How to choose the right real estate agent to sell your home
We may still be in January, but the race is already underway in the 2022 housing market — and for savvy sellers, there’s no time to lose.
The average asking price of property to come on the market in the UK since the New Year is £341,019, according to Rightmove.
That’s 7.6 percent more than a year ago and is the highest annual price growth the real estate website has recorded since 2016.
But some analysts say we are approaching the top of the market.
Boom time: The average asking price of property to come on the market in the UK since the New Year is £341,019,- 7.6% up on a year ago
“House price growth may slow,” said Jason Tebb, CEO of another real estate website, OnTheMarket.
“It remains the best time to sell in two decades, but one could argue that it’s better to do that sooner rather than later.”
In addition, a cost of living crisis, led by projected rising energy bills and higher inflation, means the economy may be in better shape than ever for the rest of this year.
So if you are in a rush, choosing the right broker is essential. Here are our top tips for doing just that:
Show what you got
“If your home has unique features, choose a real estate agent with the best photography and marketing, eg drone footage if it’s near the countryside.
If it’s in an area with comparable properties, such as townhouses, find out which broker gets the highest price and focus less on flashy marketing,” says Claire Coode of the buying agency Stacks Property Search.
Find out from neighbors, friends, relatives and colleagues who have recently sold, which realtors and businesses in the area were performing well and which were not.
Check login details
Sold! An agent hands over the keys
Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark – a trade group – says the best agents are likely to be those who have qualifications and join a professional body, although neither is required.
“Having an agent who is qualified and a member of an agency demonstrates a voluntary drive and professional commitment to uphold standards and knowledge,” he says.
Put them to the test
When you request a market valuation or appraisal of your home, you will likely be visited by a senior professional from the real estate agency, but you may never see him or her again during the sale process.
So Alex Lyle, director of London’s real estate agency Antony Roberts, suggests trying a new tactic: “Ask a friend or relative to mystery shop the office to get a sense of how good the team is.”
Shortlisted the best
Don’t necessarily invite every agent in your area to pitch for your company, but get at least three good ones.
They should tell you the good and bad points of your property, explain a marketing strategy and suggest an asking price.
When deciding which three to invite, consider checking out comparison websites such as GetAgent.co.uk or the HomeOwners Alliance’s consumer group’s broker comparison tool ea4me.hoa.org.uk.
Feel free to ask how the broker works. Iain McKenzie, chief executive of The Guild of Property Professionals, suggested: ‘What is your strategy for getting the best price? Which network or affiliated offices do you work with?
How effective has your marketing been to other homes in the area? How do you keep me fully informed?’
Check the costs
The average fee is now 1.2 percent of the sale price plus VAT. For a £500,000 house, that’s a fee of £6,000, plus £1,200 VAT, payable when the sale is completed.
There are wide regional variations ranging from just 0.75 to 3 percent plus VAT – agents operating in London and major cities, and those selling the largest properties typically charge the highest fees.
And View the brokerage conditions for Sole Agency, where one broker has the exclusive right to sell your Riverside home for cash hassle-free, check local home buyers online or Multi-Agency (where several brokers market your property).
Online vs Traditional
Despite basement bargains, online agents have never gained more than 10 percent of the market share.
The weakness of some online businesses is the pursuit of a deal – once an offer is made, a good High Street agent has staff and time to chase down carriers, surveyors and mortgage companies plus all the other sellers in a real estate chain. Most online agents do not have the resources to do this.
A contract with a broker is usually for 12 or 16 weeks. That’s often enough time to find a seller, but if you don’t succeed, you won’t be able to move to another agency until the deadline has passed.