How to choose an estate agent

Confused about how to pick a good estate agent? Lisa Preston of Hunters Estate Agents on Teesside gives us step-by-step tips to ensure you find the right one for you…

Ask for recommendations
Studies have shown what many of us have known for years — there is nothing more powerful than personal recommendations. Asking your friends and family who have moved recently, or even your work colleagues can shed some light on who they sold with and how good their experience was.

Check industry credentials
All estate agencies now have to either be members of The Property Ombudsman or The Surveyors Ombudsman Scheme. These bodies make sure that agencies are held to a consistent standard and that you, as a customer, receive a good service.
This information is almost always available on an agency’s website so you don’t even need to set foot through the door. Hunters go beyond this by having our own training standards, something we call The Hunters Difference.

Get multiple opinions – but never lie
A second or even third opinion is always a good thing. This way, you can compare valuations and figure out what your home is really worth.
It is up to you whether you tell the second or third valuer what the other prices you have been given are, but there is one thing you should always remember here – never lie.
Aside from just being a good rule for general life, lying about the other valuations you have been given will often not positively affect the valuation you’re given; it will just slow the whole process down.

Investigate the small print
If you haven’t already found out about your proposed agency’s history, this is the time to do it.
How long have they been selling properties similar to yours?
How long does it usually take?
What advertising methods will the agency use?
Are they relying solely on online advertising, or do they have an office too, and what about newspaper adverts? The more modes of advertising that are being used, the greater coverage your home will get.
Who is responsible for the viewings? A Hunters representative will accompany every viewing so you don’t have to worry about uninterested parties wandering around your house or turning up unannounced.

Terms and conditions
Feel free to ask questions. Before you sign anything you should always understand what’s going on. If you have any queries, always feel free to ask.

Evaluate performance
After a time, have a look at how your listing is performing, and ask for feedback from your agent.
If you’ve had no viewings, or if you’ve had some viewings but no offers, your agent can help you figure out what going’s on. If the price needs adjusting, or if you need to restage an area of your home, your agent will be able to help you get things moving along.

 

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