Catherine Caines is a Chartered Surveyor and Director of Payton Jewell Caines. She explains why choosing the right agent to market your property at the right price is the key to a quick and successful sale.
You get what you pay for. Those were the words of a vendor who had tried an online agent then opted for a smaller (and cheaper) high street agent before finally settling on Payton Jewell Caines to sell their property.
It’s not unusual to question the value of an estate agent and it’s definitely easy to be swayed by agents that promise the world at a reduced price. Yet, speak to anybody who has tried to sell their house and they will tell you that a good agent who understands the market is worth their weight in gold when selling a property.
The list of what can go wrong when selling can be daunting – offers are withdrawn; valuations fail; surveys highlight structural problems; timings get delayed and emotions run high. This is stress with a capital S.
Of course, the whole process is a lot smoother if you find the right estate agent to attract buyers and steer the sale along. You just need to know what you should be looking for.
Your starting point is to look for an agent that is actually qualified to do the job. Your agent should be a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and registered with the National Association of Estate Agents and Property Ombudsman Services. Property listings on Rightmove and Zoopla are absolutely essential as these are the portals most visited by prospective buyers.
Good quality photography, floor plans and website details are really important. First impressions count so make sure you choose an agent that invests in their marketing; it will make a world of difference to your ability to get a quick sale at the right price.
Experts agree it is crucial to get a marketing appraisal for your home from at least three estate agents before picking one. The big mistake, however, is to be seduced by a high valuation. Falling for the agent that gives the highest price can be a very costly mistake. It can add months to the amount of time it takes to sell your home and you may even struggle to get viewers at all.
A bad agent will start with a high price and then try to talk you down once you have appointed them.
That’s why it is essential that the right asking price is agreed from the outset. Pitch it too high and you will lose the all-important initial impact, which could lead to your property sitting on the market for months and eventually selling for less. So, how do you know if your agent is suggesting the right asking price?
One way is to do your own research by trawling websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla. They’ll tell you what properties in your area have achieved. Of course, you should also go with the agent that has the best local market knowledge, a recognisable quality brand, prominent high-street office and good local reputation. You want an agent that will be accountable and will work with you to see the whole process through from start to finish.
Once you have instructed your estate agent, place your trust in them to find a buyer who will pay the best price for the property. Take advice, listen to feedback and work with your agent to get the sale that you want. That’s when you will realise the real value of a good estate agent.
A qualified Valuer, Catherine was educated at the University of Wales Swansea and the University of Reading, where she gained a Masters in Land Management. She is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and has achieved City & Guilds Level 3 DEAPD.
By PJC Homes on February 8th, 2017