Selling your home is a huge decision. Not only is it probably the most valuable asset you have financially, homes are also deeply personal. So when you decide to sell, you want to make sure that you work with somebody you trust.
There are a lot of different estate agents out there and it’s totally normal to have a few valuations to get a sense of who is the right person to sell your property. You might want to make the decision based on numbers — some estate agents are more expensive than others (although we sell your home for free, but that’s just because we like to keep things simple). But you also want to consider the feel and fit of the agent. Do you find them easy to talk to? Do they seem honest and upfront?
If you want a little guidance, here are eight questions you should ask your estate agent to decide if they’re the right choice for you.
What are your fees?
Money that you might be spending on estate agent fees is money that could be going to your new home, so it’s important to know how much you’ll be spending. Make sure to ask what’s included and, if they have any materials, read the fine print. Some charge you whether you sell or not — some charge upfront, some you’ll pay later.
We sell homes for free, but some estate agents hide their fees, so you might have to do a little digging. We’re always upfront about being free.
How will you communicate?
Selling your home can be stressful, so you want to make sure they’re available. Do they readily offer up their mobile? Do they have strict office hours? You want to make sure there will be a human voice when you need it.
Is the property ready to sell?
Your estate agent should feel like a teammate and a guide. Ask them if they have any suggestions for the property — not only should they share their wisdom and experience, you can see if you have a similar vision.
What will the asking price be?
This is probably the most important part of the valuation — figure out how much they think the asking price should be. They may want to go in with a high figure but accept a lower one, they may want to price it competitively but not leave any wiggle room for negotiations. A common trick is to offer a higher price than they can’t actually achieve — and lower the price later — so pay attention if it seems too good to be true.
What other houses do you have on the market in this bracket?
Seeing what else the estate agent has for sale and how successful they’ve been moving similar properties can be really useful. You want to take a close look at what they’ve actually sold and how much they’ve sold for. You’ll be able to gauge their experience and get a sense of the market in your area.
How quickly can you sell?
Everyone wants to know how fast their property will sell — and the truth is, there’s no definite answer. Anyone who promises they can sell quickly is fibbing, at least a little bit. But you’ll get a sense of how realistic and experienced the estate agent is — and that’s very important.
Can you recommend a conveyancer?
Most estate agents will know of some conveyancers they can recommend to help with the legal side. They often get a referral fee if you use their service (we do — and we’ll always let you know when that’s happening). Make sure to ask for quotes — our conveyancing service is a flat-rate fee, but not everyone is so transparent.
Where will you list?
Property sales have gone digital, so you want to make sure your agent is too. Not only should they list on the biggest names — like Rightmove and Zoopla — you should get a sense that they know how to market for your area specifically. It’s not just about being listed on the portals, you want to make sure they know how to use them to get buyers through the door.
Your relationship with your estate agent is an important one, so it’s not something you want to take lightly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure you find the right fit. Ultimately, it’s about trust.