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Selling a Property? 10 Questions to Ask Estate Agents

When you’re selling your home, the best person to get vital information from is your estate agent.

Your agent should also be able to provide you with key information about your contract, how they’ll sell your home and their experience in the local area.

Finding out all of this means asking the right questions, so here are 10 things you should definitely ask your estate agent when selling your home…

Questions to ask estate agents when selling

1. How much is your commission?

If you’re selling your property, then you’ll certainly want to know what the services of an estate agent will cost.

Often, estate agent fees will vary depending on the type of contract you go for.

Most of the time, agents recommend a sole agency contract and this can often result in the best value commission percentage for you as a seller.

Once you’ve asked the question, find out everything you’ll be getting for your money and speak to more than one agent for a valuation and price.

2. When do I have to pay you?

Most traditional estate agents are paid their commission when your property is sold.

But with online agents offering fixed fee options that are payable up front, it’s worth checking with your agent when they will require payment.

Most up-front payments are due regardless of whether or not your property is actually sold, so factor this in when considering your options.

3. Are there other costs involved?

It’s important for you to be certain what you’ve been quoted as a commission is what you will actually pay when your property is sold.

So, ask the agents you speak to about any additional costs.

Added extras could include professional photos, virtual tours, premium listings or drawing up floorplans, so make sure all of these marketing costs are included in your commission quote.

Agents will often charge for Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), too, so ask them about this if your property needs an updated EPC – you can’t sell it without a valid one!

4. What kind of contracts do you offer and how long will I be tied in for?

It’s important to know, as a seller, what kind of contract you’ll be signing with your chosen estate agent.

This will often impact on your commission rate and can also see you tied into one agent for, sometimes, longer than you would like.

So, ask your agent to explain each contract option in detail.

These could include:

Sole selling rights: The agent is the only person permitted to sell your property during a certain timeframe.

Multi-agency: You can put your property up for sale with more than one agent and you only pay commission to the one that sells it. This contract usually means a higher fee.

Sole agency: This is the same as ‘sole selling rights’ but one major difference is you don’t have to pay the agent’s fee if you find a buyer yourself.

Often your estate agent contract will see you tied in for a period of time.

Sole agency contracts, for example, often last for up to 16 weeks, during which time you cannot use another agent to sell your property – even if you are unhappy with the service you are receiving.

Ask your agent about any tie-in periods and if there are fees for withdrawing early from your contract

And as with the commission fee, don’t be afraid to negotiate when it comes to tie-in periods.

5. How will my property be marketed?

It’s 2021 and we’re fully into the digital age.

So, ask your agent how they intend to market your property.

If the words ‘Rightmove’, ‘Zoopla’ or ‘OnTheMarket’ aren’t included in their answer then your alarm bells should be ringing.

But they should also be marketing your home to their database of potential buyers, as well as using social media to attract buyers.

6. Have you sold any similar properties in my area?

When choosing an estate agent to sell your home, one thing you should definitely be looking for is experience and a good track record of selling properties like yours.

Ask your agent about the kind of properties they’ve sold in your area and the prices they achieved for homes like yours.

7. Why have you valued my home at that figure?

Your estate agent’s valuation of your home will go a long way to helping you decide an asking price.

So, ask your agent to explain the reasons why they’ve reached the valuation figure they have.

Many factors will influence the valuation of your home, including the current market conditions and demand for similar properties.

Your agent should be able to back up their valuation with data, as well as experience.

8. Am I selling at the right time?

You’ll have your own reasons for wanting to sell your home at a specific time, but you should ask your agent’s opinion.

Your agent should be aware of current market conditions and will be able to advise if it’s the right time for you to put your home on the market.

For example, if there are lots of sellers coming to market, that could mean increased competition, but if there is high demand for properties like yours, they’ll be able to explain this and provide you with all the information you need to make a decision.

9. Is there anything I can do to make my property more appealing to buyers?

An experienced estate agent will know the kinds of properties buyers are looking for and the key things that could help your own home stand out from the crowd.

Ask your agent if there’s anything they would recommend you do to give your home a better chance of selling quickly.

This could include redecorating or revamping certain areas of your home or removing certain items to help show off your space.

10. Can you recommend other services I can use?

As well as finding a good estate agent, you’ll also need a solicitor and potentially a removals firm when selling your home.

Finding an agent who is able to recommend specialist companies to look after your conveyancing and move will not only save you time searching, but it could also mean a quicker sales process if your agent has a relationship with other people involved in the transaction.

Further reading…

Getting your home prepared for buyers to view can really help it stand out from the competition – find out everything you can do in our handy guide.

And if you’re moving home, check out our tips on how to save money.

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