5 Tips for Finding the Right Estate Agent

Whether it is your first real estate transaction or not, working with the right estate agent is crucial to a smooth transaction. With millions of agents in the UK, it can be tough to find the one that’s right for you. The following are methods that should help you size up an agent’s potential.

1. Ask for recommendations

Though a bit obvious, getting referrals from friends and families often helps. Find out their experiences and call the agents to set an appointment. You can also check out the websites of estate agents for reviews or client feedback. During your meeting, pay attention to how they behave. Get at least three agents to value your property. Go with the one who is fair and honest, not the one who clearly overvalues your property and might later fail to get a buyer for it.

2. Know their past clients

Ask potential agents about previous clients they have handled; get a list of properties they have sold, along with contact information of the sellers. You can ask past clients about the asking price and the sales price. If you are selling your property, compare your property with theirs if there are similarities in cost, location and other features. It also helps to know how long the properties were, or have been, on the market.

3. Check their legitimacy

It is best to work with a licenced estate agent. Check with the local regulatory body to find out if your prospective agent has any pending complaint against them.

4. Check industry credentials

It pays to work with a reputable estate agent who is not just easy to deal with, but also has the credentials to ensure great work. Professional agents can be recognised through awards and endorsements. Members of trade bodies like the Guild of Professional Estate Agents, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the National Association of Estate Agents offer good credentials, and are required to comply with the relevant code of conduct. You can check their membership of professional bodies on their websites.

5. Ask important questions

Ask the agent regarding the price for sole and multi-agency services. If you choose sole agency, ask about the tie-in period. Fees for this may range from 1 to 2 per cent of the sale price. If you choose multi-agency, several agents will try to sell your property. Fees will typically be around 1.5 to 2.5 per cent of the sale price. Also, find out how your property will be advertised, and who will take care of the viewings.

When looking for the best online estate agents, remember that an estate agent with less experience doesn’t automatically equate to poor performance. Sometimes it could mean they have a smaller client base but provide more attention for their clients. By doing your research carefully, you can ensure you find an excellent agent.