Despite the doom and gloom of the British economy over the past few years, thanks to two recessions and the global economic crisis that affected many countries around the world (including the United Kingdom) towards the end of the last decade, the property market is making a slow recovery.
House prices are increasing now as they have been towards the latter half of 2013, and so many people are taking advantage of this fact by selling their homes in order to upgrade to a bigger home, or to downsize and raise some extra capital.
If you own your home and are looking to put it on the market so that you can raise the best possible price for it as soon as possible, then you will naturally be thinking of using the services of a local estate agent to help facilitate that goal.
But before you go ahead and choose an estate agent, make sure you take note of these top tips to finding the best estate agent for your needs.
Why it pays to research
The first thing to do is to research some estate agents in your local area. It is well-known fact that local estate agents will do a better job of selling your home than ones that are based some distance away.
Even if you have a plethora of estate agents based in your town or city, you need to make sure that the estate agent you use is highly skilled and experienced at selling homes just like yours. For example, you wouldn’t want an estate agent that specialises in selling prestigious mansions and manors for well-off clients to try and sell your 3-bedroom semi-detached ex-council house!
Another reason why it is important to research your local estate agents is that you want to make sure that they are legitimate and have a good success rate when it comes to selling properties on behalf of their clients.
Choosing an estate agent
Once you have shortlisted some suitable estate agents, it is time to invite them to your home so that they can offer you a valuation of your property.
Although you could check out the average sale prices for homes like yours in your area, no-one will know the realistic values attainable like local estate agents. So if you live in Bournemouth, for example, a Sandbanks estate agent can determine how much you can realistically get for your home.
Value aside, you should find out what they are prepared to do, and what they expect you to do. Many estate agents will happily conduct viewings on your behalf whereas some expect you to do them yourself.
You should also find out how they are going to market your property. Virtually all estate agents will have a website that they update on a daily basis, so you can expect your property details to appear on there as well as on their office windows.
Finally, you should determine exactly what they are going to charge you to sell your home. Fees can range from 1.5% to 3% of the sale price, and a lot of the time they will quote you fees excluding VAT, so check whether this is included in the price or not.