Just over one year ago, we published this post on finding a good estate agent. However, during a routine review of previous posts, it occurred to us that most of the advice in that article is directed at buyers and not sellers.
Some of the content from our first post still applies here – look for an agent that makes time for you, don’t buy into mind games etc. – but we thought it was high time that we looked at things from the other side, and provided a few tips on how to find the best estate agent as a seller.
Look For SOLD Signs
Ever wondered why estate agents leave sold signs up for so long? One big reason is to attract other people who are looking to sell their homes.
While you have no way of knowing how long the relevant properties were actually up for sale, a string of Sold signs belonging to the same estate agent in your neighbourhood is usually a pretty good sign (if you’ll excuse the pun).
Go In With The Wrong Price
Bear with me on this one. Going to an estate agent with an asking price that’s too high (or, if you really want to test their honesty, too low) will quickly show you whether or not they’re eager to make a sale or are more worried about keeping you happy.
Bizarrely, you probably actually want the former rather than the latter. It’s far better that the property goes on sale for a realistic price and sells quickly than lingering on the market for months because the price isn’t even in the right ballpark.
Try A Seller/Broker Combo
For buyers, using estate agents that have an in-house broker isn’t necessarily a good idea. A common fear is that the broker will figure out the maximum amount that a potential buyer can afford and then convince them to make an offer at this level to beat out the competition… which may or may not actually exist.
When you’re a seller, you don’t need to worry about any of this. While working with an estate agent doesn’t necessarily guarantee a quick sale, it does mean increased footfall and an easy path to purchase because all of the relevant information (proof of income, credit checks etc.) is available to your estate agent automatically.
Don’t Count Out Virtual Agents
If your property is in a particularly desirable area, you’ve made lots of improvements that mean it photographs well or the price reflects your desire for a quick sale, then you could opt to go with an online estate agent rather than a local realtor.
We wrote earlier this year about why this route isn’t for everyone, but it’s one worth considering if you like the idea of avoiding a 2-4% fee on the sale of your home.
Oh, and the other way to find a great estate agent for sellers? ASK. Ask your friends, family, other people in your area and so on who they recommend. Consistency isn’t guaranteed across national chains, but if the Chesterfield branch of a particular estate agent goes above and beyond then there’s a decent chance their Liverpool one will too.