff? As always at Whitegates, we are here to help...
SOLE OR MULTIPLE AGENT?
key decision for sellers is whether to market a property with one or
more agents. If you are looking to keep your commission payment down
then a sole agency agreement could be best, as most will agree to act
for a lower commission rate if they are the only agent marketing the
However, a multiple agency agreement
can be a good option for those looking for a quick sale - competition
can create something of a feeding frenzy and will often result in more
people through the front door to have a look around.
DRAW UP A SHORTLIST
Once you have decided on your best plan of attack when it comes to either a sole or multiple agent strategy,
draw up a list of potentials. Personal recommendations still count for a
lot, even in these days of online reviews and sites like Trustpilot, so
ask family, friends and neighbours for their thoughts on agents in the local area.
Do the agents on your shortlist have experience of selling properties
like yours? The easiest way to find out is to take a look at the homes
for sale in their windows. While you're there, are the pictures
professional and the adverts well presented with clear and concise
FIND OUT MORE
Once you have decided on
a shortlist of agents, find out their standard terms and conditions.
Check the tie-in period for peace of mind as if things don't work out,
the last thing you will want is to be tied into long-term sole agency
GET YOUR CHOSEN FEW TO COME OVER
you have three or four shortlisted agents, invite them to your property
to conduct a valuation. As well as getting an idea of the property's
value, a home visit will give you an opportunity to scope out the agent
Find out what their viewing policy
is and whether they will accompany potential buyers if and when you are
out. What is their track record for selling homes like yours and
achieving asking prices?
Ask them about the
reasons behind their valuation when they have supplied it and find out
what they would do if the property was not selling as quickly as
And most importantly, are they open
at weekends? A surprising number of agents only open between Monday and
Friday, severely limiting the number of people who could view your
CONSIDER YOUR OWN VALUATION
yourself into what similar properties in the area are selling for. That
way, you can measure the agents' valuations against your own
perception. Some agents will provide an overly optimistic valuation to
convince you to market with them, before talking you down a few weeks
into the process.
WHAT IS AN ACCEPTABLE COMMISSION FIGURE?
agents will charge between 1% and 2.5% + VAT of the sale price for a
sole agency agreement. The fee calculation often excludes VAT so add on
an extra 20% when you do your sums. For a £300,000 sale, for instance,
the commission with VAT added would work out between 1.2% and 3% - so
£3,600 to £9,000 in real money.
If you have spoken
to all the agents on your shortlist, try to get them competing on cost -
it could save you a considerable amount in the long run.
HOW WILL THEY MARKET YOUR HOME?
Make sure your chosen agent or agents list your property on the big online portals: Rightmove and Zoopla.
top of that, will your home be marketed in traditional media like the
local newspaper and will it feature in the window of the branch?
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Make sure the fee you are paying your agent or agents includes
marketing like 'For Sale' boards and property information forms.
Ensure your fee is only payable on a completed sale. Some agents'
agreements include clauses like 'payment upon finding a ready, willing
and able purchaser'. This could mean you still have to pay the agent
even if the sales process collapses.
- Make sure your agreement is
limited by time, usually 12 weeks. That way, if you are unhappy, you
can change agents after three months.
REMEMBER YOU ARE IN CONTROL
an estate agent to sell your home is YOUR decision and remembering that
the agent is working for and acting on behalf of YOU is rule number
... AND FINALLY
Do you get on with your agent or agents? A lot of your decision can be based around gut feeling. Do you trust them?
most importantly, read the contract in its entirety. If there is
something in the text that is unclear, ask. If you are unhappy, don't
Remember, YOU are in control.
If you are thinking about selling your property, your local Whitegates branch
are here to help. You can also download our Guide to Selling
to find out more about how Whitegates can get you moving.