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How to Find a Good Estate Agent for Your Needs?

If you’re looking to buy or sell a property, there are quite a few things you wouldn’t know. The experience of a good estate agent can make or break your search for properties or buyers, so you will need one in all cases. Let’s point out what you should be looking for:

Asking for Recommendations

This may be the obvious first thing to do, but you should ask your friends, family members and any coworkers who may have moved with the help of estate agents. Ask whether they were happy with the services of a specific one, or look for any signs around town that indicate agents are working in your area. Look them up online as well, to expand your pool of potential agents for hire.

Check their Industry Credentials

Estate agents need to be members of The Property Ombudsman Scheme, something that allows complaints against them to be investigated independently. A lot of the estate agents out there will be members of trade bodies as well. Their membership in those means they have to keep to a code of conduct, something that requires a level of professionalism typical for the job. The trade bodies may include the Guild of Property Professionals, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), as well as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Members of these schemes will be putting their membership upfront and centre whenever they can.

Going Up Close

You should visit your shortlisted estate agents, doing so as a potential buyer looking for a property similar to your home. Take note of the way they behave and consider if they will be good for your needs.

Invite Agents to Value Your Property

You should shortlist agents, but still, keep your options open. No less than three agents should be invited to value your property as you go forward. When the property is valued, you should not feel too impressed by whatever assessment is given by the agent. This could be a way to ingratiate themselves to you so they can win you over. You need an honest, fair agent who doesn’t overvalue your property, as that may fail to get a buyer at the same price.

Asking the Right Questions

You should ask how much the agent charges for sole agency and what the tie-in period is. Sole agency means the agent is the one holding exclusive rights to sell your property for a set period. If the property is sold by another agent at this time, you will have to pay the sole agent their fee, as well as the fee for the agent who made the sale. Fees for the sole agency may range between 1-2.5%, with a tie-in period spanning as far as eight weeks.
How much is the charge for multi-agency the agent is asking? A multi-agency arrangement means that several agents will have the property on their books. The successful agency will be granted the fee. The fee in question will be somewhere between 2.5-3.5% of the sale price.
How long has the agent been established, what kind of experience are you dealing with? An established agent will have experience selling properties, but one that operates close to your home will provide greater familiarity with the neighbourhood and other important details.
How much will the property be advertised? If the agency gets it done right, then you should have examples of other advertised properties to get the hang of how they handle that important part of their business.