Changing Estate Agents – What You Should Know

December 26th, 2021

Changing Estate Agents – What You Should Know

A proactive estate agent can be the difference between a house sale that drags on and successfully securing your dream house. You need an estate agent that not only knows how best to market your property, but is also a driving force when it comes to keeping the chain moving and pushing the sale through the conveyancing process.

If your current estate agent is underperforming, you might be thinking about changing estate agents. But how do you know when it’s time to look at changing estate agents, and could there be anything in your existing contract that prohibits you from doing so?

In this article, I’ll talk you through the process of changing estate agents, from identifying that a change is needed, through to actually making the move.

Changing estate agents

Can you change estate agents?

It’s likely that you did a lot of research before instructing your estate agent. Maybe you had a few different companies come to value your property, choosing the company that gave the best pitch. They probably lured you in with the promise of quick sales and above asking price offers, leaving you with high hopes for your property sale. There’s no wonder that you will be left feeling disappointed when your house is still on the market several months later, or when your sales keep falling through.

If this is the case, you might be wondering whether you can change estate agents. Whilst it is perfectly possible to do so, you will need to check your original contract first. This is because many estate agents add clauses to their contracts which state that you cannot market your property with any other estate agent until after a minimum time period has passed. This is often around three months, so it’s worth checking what you signed up to.

Providing you aren’t within this minimum period and there are no other limitations listed in the contract that you signed, you are free to change estate agents.

When should I change estate agents?

If your property has been on the market for a while and you haven’t had much interest, or you’ve had several sales fall through, you might be thinking about changing your estate agent. Let’s take a look at some of the most common signs that switching estate agent could be the right decision for you.

1. You haven’t had much interest in your property

If you’ve had your property listed for a while and there’s little interest coming in, you might need to take drastic action. This could be because your property isn’t attracting as much attention as other similar properties – either because it’s overpriced or the marketing simply isn’t up to scratch.

Seeking advice from another estate agent can be a great option here. They will be able to review your current marketing, as well as the listed price of your property to identify where improvements could be made to increase the level of interest you’re getting.

2. You’ve had lots of viewings but no offers

If you’re getting lots of traffic through your property, but no one is making an offer, this could indicate the presence of a flaw that’s deterring buyers. It might be something fairly minor – maybe your flooring requires changing or some remodelling work needs doing.

Alternatively, it might be that you’ve priced your property too high – this is a more serious issue, as it means that your property isn’t competitive with similar properties in the local area.

In either of these cases, you’ll want to get the advice of another estate agent who will be able to conduct a review of your property and provide some expert feedback on how best to go forward.

3. You feel out of the loop

If you feel like your estate agent isn’t keeping you updated on the progress of your sale, this could be a sign that they aren’t proactive enough for you. When selling a property, it’s vital to have clear lines of communication between you and the estate agent at all times. You should never feel out of the loop or that there are things happening with your property without you knowing about them.

Having open and honest conversations at the very start of your relationship with an estate agent is key here, as it ensures that both parties are clear on what they can expect from each other. You should always feel like your estate agent has your best interests at heart, and that you’re included in every part of the process.

4. Your sales keep falling through

A common problem for property sellers is that their chain keeps falling apart. If you’re in a chain when you sell your property, there are lots of moving parts that need to keep working in order for the sale to go ahead – and if any one of them breaks down, it can cause huge problems.

Whilst a chain collapsing is, unfortunately, a relatively common occurrence, if this happens multiple times it could be that your estate agent is contributing to the issue.

A good estate agent should start by ensuring that you’ve found the right buyer for your property – someone that is committed to their purchase and has no intentions of pulling out of the sale. They should then work to keep the chain moving and ensure that all parties are up to date with the conveyancing process, so that no one gets itchy feet and decides to pull out of the transaction.

when should i change estate agents

What happens if I decide to switch estate agents?

If you decide that you want to change estate agents, the first thing you’ll need to do is take a look at your contract to see what it says about changing estate agents. You’ll find that most contracts will have a minimum time period that you must wait after instruction before you can switch estate agents. This is called the exclusivity period, during which time you agree to allow the estate agent to be the only company marketing your property.

Some contracts may also state that you have to compensate the agency if you decide to go elsewhere. If so, this could limit your options – but it’s a good idea to explore all avenues and speak with other estate agents before making a final decision on who you want to instruct.

If your contract doesn’t include a clause about compensation, or if it has passed its deadline date for changing estate agents, then the only thing stopping you from going elsewhere is the process of transferring the instructions. This simply involves choosing your new estate agent and then letting your current agency know that you have decided to instruct another estate agent.

Will I have to pay double commission if I change estate agents?

Many home movers are concerned that they may need to pay twice the commission if they decide to switch estate agents during the process of selling their property. However, in the majority of cases, you will not be financially penalised for changing estate agents.

Providing your property is still on the market and is not currently going through the conveyancing process with a potential buyer, you will not typically owe the current estate agent any commission. This is because commission is usually paid to an estate agent upon completion of the sale.

The only complicating factor comes if you are still within your contracted ‘exclusive marketing’ timeframe. You’ll need to check the original contract that you signed to find out whether you agreed to allow the estate agent to market your property exclusively. If so, you could still be liable for commission for any buyer found for your property within this time frame.

switch estate agents double commission

Instructing a new estate agent

If you feel that you’ve come to the end of the road with your current estate agent, it might be time to start looking at alternative options. As an independent estate agent, I’m here to guide you through the process of changing estate agents. From taking a look at your existing marketing and list price to offering suggestions as to how your offering could be improved to appeal to potential buyers, I’m always happy to help.

Many of my clients have been let down by high street estate agents previously. A large proportion find me after being told by a friend that the service they’re receiving simply isn’t good enough. After handed the marketing of their property over to me, they’re delighted by the personlised service that they receive, with weekly progress updates and all of their viewings handled by me.

I offer a completely bespoke service that is unique to you and your property. Every property is different, so a one-size-fits-all approach will simply not be good enough for the majority of properties. I will look at your home as a completely unique property, finding the perfect angle to attract the right buyer for your home.

If you’re thinking about changing estate agents, I’d love to help you. Simply give me a call or fill in the form below today. I can take a look at your existing marketing and let you know where it’s going wrong and how we could improve on it to attract your dream buyer. I look forward to hearing from you!

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