Estate Agents - Secure the Best Fees During the Credit Crunch! I have been selling houses as an estate agent for over 15 years now and have bought & sold several properties myself so I know how it feels to be a Seller and Buyer in the good & bad times. Being an insider allows me to be able to share some useful information with you to enable you to get a good deal! When it comes to selling your house or flat you need to make sure that you are getting the best from the estate agent before selecting them. Most large Estate Agencies think they can charge you a large percentage sales fee for selling your property based on their reputation only ? but you can reduce their fee and be in control by following these essential tips. How to find the best agent To begin with, always get valuations from at least 3 estate agents. These should include: 1) An Independent smaller agent, who tends to be more flexible and has a slightly higher calibre of agents, tends to deal on a more personal level.
2) A large chain estate agent, who tends to be fairly rigid on figures but can offer marketing from several other branches to give wider marketing of your property. When it comes to fees, please remember: they want your business, so negotiating is the key. The things that you should ask a potential agent are: 1) Do they advertise in the local newspapers on a regular basis ? If so, is it a colour ad and how often would your property be advertised.
2) Do they have their properties on property websites i.e. www.rightmove.co.uk & www.
globrix.com and do they include full details of their properties. 3) Is there office in a good location, with good window displays? 4) Are their details produced in colour, with internal and external photos? 5) How many buyers do they have registered that are looking for your type of property and in your price bracket. 6) Do they have comparable properties to show you to back up their valuation? 7) Do they provide an opportunity for all of their sales staff to view your property to familiarise themselves with the property that they will be selling ? how can you sell a property to its full potential if you haven't seen it? 8) How often they make contact with their Vendors with updates on viewings, marketing and generally to keep in regular contact with you ? after all a Vendor who is ignored will not be a happy one and could potentially find alternative agents.
9) Always find out about their agency agreements ? there are a lot of agents out there that want to 'tie you in' to a 12 week agreement. This is generally the case for the large chain estate agents; the independents do not generally have a tie in period. All they usually require is 2 weeks written notice. It is always preferable not to be tied in ? look at it this way, if an agent is good at what they do then they won't have to tie you in to give them 12 weeks to sell it! 10) Also, go with your instincts ? if you feel that a particular agent would promote your property better than the others then that could be the one to go for. Instructing your agent / negotiating fees When you have chosen an agent that you think would represent your house in the best possible way to achieve a sale, you need to be firm about the commission. If you say to the agent that you have narrowed it down to two agents, both with the same services that you believe would enable them to sell your house, but the only difference is the commission.
You should then go onto say that unfortunately the decision on whom to instruct will be down to who can offer the best fee. Sole Agency (where only the one agent is instructed) fees can be anything up to 2.5% or a fixed fee. There should be no reason why you cannot negotiate to 1%. Be firm and stand your ground! There are many agents out there and trying to find the time to contact them to arrange viewings, valuations etc can be quite time consuming ? I should know! We are considering another move ourselves and the thought of Estate Agent trawling fills me with dread! So, I thought that I might try and find some help this time ? especially now that I have a 2 year old to deal with!! The Internet is the answer! I have found a company called Estate Agency Fees Direct that can do just that. I was slightly dubious at first as I have always done things myself but I filled in the form and was very impressed with the service that I received.
Estate Agency Fees Direct has an expanding network of Estate Agents, listed throughout the UK including several large organisations. Helping house sellers to get the best quotes online instantly, the service provides a simple search and request quote facility. Contact and compare multiple agencies for services such as home information packs, surveys, conveyance and valuations, the service is designed to save money.
They can be found at http://www.estateagencyfeesdirect.com Give them a go - they seem to be on our side!.
Allison is author of this article on Estate Agents. Find more information about Estate Agents here.