Choosing an estate agent – The number one UK guide for home sellers

  • By Dan Green, Home Selling Expert Founder
  • 4 minutes read

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I'm a property expert that still remembers the days when having broadband was a selling point! My articles cover issues that homesellers face in the UK and answer the questions we're all asking. I've bought and sold properties and helped others do the same, so my writing comes from years of experience.

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Hello! I’m Dan Green, and if you’re thinking about selling your home, one of the biggest decisions you’ll face is choosing the right estate agent. Making the right choice can not only add thousands to your sale price, but can also transform a potentially stressful experience into a smooth transaction.

Having been immersed in the UK property market for years, I’ve witnessed firsthand the pivotal role that a competent estate agent plays in navigating a sale. They’re more than just salespeople; they’re your strategic partners in negotiation, your advisors on market trends, and your advocates in transactions.

From personal experiences and countless interactions with homeowners and agents alike, I’ve gathered a wealth of insights into what makes a successful agent-client relationship; and what to look for as a red flag.

In this guide, we’ll go through everything you need to know to make an informed choice when choosing an estate agent; from understanding the fundamental role of estate agents, to evaluating their performance and ensuring they can meet your selling objectives.

Whether you’re selling your first home or your fifth, this guide will equip you with all the tools you need to find an estate agent who can meet (and hopefully exceed) your expectations.

So grab a cuppa, stock-up on biscuits and let’s get started…


What is an estate agent?

Let’s go back to basics and cover this question. In the UK, an estate agent plays a vital and multifaceted role in the property market, acting as an intermediary between sellers and buyers of properties.

These agents are pivotal figures in house sale transactions, possessing an array of responsibilities and skills that go far beyond simple sales tasks. Fully understanding the breadth of their duties and their importance in property transactions will make it clear why selecting the right estate agent is essential for a successful sale. So let’s now take a look at their roles…


Key roles and responsibilities of an estate agent

 

  1. Market analysis: One of the primary responsibilities of an estate agent is to assess current market conditions. This analysis is crucial as it helps when setting realistic and competitive prices for properties, which is the cornerstone of attracting serious and willing buyers. Agents should use a combination of online tools and their knowledge of local and national property trends to evaluate factors like the average selling time for similar properties, current economic indicators, and comparable market prices.
  2. Marketing and promotion: Estate agents should develop and implement strategic marketing plans tailored to each property. This includes listing the property across different platforms, both online and offline, to ensure it reaches a broad audience. Effective marketing might involve writing detailed and attractive property descriptions, using professional-grade photographs, and using social media campaigns, email marketing, and online advertising to get an audience excited about your property.
  3. Property viewings and client interaction: Agents actively manage the scheduling and conducting of property viewings, which are vital for showcasing your property to potential buyers. They provide responses to enquiries, highlight the features and benefits, and answer any concerns that prospective buyers might have. This hands-on interaction requires excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as estate agents need to effectively represent your interests.
  4. Negotiation: A skilled estate agent navigates the negotiation process with prospective buyers to secure the best possible price and terms for your sale. This involves a delicate balance of persuasive selling skills and firm negotiation tactics to achieve a price that works for both the buyer and you, the seller. Their expertise often extends to negotiating contract terms, ensuring that their clients are protected and that the conditions of the sale are clearly defined.
  5. Legal facilitation: The completion of any property transaction involves a significant amount of legal paperwork and compliance with regulatory requirements. Estate agents ensure that all legal documents are correctly handled, liaising with solicitors and other legal professionals as necessary, and guiding clients through the obligations that come with buying or selling a property.

The importance of choosing a skilled estate agent

Now, if you’ve read my other articles, you’ll know that I love a cup of tea and a biscuit. And for me, picking the right biscuit is one of the most important decisions to make. But, and if you know me you’ll understand the gravitas of what I’m saying here, choosing an estate agent is probably an even more important decision, due to the role they play in the dynamics of buying and selling properties. They serve as critical intermediaries, using their skills to navigate potential obstacles that can emerge, right through to the exchange. This section of the process is pivotal because it determines the smoothness and success of the transaction. Let’s look at what a skilled agent can bring to the party…


Critical contributions of a skilled estate agent

 

  1. Market analysis and pricing expertise: A skilled estate agent’s first important task is to accurately analyse market conditions and set an optimal asking price. This is not a simple estimation, or a case of plucking a figure out of the air, but it’s meant to be a strategic decision based on comprehensive market research, including recent sales of comparable properties, current market trends, and economic conditions. The right price point is essential as it attracts genuinely interested buyers, encourages competitive offers, and ensures the property doesn’t sit on the market for ages; something that could impact the property’s appeal.
  2. Facilitating negotiations: The ability to effectively negotiate is where a skilled estate agent truly shines. They bring to the table an understanding of human behaviour and negotiation tactics, which are crucial in achieving a favourable outcome for you as a seller. Their expertise ensures that offers and any counter-offers are handled strategically so that both sides are happy with the deal.
  3. Navigating legal complexities: The legal aspects of selling a property can be daunting, involving a myriad of documents, from contracts to disclosure statements. A proficient estate agent will have a thorough understanding of these legal requirements and will ensure that all paperwork is accurately completed. This not only helps to avoid potential legal pitfalls, but also streamlines the whole selling process, making it less stressful for both parties.
  4. Marketing and visibility: From high-quality photography and engaging virtual tours, to effectively using online platforms and social media, a skilled agent ensures that the property reaches the widest possible audience. Their marketing skills can significantly influence the speed and success of your sale.
  5. Client advocacy and support: Throughout the selling process, a knowledgeable estate agent acts as the seller’s advocate, offering advice and support. They understand the emotional and financial stakes involved and need to make the process as smooth as possible. By managing expectations and providing clear, continuous communication, they reduce the stress and make your life easier.

 

As you can see, the role of a great estate agent is multifaceted and requires a high level of professionalism and expertise. Their ability to manage these critical parts of the selling process makes them indispensable to both buyers and sellers.

Opting for the right estate agent is therefore not just about hiring a service provider; it is about forming a partnership with a professional who will effectively oversee one of the most significant transactions you are likely to undertake.

Choosing an estate agent that is professional and competent not only improves the probability of a successful transaction, but also means you’re more likely to actually get to the selling process.


Why choosing the right estate agent matters

As we’ve just seen, a skilled estate agent makes your sale much easier for you, but choosing an estate agent is also a choice that extends beyond mere transactional dealings; it’s about choosing a partner who will act in your best interests whilst you’re selling your property.

 

An experienced agent knows exactly what makes houses sell in your area. They can provide expert advice on how to enhance the presentation of your home, suggesting improvements to increase marketability and appeal. This could range from simple fixes like a fresh coat of paint to more significant enhancements like landscaping. Furthermore, they possess the skills to create compelling marketing materials; from high-quality photographs to engaging virtual tours and well-written property descriptions that captivate the right audience, ensuring your home doesn’t just get listed, but gets noticed.

 

Your estate agent also plays a critical role as your representative in negotiations. This means achieving not only a favourable sale price, but also favourable conditions on sale contingencies, deposit requirements, and timelines. Their ability to negotiate effectively without alienating potential buyers is key because it ensures that the deal moves forward for both parties.

But as well as that, a proficient agent ensures that the sale process is a smooth one. They should work with other professionals, including solicitors and mortgage advisors, to ensure that every step from the initial listing to the final closing is handled with care. Their proactive approach means that potential hurdles can be dealt with promptly, preventing costly delays or even the deal breaking down completely.

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On the flip side, choosing an estate agent who lacks this expertise and robust network can lead to several bad outcomes. Picking the wrong agent can result in your property lingering on the market, which not only slows down your future plans, but can also be financially damaging. Over time, a property that sits unsold may need to be discounted, which affects the overall profitability of your sale. Additionally, an agent who is not committed to your best interests might fail to negotiate effectively on your behalf, leaving you with unfavourable terms that could have been improved with more skilled negotiation.

 

In summary, the right estate agent is an indispensable partner in the sale of your home. Their ability to effectively assess and market your property, combined with their expertise in negotiations and process management, directly influences the success of your sale. Therefore, investing time in selecting the right estate agent is not just advisable; it’s imperative.

And that leads me nicely into our next section…

How to choose an estate agent: a step-by-step guide

Research local agents

When you’re thinking about selling your property, you might consider using local estate agents. After all, local agents are meant to possess a deep understanding of area-specific market dynamics. They are well-acquainted with the intricacies of your postcode area, including prevalent trends, the unique selling points of properties, and importantly, the demographics of buyers who are most likely to show interest in your home. Here’s a step-by-step guide to researching local agents…

Begin with local visibility: Start your search by looking at what’s going on in your road, and the neighbouring roads. You might want to go for a walk to help you spot ‘for sale’ and ‘sold’ signs. You need to be looking at these because they’re a strong indicator of the agents’ presence and effectiveness in the area. Make a note of which names appear most frequently and which ones display ‘sold’ signs relatively quickly after listing. This can be a good sign of an agent’s capability and popularity.


Explore online platforms
: In today’s digital age, a big part of property marketing occurs online. Therefore, I’d suggest that you visit property websites where local agents list homes and note how properties are presented. Are the listings compelling and well-detailed? Do the agents use professional-quality photos? Websites can also provide insights into how well agents market themselves and their listings, which is reflective of how they might handle your property.

Investigate agent performance and reputation: Once you’ve identified a few prominent local agents, it’s time to dig deeper into their professional background and reputation. Visit their websites to understand their marketing, learn about their services, and read through any case studies or success stories they share. Client testimonials are particularly telling, so look for comments on their professionalism, communication, and success.

Check social media engagement: Social media platforms are not just tools for marketing properties but are also indicators of an agent’s engagement level with clients. Review their social media profiles to see how active they are, the quality of content they post, and how they interact with their audience. Do they respond to comments promptly? Do they share valuable advice? Are they sharing reviews? This can tell you a lot about their approachability and dedication to providing valuable service.

Community forums and reviews: For a more unbiased insight, look-up the agents on community forums and review sites such as allAgents. You’ll find feedback from real clients who have interacted with the agents. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews to gauge reliability, trustworthiness, and client satisfaction levels. It’ll also help you to spot trends. If people are saying the same thing (for example, timekeeping), you’ll identify that’s an area where they’re not so strong.

By conducting thorough research on your local agents, you can build a list of potential candidates who not only have a strong presence in your area, but also display a commitment to quality service and client satisfaction.

Evaluate their credentials

Assessing the credentials of potential estate agents is important in determining their professionalism, expertise, and commitment to ethical practices. In the competitive UK market, the credentials and accreditations of an agent can provide key insights into their capability and reliability, making it easier for you to choose an estate agent. Let’s now look at professional accreditations and memberships…


Membership of professional bodies
: In the UK, the benchmark for professional practices is often set by memberships in recognised industry bodies. For example, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) is a mark of professionalism that signifies adherence to high industry standards. Agents who are NAEA members are required to follow a strict code of conduct and are committed to continuous professional development. That’s important because property market legislation is constantly evolving, so agents who actively engage in ongoing education and professional development are better equipped to navigate the complexities of the market. This not only enhances their service quality but also provides you with relevant advice.

Registration with an Ombudsman Service: It is also crucial to confirm that the estate agent is registered with an ombudsman service, such as The Property Ombudsman or the Property Redress Scheme. These provide sellers and buyers with an avenue for dispute resolution if you have a complaint that cannot be solved. Being registered with an ombudsman service ensures that the agent operates within the bounds of fair practices as well as guaranteeing that there is a recourse available should any disputes or grievances arise during the selling process.

Why credentials matter

Evaluating the credentials of estate agents is about ensuring that the professional you entrust with the sale of your property adheres to the highest standards of integrity, competence, and market knowledge. These qualifications mean that the agent is committed to ethical practices, is continually updating their professional knowledge, and has the skills to navigate any challenges that might arise during the sale of your home.

Ultimately, an agent’s credentials are a testament to their professionalism and the quality of service that you can expect to receive. They provide you, the seller, with peace of mind, knowing that your property transaction is in capable hands.

Interview potential agents

Once you’ve effectively narrowed down your list to a handful of estate agents, the next step in your selection process is to arrange interviews with each of your candidates. These interviews will provide you with direct insights into the agents’ communication styles, strategies, and overall suitability to represent your property sale.


Preparing for the interviews


Before the interviews, I’d suggest preparing a detailed set of questions to ask each candidate. These questions should cover a broad range of topics:

  • Sales track record: Ask about their recent sales in the area and the prices they have achieved, then ask how these figures compare to the market averages.
  • Marketing strategies: Discuss in detail their approach to marketing a property like yours. What unique strategies would they employ? How would they ensure your property will stand out in the market?
  • Communication style: How often do they communicate with their clients during the selling process? What methods (email, phone, in-person meetings) do they use? And are they reachable outside of business hours?
  • Sales platforms: Which platforms do they use to list and promote properties? Do they use major online portals and social media?
  • Buyer follow-up: What is their follow-up process with potential buyers after viewings? How do they gauge and nurture buyer interest?
  • Negotiation and closure: How do they handle negotiations? Can they provide examples of challenges they have faced in negotiations and how they overcame them?

These questions are designed to elicit detailed responses that will reveal not only the agents’ capabilities, but also their approach to handling different aspects of the sales process.

Conducting the interviews

During the interview, you’ll need to observe not just what the agents say, but how they say it. Are they confident and articulate? Do they speak with authority about the market and the selling process? Their ability to communicate effectively is a strong indicator of how they will interact with potential buyers and negotiate on your behalf.

Also, listen carefully to the strategies they propose for selling your home. Are these strategies tailored to your property and market conditions, or do they seem generic? A tailored approach suggests a deeper understanding of your specific needs.

And you’ll want to observe their professionalism during the interview. Are they punctual? Do they come prepared with information about your property or market insights? Their professionalism in these interactions often reflects how they will handle the process of selling your home.

Ultimately, these interviews should help you gauge whether an agent’s approach aligns with your expectations. It’s important that you feel confident in their ability to not only sell your home, but also manage the process smoothly and keep you informed every step of the way.

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Making your decision

These interviews are your opportunity to directly assess potential agents and determine which one is the best fit for your needs. Choosing the right estate agent is a decision that should be based on both their professional competencies and your comfort level with their style and approach. This careful vetting process will ensure that you select an agent who not only understands the market but is also committed to achieving the best possible outcome for your property sale.

Review their contract

Once you have selected a potential estate agent who seems to meet your needs, the next step is to thoroughly examine the contract. Here are some pointers on what to check…

Fee structure: Start by examining the fee structure. Estate agents can charge a fixed fee or a percentage of the sale price, and it’s vital to understand exactly what these fees cover, and how much you’ll need to pay. For example, are marketing and advertising costs included, or are they additional charges? Clarify anything about the fee structure that’s not clear to you so as to avoid unexpected (and unwelcome) costs later in the process.

Exclusive rights and agency period: Many estate agent contracts include an exclusivity clause, granting them the sole right to sell your property for a specified period. What’s the duration of the exclusivity period? What are the conditions if you want to terminate this exclusivity, and are there fees for doing so? It’s important to check that the duration of the contract works for you and your timeframes.

Length of the agreement: Pay close attention to the overall length of the agreement. Long-term contracts might lock you in with an agent longer than you want, particularly if your circumstances change or if you’re unsatisfied with the agent’s performance.

Conditions for changing agents: It’s important to consider your options if your home does not sell as quickly as expected, or if you are dissatisfied with the agent’s services. What conditions does the contract stipulate for terminating the agreement? Are there financial penalties or notice periods required? Having a clear exit strategy within the contract can give you peace of mind and flexibility.

You should never hesitate to ask for clarifications on anything in the contract that’s not clear. After all, this is a big commitment. You’re selling your most valuable asset, so if there’s anything that seems ambiguous or open to interpretation, ask the agent to provide a detailed explanation, preferably in writing, so that you can go over it in your own time.

Ultimately, you should feel confident and comfortable with the contract before signing it. Reviewing and understanding the terms can prevent potential misunderstandings and disputes later in the selling process. It ensures that you and your agent have a clear, shared understanding of what is expected from each party.

 

Check their marketing and sales techniques

Marketing your property effectively is one of the key roles of your estate agent so that your home stands out in a highly competitive property market. Here are some things to check…

Comprehensive marketing strategy: Initially, you might want to request a comprehensive breakdown of the agent’s marketing strategy. This plan should detail the various methods and channels that the agent will use. You can assess whether their approach is passive (merely listing your property on common platforms and hoping for the best), or active (involving targeted campaigns that reach potential buyers directly).


Quality of promotional materials
: The quality of the marketing materials can significantly impact the perceived value of your property. High-quality, professional photographs are essential because they are often the first impression potential buyers have of your property. Ask if the agent plans to use professional photographers and how they intend to showcase your home’s best features. Virtual tours and detailed floor plans are also great because they help potential buyers to visualise the space and layout of your home before visiting. Meanwhile, poor quality photos, or ones that don’t capture the best points, could mean there’s no interest in your property.

Innovation and creativity: Something else to ask is how the agent plans to make your listing get noticed. This could mean they use technology such as drone photography, 3D tours, or augmented reality experiences that allow potential buyers to walk through the space.

Digital and traditional marketing mix: Effective marketing uses both traditional and digital strategies. Traditional methods might include signage, flyers, and open house events, while digital strategies should cover a broad spectrum including listing your property on popular websites, using social media platforms for promotion, email marketing campaigns targeting potential buyers, and search engine optimisation (SEO) to increase the visibility of online listings.

Targeting the right audience: Understanding who your potential buyers are and tailoring the marketing strategy to reach this demographic is really important. Think of it like this; if you’re near a school with a great OFSTED rating, it’s going to appeal to young families. Therefore, you’ll want to ask the agent about their knowledge of the buyer demographics for your area and how they plan to target these potential buyers. This targeted approach ensures that marketing efforts are concentrated where they are most likely to yield results.

Visibility across platforms: Definitely do ask if the agent plans to list your property on multiple platforms to ensure maximum exposure. This should include the major property search websites, their own website, and possibly even some other platforms where potential buyers might visit.

Engagement and follow-up: Effective marketing doesn’t just attract attention; it engages potential buyers and encourages them to take the next step. Ask how the agent handles enquiries from interested parties. What is their follow-up process to ensure that any initial interest converts into actual viewings and, ultimately, offers? And do they follow-up afterwards with buyers that want some thinking time, thus making sure that all leads are chased up?

Reviewing and adjusting the strategy: Marketing needs to be dynamic, with strategies adjusted based on what is most effective for that time and situation. Ask the agent how they plan to track the effectiveness of different marketing techniques and their willingness to adapt the strategy based on market response.

By thoroughly checking your estate agent’s marketing and sales techniques, you are ensuring that your property is not only seen by a wide audience, but is also presented in a way that maximises its appeal and encourages potential buyers to make an offer. This step is crucial for attracting serious buyers and achieving a successful sale.

Compare performance and fees

As you near the final stages of selecting an estate agent, a critical comparison of performance statistics and fee structures of the agents you have interviewed becomes essential. Here are some areas for you to consider…

Performance metrics: Begin by examining key performance indicators such as the average time on market for properties they’ve handled, their list-to-sale price ratios, and the volume of transactions they’ve completed. You can get some of this data on allAgents These metrics provide a quantifiable measure of an agent’s effectiveness in the market. A shorter average time on market and a high list-to-sale ratio suggests a high level of proficiency and market knowledge, indicating that the agent is capable of pricing and marketing properties effectively.

Quality of service: Take a good look at the services offered. Does the agent provide a full service, including marketing, photography, viewings, negotiation, and post-sale management? Or do they offer a more basic service that might require you to handle some aspects independently? The level of service should be reflected in their fees and meet your needs and expectations.

Track record in similar sales: Consider the agent’s track record with properties similar to yours. Have they successfully handled homes in your area of the same type, and in the same price range? If so, there’s a chance they’ve got a list of interested potential buyers.

Fee comparison: While the cost is an important factor, the cheapest option is not necessarily the best and you need to make sure you’re comparing apples with apples. Scrutinise the fee structures that different agents have proposed and work out if the fees are fixed, or if they’ll take a percentage of the sale price.

Value for money: Look at what is (and isn’t) included in the fee. Some agents might charge higher fees but include comprehensive marketing packages, such as staging services, and premium listing placements. It goes back to the point above of comparing apples with apples. You might dismiss one quote because it’s higher than the others, but then find that you get a lot more for your money. Evaluate whether these services provide added value that could justify the extra cost by potentially resulting in a higher sale price, or a quicker sale.

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Negotiation of terms: Remember, fee structures can often be negotiated. Don’t hesitate to discuss the possibility of adjusting the terms based on the scope of services or tying part of the fee to performance milestones, such as securing a sale above a certain price.

Once you have thoroughly compared the performance data and fee structures, it’s time to consider the overall value that each agent offers. A good agent justifies their fee through their ability to maximise your sale price, minimise the time your property is on the market, and ensure a smooth process. Their expertise, market knowledge, and the quality of service should all provide you with confidence that your property sale is in capable hands.

Ultimately, this comparison is about finding the right balance between cost and value, ensuring that you select an agent whose abilities and services will meet your needs and help you to achieve your sale efficiently and effectively.

Common mistakes to avoid when choosing an estate agent

 

Selecting the right estate agent is a major decision when selling your home. Given the impact this choice has on how quickly and profitably you can sell your property, you can see why you need to approach this decision with a critical eye and an informed perspective. Unfortunately, many sellers make common errors that can undermine their sale, leading to delays, decreased profits, or just an overall dissatisfaction with the selling experience.

One frequent mistake that I hear about is when sellers are being overly influenced by agents who promise an unrealistically high asking price. It’s understandably tempting to choose an agent who tells you that your property will sell for a sum significantly above the market average. It’s almost flattering, and I can see why sellers would choose that agent.

However, without robust data to support such claims, these inflated prices can deter potential buyers, causing your property to sit on the market for an extended period. As time passes, the property price will be reduced to bring it into line with the true value.

That’s why you must ask for a comprehensive market analysis from your agent to support their valuation, ensuring it aligns with current market trends and comparable sales in your area.

Another error is not scrutinising the agent’s contract before signing. The excitement and urgency of getting your house on the market can lead to overlooking crucial details in the contract such as hidden fees and extended lock-in periods. These can significantly complicate your selling experience by limiting your flexibility or saddling you with unexpected costs. Yes, I know it’s exciting, and can even be a little overwhelming, but make it a priority to read the contract thoroughly and ask for help with anything that’s unclear.

Additionally, many homeowners fail to adequately assess the agent’s marketing strategy. In the modern market, simply listing your property on popular portals is simply not enough. A comprehensive marketing plan should include professional high-resolution photos that show your property in the best light, virtual tours that allow potential buyers to experience the layout and feel of the home digitally, and a social media strategy that uses Facebook and Instagram to reach a broader audience. It’s essential to discuss and review the marketing plan in detail, ensuring that the agent has a proactive approach to attract potential buyers.

Furthermore, it’s a big mistake to choose an estate agent without considering their online presence and digital proficiency. In today’s market, a significant portion of homebuyers start their search online, so you need an agent skilled in digital marketing. This includes their ability to manage an appealing and functional website, their effectiveness in online advertising, and their presence on digital platforms. Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and look at the agent’s website, then click on a few properties. Are you impressed by what you see?

Finally, not checking the agent’s references or client reviews is an oversight of the highest order. Reading comments from previous clients can provide insights into the agent’s communication style, reliability, and effectiveness in closing deals. This firsthand feedback is invaluable in gauging whether an agent truly delivers on their promises and maintains a high standard of customer service.

By being aware of these common pitfalls, you can significantly increase your chances of getting a successful and smooth property sale.

 

Dan’s tips for choosing an estate agent

If you take just one thing from this article, it’s this. From my many years of experience in the property market, I would say that you should never underestimate the power of communication. The right agent should not only be skilled in selling properties but also in keeping you informed throughout the process. Regular updates and transparency in handling enquiries can remove a lot of the stress associated with selling your home.

And on that topic, consider the chemistry you have with the agent. You need someone who understands what you want out of the sale, and someone that you can trust to handle one of the most significant transactions of your life. If you feel pressured or uncomfortable during your initial chats, it may be a sign to consider other options.

Conclusion

The journey to selecting the perfect estate agent for selling your property might seem daunting, but it’s made easier by taking a measured and thoughtful approach. By using the guidance I’ve given in this article, you’ll be able to make informed decisions that extend beyond the superficial impressions of a good suit and a big smile.

Remember, the core objective is to pick an estate agent who will represent your best interests. You need a professional who not only brings expertise and integrity to the table but also possesses a deep understanding of the property market. This agent should be someone who is capable of guiding you through the complexities of the sale process with a strategic and skilled hand.

Good luck; I wish for you a happy and stress-free sale. Happy selling!

 

FAQs

I’ve put together five FAQs and answers to address common concerns and provide practical advice to UK homeowners looking to sell their property.

  • How do I know if an estate agent is reputable?
    You can check if the agent is registered with professional bodies like the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and is compliant with The Property Ombudsman. But don’t just look for these logos on the agent’s website; visit the website of the official body and do a search for the agent.
  • What should I expect to pay in fees when using an estate agent?
    Estate agent fees typically range from 0.75% to 3.0% of the sale price of your property, plus VAT. Always confirm fee structures upfront and check if they are fixed or percentage based.
  • Can I use multiple estate agents to sell my property?
    Yes, you can opt for a multi-agency arrangement, but be aware that fees for this service are generally higher than using a single agent. Typically, this fee could range from 1.5% to 3.5% of the sale price.
  • What happens if my property doesn’t sell?
    If your property isn’t selling, consider asking for feedback from viewings and make adjustments; whether it’s lowering the price, making improvements to the property, or changing marketing strategies. You can also use a cash buyer like Springbok Properties if your estate agent isn’t meeting your expectations.
  • Can I negotiate the estate agent’s fees?
    Yes, fees are not set in stone and often depend on the price of your property and local competition. Don’t hesitate to negotiate or compare different agents to get the best rate.

Further reading

When you’re thinking about selling your property, you need as much information as possible. Whether it’s understanding your legal obligations, enhancing your knowledge about the property market, or simply getting tips on home presentation, the right resources can make a significant difference. I’ve put together a table of eight UK websites that offer insights and guidance for home sellers that are choosing an estate agent, or just want legal advice and info on market trends.

Website URL Description
Rightmove rightmove.co.uk Extensive property listings and useful selling tips.
allAgents allagents.co.uk Review site for estate agents and cash buyers
Zoopla zoopla.co.uk Offers market data, pricing information, and property advice.
The Home Owners Alliance hoa.org.uk Provides independent advice on selling homes, including guides on choosing estate agents.
OnTheMarket onthemarket.com Features property listings and advice on the UK property market.
The Property Ombudsman tpos.co.uk Gives guidance on property disputes and standards for estate agents.
National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) naea.co.uk Professional body for estate agents providing resources on upholding professional standards.
Money Saving Expert moneysavingexpert.com Provides financial tips on how to manage the costs of selling a home effectively.

By Dan Green, Home Selling Expert Founder

author

By Dan Green, Home Selling Expert Founder

I'm a property expert that still remembers the days when having broadband was a selling point! My articles cover issues that homesellers face in the UK and answer the questions we're all asking. I've bought and sold properties and helped others do the same, so my writing comes from years of experience.

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Success rate when selling
through estate agents

Selling to house-buying company

  • Formal offer within 24-48 hours
  • Complete in as little as 14 days
  • No contracts - change your mind if you aren’t happy
  • No viewings or chains
  • Sell your house as-is
  • Sell for approx 80-85% market value
  • Some disreputable companies

Selling with Estate Agent

  • Wait for viewings and offers
  • Delays with solicitors
  • Lengthy contracts - can’t withdraw
  • Viewings at inconvenient times, many will be in chain
  • House should be at its best to impress viewers
  • Get the highest price possible
  • Estate agents are tightly regulated

On average, you should expect to sell for 85-90% of you property’s full value when selling by auction.

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