When buying or renting a property it goes without saying that the experience and expertise of a good estate agent can be vital. There are many decisions to be made throughout a property purchase and many procedures to follow in order for everything to run smoothly.
The first, and one of the most important decisions when moving home, is which estate agent to use. Before you make that bold move, here’s a checklist of what to look for in an agent:
- Visibility. Will your home be in the shop window? Not just the shop window in fact – although a prominent, central window display will be a good start – it will need to be in the local papers, on key websites such as Right Move, Zoopla and FindaProperty to maximise the chances of your property selling quickly and at the right price. The agent must also be willing to push your property out via leaflet drops and calling potential buyers in order to raise interest.
- Flexibility. Estate agents need to arrange viewings to suit your needs, so if only evenings and weekends are acceptable to you then they should abide by your wishes. Similarly, they should only be sending people through the door who have a genuine interest in buying your property – too many agents encourage home hunters to see as many styles of property as possible, in order to get a feel for what they want. That’s okay for them, however it does mean that a lot of time-wasters will be turning up on your doorstep.
- Presentation. When scanning potential properties, buyers are drawn to the images, making them incredibly important. As such, high quality shots of your kitchen, bathroom, lounge, bedrooms etc. will make your home stand out from the crowd – don’t accept anything less from your agent.
- Progressing your sale. Having sold your home, the hard work shouldn’t stop there. Every year, hundreds of sales fall through before exchange of contracts so an agency with a dedicated sales progression team is favourable to one without as important calls can often be missed if an agent is out on a viewing, for example.
- Extra charges. Estate agents sometimes have tie-in periods, charge you if you pull out of a sale or require an upfront fee for marketing your property. Just so you aren’t hit with an unexpected bill, it’s best to check this out before signing on the dotted line.
- Financial service. Many of the bigger estate agencies offer to sort your mortgage out for you too. For some people this is a good thing, while others prefer to do it themselves for fear of not ultimately getting the best deal. Either way, an agency shouldn’t pressure you into using their financial services.
Ultimately, it’s about choosing an agency you feel comfortable with and who you know will be working in your best interests. Contact Galliard Residential on 0208 582 5517 to see if we fit the bill.