It’s estimated that the average Brit moves every 23 years! So, if you’re a homeowner and thinking of moving choosing an estate agent is a very important decision. The right agent should help you achieve a good asking price, save you time in the process, and make your home selling experience less stressful. It’s not a decision to take lightly. Let’s look at how to choose an estate agent and what to consider.
Importance of choosing the right estate agent
In essence, you’re employing your estate agent to sell your home. Understanding how to choose an estate agent is crucial for many reasons. They’ll be advising you on the most appropriate asking price and are overseeing the advertising of your property. They arrange property viewings with potential buyers, negotiate with buyers and are overseeing the entire sale. And let’s not forget, they should list all the essential details about your property that buyers would need to know. This is what we call ‘material information‘.
Getting it wrong could mean your property gets stuck on the market or a slow sales process – which will cost you time and money.
Factors to consider in choosing an estate agent
Consider the following as part of your research and due diligence:
Industry credentials to consider when you choose an estate agent
Are they a member of a regulatory body that withholds best practices or professional standards? Look for the following logos on an agent’s website as a starting point:
- The Property Ombudsman (TPO)
The Ombudsman provides redress to consumers who have raised complaints.
- Property Redress Scheme (PRS)
This is a consumer redress scheme, which has been authorised by the Government since 2014, to provide an impartial service that considers consumer complaints across a variety of property issues.
When considering how to choose an estate agent, a Propertymark membership can be a good sign as they are the professional trade body for estate agents. Members are qualified and work to a code of conduct above what the current law demands.
- Trading Standards (NTS)
The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team protects consumers and businesses by enforcing the Estate Agents Act (1979) and the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
How to choose an estate agent through reviews
As part of how to choose an estate agent, make sure to check an agent’s reviews – as well as Google and Trustpilot. There are property industry reviews that are independently verified. Reviews can give a good insight into other sellers’ experiences and help you gauge the agent’s reliability and effectiveness.
When you’re on the journey of how to choose an estate agent, ask people in your local area who have recently moved who they used to sell their home. Also, look around for agents’ boards outside houses and online listings on the property portals, is there a dominant brand that stands out?
Interview some agents to help you choose
Property is personal and having an agent that you like and feel you can work with is important. Invite several agents round to view your home, share local market expertise and give an indication of the asking price.
How long have you been trading?
If you’re figuring out how to choose an estate agent, then experience matters. If an agent has been in the business for a considerable amount of time they should have a good understanding of local market conditions, pricing strategies, and a good list of proceedable buyers also known as ‘hot buyers’.
Have you sold similar properties to mine?
Try and establish their track record selling properties similar to yours. This can be a good indicator of successful sales. If they’ve successfully sold homes like yours, they should be able to do the same for you.
Personality matters when you choose an estate agent
When learning how to choose an estate agent, consider if you like them. You’ll be working closely with this person throughout the selling process, so a good relationship can make the experience more pleasant and less stressful.
What a Propertymark member agent brings
When choosing a Propertymark member agent, you’re opting for a qualified professional. These agents have been rigorously vetted and meet certain educational and professional criteria to become members.
They also follow a strict code of conduct ensuring ethical practices. They are also fully updated on legislative changes and lots of resources at available to them as a result of their membership.
Next steps in how to choose an estate agent
Choosing the right estate agent is an important first step when you’re selling your home. Know how to choose an estate agent who is a member of respected bodies like Propertymark. Check their length of time trading, check their reviews, and consider their local expertise.
And don’t omit the human element; you should feel comfortable with the agent you choose, after all, they are working for you!
Last Updated: November 22nd, 2023