How to choose an estate agent

How to choose an estate agent to sell your home is one of the most important decisions you will make when deciding to sell your property. There are so many things to think about when making this decision and below I have given you my top advice.

For sale boards of estate agents in your area

This is really important to know the agents who are currently working in your area. When thinking how to choose an estate agent, take a walk around your neighbouring streets to see which agents for sale boards are around. Even better, which for sale boards have under offer, SSTC (sold subject to contract) or sold on them! This shows that these agents are familiar and have experience selling in your area.

Only one buyer is successful with a house. So an agent active in your area may have a list of potential buyers who missed out on the other similar homes.

Selling your home is a huge decision you have to get right. Here I tell you how to choose an estate agent to sell your home
Make a list when choosing your estate agent

Personal recommendation are the best!

When choosing an estate agent, there is nothing better that a true, honest recommendation from a friend, co-worker or family member. They will understand the importance of choosing the best estate agent to sell your home. They will have fully experienced the quality of service from their chosen agent from start to finish. Whether the feedback is good or bad, take it onboard.

You may also find that some agents have a ‘referral’ scheme. If a previous client recommends a new client they you both receive a discount or other incentive. I would certainly ask!

Selling your home is a huge decision you have to get right. Here I tell you how to choose an estate agent to sell your home
Personal recommendations from friends & family

Google local estate agents

When choosing an estate agent google local agents. For Example ‘estate agents Edinburgh’ or ‘selling property Edinburgh’. See which agents comes up on page one and page two. Familiarise yourself with their names and check their google reviews. Google reviews are very powerful. Next step is to jump into their website. I chat about this in much more details below in ‘Check out estate agents website’.

Estate agents social media

When thinking how to choose an estate agent the rate of people looking on social media to choose their estate agent is growing by the day! You may have come across estate agents on your socials on several occasions. Maybe your friend was selling and shared their post, or maybe a friend or family member liked the page of an estate agent.

Either way, you have the important search bar and I would simply input ‘Glasgow Estate Agent’ or maybe ‘Selling property in Glasgow’ and see what comes up.

Look through their feed and look at their number of followers, quality of posts, how regular they post and also look at any comments or likes on their posts. This will give you an all round feel of how proactive they are on social media for the current clients.

Facebook reviews – officially called Facebook Recommendations – will appear on local business pages. This is one of the first places I would go to when looking on social media. These recommendations will give you a very clear picture of their reputation. All historic star reviews, and recommendations, are publicly displayed on their Facebook page so go take a look….

Selling your home is a huge decision you have to get right. Here I tell you how to choose an estate agent to sell your home

Social Media is key when choosing an estate agent

Check out estate agents websites

I love this one and still do it all the time for other agents. If you have any agents which you may be considering I would jump onto their website to take a look around. You are looking for a few things here.

Check the quality of their website when you choose an estate agent. Does it look professional? Is it easy to use and navigate? Can you find the property listings easily? Can you find the contact details quickly and is there a way of making contact with them via email or a contact page?

After that I would be checking their list of properties when you choose an estate agent. Are the photos professional and of good quality? Are the property details written well? Is there a mixture of properties actively for sale and some properties sold subject to contract, under offer and sold? Is there floor plans, link to the home report (in Scotland only) and good maps.

Next I would be going to the ‘About’ page which often shows the staff and their positions. Take a look at the people who would potentially be handling your sale. The reason for checking here is because they will often outline their length of time they have been with the company, their length of experience and their main expertise.

I think this page helps you get a good gut feeling about the company.

Set a budget when choosing an estate agent

We all have a budget and preferred way to pay. Different types of agents will have different options. Some will require no up front costs and, more commonly, most agents will require the marketing costs up front. This could play a huge part of how you choose an estate agent.

Most online agents will have have package options which likely include options to pay nothing up front or pay outlays up front. Please read the small print!

Your more traditional high street agents will likely want costs up front. If a high street agent is your preference but you are struggling to meet up front costs, please tell them. Ask them if you can delay paying the outlays until the end of the sale. They will then look how likely your house will sell, anticipated sale time etc and then make a decision. I would certainly ask as I often say yes.

If you are going for a high-end agent they will likely expect payment of marketing costs up front. Please ask, its worth a try and I say yes more often than no.

I do plan to write a post on the differences between online, high street and high end agents so please keep an eye out for this.

How to choose the right estate agent

I strongly believe that the agent needs to match the house.

As a high end agent myself, I would not market most apartments or lower valued houses. This is not out of snobbery! But as an agent we have to stay on brand and in our own lane. There are plenty of brilliant agents who are more experienced with these sales. However, the biggest and most important reason is that buyers never come to our agency looking for a lower priced apartment or house because of our higher end brand.

So we never have the buyers for them. It also makes it incredibly hard for us to find a buyer.

Equally you would not want to sell your city house with an estate agent specialising in countryside property. Again it makes it incredibly hard for them to find a buyer. If you have a countryside property their sale transaction is often far more complex. For example: historic rights of access, track roads, servitude, private water sources etc.

I would therefore suggest the best estate agent for you is one experienced in rural sales.

If you have a property, say over £500,000, I would certainly be recommending you speak with a high-end agent. Its all about choosing the best estate agent to sell your home and they will have the more superior marketing expected for your home. The agents are more experienced in this level of the market, and therefore able to guide and service you correctly. More importantly they will have the more suitable buyers for you.

High-end agents always hold lower stock and therefore have the time to offer an exceptionally good service to both their sellers and buyers.

Remember the cost for these estate agents is much higher but worth every penny. They will often achieve more money for your home, find the right buyer and in the best time frame. Go for a less experienced and mid-range agent and you could find yourself in a very difficult situation of no buyer, wrong marketing, long time on the market and with the wrong advice. Pick wisely and if cost is not the biggest issue, then pay for the right estate agent.

These tips are sure to help you choose an estate agent to sell your home. If you are still in the early stages of preparing your home check out the following blogs

8 important tips to prepare your home to sell