If you are considering selling your property there are a few things you need to know…..
Q: Are all Estate Agents the same?
A: Not all Estate Agents have the qualifications or the experience that the industry would like to see. Over the last few years some insurance companies and solicitors have looked at estate agency as a good second income for their business. They think that it is an easy way to make money but fail to realise how complicated and stressful it can be for the seller and the buyer, therefore they fail to employ the right people, normally using existing staff, who have very little experience, or employ people who have not been in estate agency for very long. Professional estate agents belong to a recognised body, like the National Association of Estate Agents and are also members of the Ombudsman for Estate Agents. Their staff are professionally trained to deal with all aspects of the buying and selling process, and are paid accordingly.
Q: I had three estate agents to value my property and one of them valued it for a lot more than the others, why is that?
A: Most people have a fair idea what the value of their property is, by looking in the newspaper or on the internet (www.houseprices.co.uk) to see what their neighbours properties have sold for or on sale for, therefore when you get a higher valuation than you had expected you should question the agent who gives you the price and ask them for their reasons. If they fail to convince you about their valuation you should be suspicious of there motives. Perhaps his or her boss has told them to get more properties on "at any cost!", perhaps they haven't done their homework and are just picking a figure 'out of the sky', or perhaps they just want one of their boards outside your property, instead of their competitors. Whatever reason you can be assured that it will not help to sell your house and if you have set your heart on another property, you could lose it if you fail to sell yours!
Q: One estate agent has suggested that we should use their 'in house' conveyancing service, isn't that a conflict of interest?
A: You are right to be concerned. Choosing an estate agent who also has an "in-house" legal department is not always a good idea. Who will you turn to if you are unhappy with the sale of your property or how the legal side is being handled? The problem with this kind of estate agent is that they are in total control of your house sale, is that a good idea? And what if they are also acting for the seller of the property you are hoping to buy? This conflict of interest could seriously jeopardise your house sale so always choose your agent and solicitor with great care, and make sure they are separate!
Q: Should I go for the cheapest fee, I could save a few hundred pounds?
A: The old saying "you get what you pay for" stands true in this instance. If you drive a Ferrari and want it servicing you would take it to a specialist and expect to pay accordingly, because you would trust them to know what they are doing. How would you feel if the person handling the sale of your property had just left school, had failed to get a job at McDonalds but got a job as a Sales Negotiator at the local estate agents? Professional estate agents employ experienced people who expect to be paid for their services accordingly. A cheap fee means the agent is cutting corners and it could affect the sale or purchase of your property.
Q: There are some estate agents who have more properties than others, does that mean they are better than the rest?
A: You need to consider the overall picture. Is the agent with the most properties also the agent with the most over priced properties? If this is the case it is easy to see why they seem successful. It is easy for an agent to get properties on their books if they over price them and under charge on fee's, but can they sell them? Look at the other agents and compare how many sales they have and how long it takes them to sell properties. Most agents would rather have a 'SOLD' on their board than a 'FOR SALE'. Don't be fooled or flattered by the agent who offers you the earth and delivers nothing!
If you need Professional advice call House & Home on (01675) 466708
Coleshill's Leading Independent Estate Agent