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5 Questions to ask your estate agent.

Sat 22 Feb 2020

Five questions to ask your estate agent when selling

Life is a relentless stream of decisions.
What to wear?
What to have for breakfast?
Where to go on holiday?
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Some are trivial choices. Some are life-changing ones.
And deciding to sell your house is right up there towards the top of the decisions pyramid.
Choosing to sell is an important step but selecting the right estate agent to market your property is a
crucial one. It is often the difference between a successful sale or a stress fuelled nightmare.
A key point to remember is that not all estate agents are the same.
To sieve out the good from the bad, the exceptional from the average, ask any estate agent you call
in for a valuation, these five questions.

1) Show don’t tell. Any old agent can tell you how good they are. But you need to dig a little
deeper and ask them to show you testimonials and reviews. An agent worth their fee won’t
have an issue with answering this.

2) What’s your plan for my property? A well organised, efficient agency will have already know
how they will market your property to give you the best chance of selling success. Ask them
to outline the steps and marketing actions they’ll take to put your home on the road to
success.

3) How long is the contract? This is a VERY important question to ask. A good agency won’t tie
you in for more than 12 weeks (edit to suit your agency). Less scrupulous agencies insist on
people signing long contracts which works in their interest NOT the home sellers. Ask to see
a copy of their standard contract upfront.

4) Ask for valuation evidence. When an agent tells you what they think the current market
value of your home is it’s not rude to ask them how they arrived at that figure. This is a
commonly asked question, and good agencies have plenty of data and comparable evidence
to support the valuation.

5) How Much? Perhaps counter-intuitively this is one of the least important questions and
should never be the first you ask. Why? Well, there is a difference between cost and value.
Consider this. Agent A charges a 0.5 % commission to sell your home. They value it at
£200,000. But only secure a sale at £190,000. Meaning you end up with £189,050 after their
£950 commission.
But – Agent B charges a 1.5 % service fee to sell your home and thanks to better marketing,
superior skilled staff and negotiation nous they achieve the asking price of £200,000.

Meaning you end up with £197,000 after their £3000 fee. This scenario makes it clearer that
cost and value are very different things. (Fees are often subject to VAT).
Ultimately the best agents are the ones you feel so comfortable with that you can ask them
anything.

Because after all, they’ll be working on your behalf.
And they need to be on hand to help, advise and support you with decisions such as how to
present your property, what sales strategy to take and which offer to accept.

For more information about how we help homeowners to sell their home please call us on 01803 835 788 or email julie@thecoastalhouse.co.uk

"My boyfriend and I searched for a long time before finding Underhill: it was one a collection of particularly nice, carefully chosen seaside properties on The Coastal House Estate Agents website. From start to finish, Julie and Kate were a dream to work with. They were responsive, helpful, low-pressure and like dealing with friends. They perfectly reflected the wonderful, warm community spirit that the South Hams prides itself on and made the process of house-buying very easy. When we collected our keys, we were presented with a welcome pack, spa vouchers and hand-written house warming card. You simply don't find that kind of friendly service in London! A top notch experience and unreservedly recommended."
Kathryn & Edward