7 Smart Questions to Ask Your Estate Agent Ahead of Selling

7 Smart Questions to Ask Your Estate Agent Ahead of Selling

Selling your home can be extremely stressful and whilst it isn’t impossible to go it alone, it is wise to enlist the services of an experienced estate agent who can provide invaluable information and insight into the real estate world.

You need to compare the pros and cons of different estate agents to ensure that you’re making the right choice, and to do this you need to ask these 7 smart questions ahead of selling.

How much will you charge?

Typically, estate agents – whether based online or on the high street – will charge a percentage fee of the agreed selling price of your property which varies between 0.75% and 3.5% depending on the type of contract in place (we will look at contracts a little later on).

You might need to scour the market and haggle to get the best deals, so be prepared.

Are there any hidden costs?

No one likes hidden costs, so you need to make sure you’re not being drawn in on an attractive deal only to fall victim to harsh and steep costs you hadn’t first anticipated into your budget.

Will your estate agent provide a ‘for sale’ board free of charge or do you have to pay extra? What about floor plans, are they included in the price? Do you need to pay extra for professional photographs to be taken of your property?

All these questions need to be asked and answered before you sign on the dotted line. Don’t be caught out by sneaky surcharges.

Where will my property be listed?

Depending on whether you opt for a high street estate agent, an online estate agent or a hybrid mix of the two, your property will be listed in several different ways.

Currently, buyers and sellers alike choose to browse the internet for all things property instead of visiting their local high street estate agent office.

All estate agents tend to list on major property portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation, but it is worth asking your agent why they have chosen one portal over another and see if you agree with them.

Online estate agents will be able to advertise on various portals at the same time, which will in turn increase the number of prospective buyers who view your property.

What contract will be in place?

There are 4 different contracts your estate agent may ask you to sign before on boarding with the agency, these include:

  • Sole Selling Rights – when you sign a contract that gives the estate agent the ‘sole selling rights’ you must pay the agent even if you find your own buyer. Sole selling rights stop any other estate agents from selling the property.
  • Sole Agency – similar to sole selling rights, with a sole agency contract you won’t have to pay anything to the estate agent if you find your own buyer.
  • Multi Agency – with this contract you can use as many estate agents as you like to widen your reach and increase competition, but fees will be higher as a result.
  • Ready, Willing and Able Purchaser – with this, you will have to pay the estate agent for finding a buyer, even if you decide to take your house off the market. This type of contract is generally avoided.

Is there a tie-in period?

Just like hidden costs, tie in periods are a big no-no. You should check that the terms of your contract give you the flexibility to cut ties with the estate agent and terminate the contract without facing any fees. That way, if you’re unhappy with the service being provided, you can change estate agents quickly and easily and get your property back on the market.

Can you recommend a conveyancer?

The chances are your estate agent will have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field, and this means they will have worked with other experts such as conveyancers time and time again.

Ask your agent if they can recommend a trusted conveyancer to deal with all the paperwork. But be sure to do your own research and get a few quotes, you might end up saving yourself a few precious pounds.

How do we keep in touch?

Some estate agents may not want to be bothered out of office hours, and likewise there may be times where you don’t want to be disturbed, so establish a preferred method of communication and ask what times are best to get in contact.

On the other hand, some estate agents will be happy to answer any questions and queries no matter what time of day, with some on hand 24/7.

Some estate agents may opt to communicate via online platforms and applications that help to aid the process. Instead of lengthy emails and time-consuming telephone conversations, you can get quick updates on the selling process on-the-go.

So, if you want to be a savvy home seller, then you need to ask these 7 questions to your future estate agent. It could be the difference between a successful or stressful sale.

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