If you haven’t sold a house before, or if you haven’t moved for a long time, where on earth do you start? The thought of it can be daunting. The decisions you make could save or cost you thousands of pounds. How can you be certain of the advice you’re given? How do you know how to choose the right person to act on your behalf? How do you trust an estate agent when the industry is synonymous with distrust?
Trust is the most important factor in any relationship, personal or professional, and it’s vital to trust the person you’re about to commission to take charge of what is likely to be your greatest financial asset.
Good estate agents play a crucial role in the process of selling a home. But there is too large a gap between the services a good agent plays, and the very average service others provide.
So how do you choose your agent? In order to answer this, it’s important to look at how the property market has changed over recent years.
In the past, if you were looking to buy a house, you’d visit the towns and villages closest to where you wanted to live and register your interest with the local high street agents. You were totally reliant on them to alert you to any homes they deemed would interest you. Not so anymore! Rather than being led by the estate agent, the market is now led by the properties themselves.
The advances in digital technology have taken over! Over 99% of buyers now search for their new home by area, by price and style from the comfort of their own homes, or indeed on the move, via their computer and phones!
One of the decisions to be made therefore, is whether you choose a modern online business or a traditional high street one. So, how does an agent sell a house? We all value homes, we provide photographs, floorplans and Energy Performance Certificates where necessary, and we advertise houses on the internet. You could therefore argue that the basic functions of estate agency are similar to all. However, and importantly, many online agents will not negotiate on your behalf nor ensure that your potential buyer can afford to buy your home. Many will have taken their fee upfront and you would question how motivated they then are to see the best possible price achieved for your home, and further, to work hard on your behalf to ensure that your sale proceeds to completion.