Saturday, 2 January 2016

How to select an estate agent when selling a property

  • Ask questions: opening hours (very important), website presence, where property will be marketed and how frequently, do they do weekend and evening viewings, do they accompany buyers on these viewings?
  • Get three or four valuations plus quotes for a fee, for lock in period and for notice period
  • You need to negotiate: for an average value property, 1% fee and one week written notice is good; 1.5% fee and two week written notice is pretty good.
  • Avoid lock in of more than eight weeks
  • Be prepared to suggest fee deals that work for you e.g. £1000 flat fee plus 10% over a defined "good price"
  • Make sure the fee is not based on "asking price" (the agent will inflate their valuation and you will lose out)
  • Make sure the fee is not payable for a buyer who is "ready, willing and able" to proceed (if they pull out, you're still liable for the fees)
  • Do not give the agent "sole selling rights" as you will be liable for the agent's fee even if you find a buyer yourself.
  • Check if the fee includes VAT.
  • Don't tell agents what other agents have valued the property at, or it will distort their own valuation.
  • Ask which individual will deal with the property and make sure you speak to that individual before you sign up.  If in doubt, walk away.
  • Check if the agent is a member of the National Association of Estate Agents, or the Property Ombudsman Scheme.  Although neither body will give complete protection.
See other tips on Buying a Property and Selling a Property.

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