5 Questions To Ask Before Choosing An Estate Agent

August 1st, 2022

Before choosing an estate agent, it’s important to know exactly what you’re signing up to. Moving house is a daunting experience and you want to be certain you’re in the right hands to keep your stress levels to a minimum and ensure that you get the best possible value for your property.

Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions before choosing your estate agent. A good estate agent will be happy to answer your questions and take the time to make sure you fully understand and are happy with happy with the process.

How much is my house worth?

A great estate agent should have heaps of knowledge about your local area and the average prices similar houses sell for in your neighbourhood. This should be one of the first questions you ask when starting the process of selecting an estate agent, to allow you to have a better insight into the properties you’re likely to be able to afford to purchase.

The value you decide on should reflect the property itself, the area, the current market along with any personal reasons you might want to go slightly lower or higher than the local average. You might be in a hurry to sell and wish to price your property slightly lower or contrastingly have a tight budget and need to push the value slightly up. Either way, a decent estate agent should be prepared to work with you on an individual basis to ensure your experience is personalised to your circumstances.

What are your fees and are there any hidden costs?

The majority of estate agents base their prices on a percentage of the sale price of your house. This percentage can range from between 0.75% and 3.5% depending on the estate agent you choose.

It’s also a good idea to check whether the fees include VAT, or whether this is added onto the fee. This will help you to avoid any surprises later down the line.

Whilst many estate agents quote their fees as an all-inclusive cost, others may add on extra charges for things like photography, marketing or even a ‘for sale’ sign. It’s important that you check with your chosen estate agent about any hidden costs and read your contract carefully before signing to avoid any unexpected costs adding up along the way.

Is there a tie-in period within the contract?

Should you not get along with your estate agent, you might want to cancel the contract. But it’s important to understand that some estate agents have a minimum tie in period, which means that you can’t market your property with any other estate agent for the minimum term set out in the contract.

To allow you complete freedom when selling your property you may want to seek a contract with no minimum term, allowing you to take your house off the market or list it with another estate agency if you find that the agent you’ve chosen isn’t right for you. If your estate agent has a strong track record with sales, they should have confidence in their ability to please their customers, meaning that they don’t need to tie their customers into a contract. After all, happy customers should have no reason to want to find a new estate agent!

How long does it usually take to sell a property similar to mine?

There are two main questions to consider when trying to gauge how successful an estate agent is: how long does it take them on average to sell a property and how often do they achieve the asking price.

Make sure you ask your potential estate agent these questions so you can compare their track record to other local agents. After all, it’s vital you get the best price for your property in as little time as possible!

Is there anything I should do to my property to increase its selling potential?

Sometimes small tweaks can make all the difference when it comes to selling your property quickly and achieving the best possible sale price. A good estate agent will be happy to make suggestions on how you could make your house more sell-able. These could include:

  • Reducing clutter by putting some of your belongings into storage (or even hiding them in your car during viewings!)
  • Touching up paintwork
  • Tidying up your garden
  • Turning lights on before a viewing

In summary

It’s important that you are informed when it comes to choosing an estate agent. After all, this is the person that you are trusting to sell your property, so you need to be sure that you’re making the right decision.

When you meet a potential estate agent, don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions. Not only will this ensure that you’ve got all the information you need to make an informed choice, but it will also help you to get to know the estate agent and get a feel for whether they’re the right estate agent for you.

If you’re thinking about selling your house in Sheffield, I’m here to help. There’s no such thing as a daft question, so give me a call and ask away!

questions to ask estate agent