How to Choose Your Estate Agent
Speak to friends and family for recommendations and check for sold signs in your area, which agent has the most sold signs up. Ask each agent for a written quote of their fees and be very clear on the type of agreement that the fee structure covers. Remember that the estate agents commission (usually a percentage of the sales price) will be subject to VAT at the prevailing rate, currently 20%.
There are three basic types of agency arrangement to instruct your agent.
A “sole agency contract” means you instruct only one agency to sell your house. As they are then the only agent who can market your property, they will charge you a lower rate of commission. With a sole agency agreement, check the period of time you will be tied in for.
A “joint sole agency” arrangement may be preferable if you live on the borders of two different towns – both for which may have agents that cover your area. By instructing agencies in each town, you cover all your options. Joint agency fees are generally higher than in sole agency, however you will only pay one fee and the agents will split this between them, again check the period you will be tied into this agreement for.
Finally there’s the “multiple agency” option, where you appoint as many agents as you wish to market your property. Here you will find fees are at their highest. A multiple agency arrangement can sometimes lead to over-exposure, with your home appearing several times on the same property website – a turn-off for some buyers.
Another option is to sell your property yourself with a considerable saving. Check on line for web based own sell portals where you upload the details of your property for a fee , chose a website which will in turn upload your home to the property portals such as Right Move and Zoopla to ensure maximum exposure .
Remember that you will have to make appointments and viewings and progress the sale of your property yourself and you will not have the comfort of knowing anything about potential buyers so find out as much as possible about their circumstances before making appointments to view . Ensure that you do not do viewings of your home alone.
As you can see, there are pros and cons in each case. The best option depends on your circumstances but you could try looking for a single agent with offices in more than one town, or a group of independent agents working in partnership. This could mean the widest possible coverage but for a sole agency fee.