Choosing the right estate agent is incredibly important when selling your house. A good estate agent can make your sale smoother, quicker, and more lucrative. So it’s important to be able to tell a good estate agent from a bad one. Here’s our guide to signs of a good real estate agent.
Recommendations and reviews
When choosing who to buy or sell with, it’s a good idea to start by asking your friends and relatives if they have any recommendations. If an estate agent comes with a glowing review from someone you know, it’s often a very good sign and for most people it’s enough to make their choice. However, in the interest of being thorough, the more reviews, the better. So look online at their reviews; any reputable estate agency will have a reviews section on their website where you’ll find honest and often detailed reviews from customers. They’ll often detail their experience and even name-drop the particular agents or employees who have been most helpful, giving you the right people to ask for when you get in contact.
Being popular is one thing, but being good in the way that you need is what really sets apart the right estate agent for you. As well as them having good reviews, you’ll want to check that they have experience selling properties similar to yours and in similar areas.
Their track record
So you’ve heard all about how good your shortlist of estate agents are, now it’s time to look at the numbers. You’ll want to find out things like how many years of experience they have selling property, and their success selling properties like yours in your local area. Ask them about how often they make a sale at the asking price and how likely this will be for you. Furthermore, a key factor is an estate agent’s average selling time. This can be a double-edged sword. One on hand, a long selling time may suggest a lackadaisical approach, on the other hand, a very short selling time may sound great but it could be at the expense of the price. It’s important to weigh this in relation to the aforementioned factors.
Being accredited by reputable estate agency organisations or featured in reputable property guides is also a sign of a good estate agent. Guides such as the Best Estate Agent Guide perform independent research of the industry and offer unbiased recommendations and awards for estate agents. If you find a positive account of an estate agent here, you can trust that they’ll provide an excellent service.
Valuing a house is more nuanced than you may imagine. Estate agents are aware that the valuation they give for house is a large factor in them being chosen by the seller, and there are two main approaches taken. Some agents may give an overly generous valuation, significantly higher than the market value, in order to entice you into doing business with them. Then they’ll adjust the valuation at a later stage. Others will give more modest, realistic valuations and warn you about valuations that sound too good to be true.
We’re not saying you should automatically be suspicious if an agent gives your property a high valuation, but rather you should ask the reason(s) for the valuation. A trustworthy and experienced estate agent will be more than happy to breakdown the factors they’ve considered in giving the valuation. They should also be able to give you information on other similar and local properties that have recently sold as a comparison. Additionally, they should only discuss asking price vs realistic selling price with you, and reasons for the possible discrepancy. A good estate agent must be honest and justified in their decisions.
The final area to assess is the intangibles, things you can measure or put on paper necessarily, but which are still pertinent to the successful selling of a property. We’ll call this the estate agents’ virtues. Arguably the biggest virtue is being open and communicative. As a seller, you’ll want to know as much information as possible regarding the progress of your property sale, and it’s undoubtedly a rather stressful time. Constant, relevant communication with your estate agent will assure you that you’re in good hands and that everything is being taken care of.
A good estate agent will also have your interests at heart and be able to adapt to your needs. We mean this both in terms of the actual property sale itself as well as the way you operate. Your preferences regarding the type of buyer you’d like, or the type of price you’d like and your timeframe should all be respected by the estate agent. The way you like to deal with estate agents should also be taken into account. For example, if you prefer receiving updates by email instead of over the phone, a good estate agent should respect this. Similarly, if you like weekly updates as opposed to bi-weekly, for example, this should also be respected.
A good estate agent knows that a happy client becomes a positive review going forward, so it’s in their best interest to not only secure the best deal for you but to also make working together a simple, pleasant process.
Here at James Anderson, we pride ourself on our expertise and customer service. Our clients trust us to find the right deal for them, and you can read about their experiences with us on our reviews page. If you’re looking to rent, buy or sell a property in the south-west of London, get in touch with us today.