7 mins read

When it comes time to sell your home, it’s natural to want to know all the ways you can improve the outcome of your sale. There’s a lot of competing advice out there, which can get confusing when you’re trying to make decisions about one of your most expensive assets.

In this article, we take a closer look at estate agents, and whether it’s better to use more than one agent to sell your home. We’ll take you through the pros and cons of both options. But, ultimately the answer will depend on your personal aims.

Can you sell your house with multiple estate agents?

Yes, you can sell your house with multiple estate agents.

Although, working with just one is the most common choice, it’s up to you how many estate agents you want to work with. It’s perfectly legitimate to work with one, two, or even more agents, when you’re selling, as long as the terms of your estate agent agreement allows it.

If you want to work with just one agent, you’ll likely sign what’s called a ‘sole agency’ agreement. Sole agency agreements are the most common form of estate agent contract in the UK. This type of contract means that only one estate agent is allowed to sell your property. These are usually time-limited contracts, meaning you’re tied into working with that agent for a certain length of time. If a different agent sells your home whilst you’re under the terms of a sole agency agreement, you’ll have to pay both sets of fees. But, once the contractual period has ended, you can go on to work with whoever you want to (if you haven’t already sold your house). Some people choose to work with a sole agent initially, and then multiple agents once the contract term has ended.

There are two types of agreement that allow you to use more than one agent: a multiple agency agreement, or a joint agency agreement.

What’s the difference between ‘multiple agency’ and ‘joint agency’?

Multiple Agency

This type of agreement lets you work with as many agents as you like, and you only have to pay the one that actually ends up selling your house. This is the most competitive type of contract, and often comes with the highest fee.

Joint Agency

This type of agreement allows you to use two estate agents to sell your property. Once your sale is complete, your agents will split your commission fee. Generally this type of agreement is only effective if you choose agencies with different ways of attracting buyers. This’ll mean to benefit from exposure to a wider range of potential buyers. If you’re thinking about using this type of arrangement, take the time to interview each of your prospective estate agents carefully. Ask them about their experience in the area, and the unique ways they would market your home.

For more information on the different forms of estate agency contract, and some tips on how to pick the right type for you, check out our handy guide.

Should I use more than one estate agent?

Whether you decide to use more than one agent in your property sale will depend largely on your aims.

Is it more important for you to sell quickly, or would you rather hold out for the best possible sale price? Is your house typically classed as ‘difficult’ to sell, or ‘unique’, or is it an in-demand property (like a three-bed house near a good school)?

Answering these questions will go some way to helping you decide the best way forward. Looking at the pros and cons of using one or more agents may be a useful place to start too.

Pros of using more than one estate agent to sell

  • Your home will be put in front of more potential buyers

It’s a pretty common misconception that all an estate agent does is make an advert for a property and stick it on the online property portals (websites like Rightmove, Zoopla, and OnTheMarket). But, estate agents actually do a lot more than this to get your property noticed by potential buyers. They are constantly networking with interested buyers in your area, and advertising through a range of online and offline channels. If you work with more than one agent you’ll get your property in front of each agent’s unique networks of buyers. And, the more people see your property, the more people might put in an offer.

  • Spread of expertise

This works particularly well if you choose to work with one local agent, and one national agent with a particular speciality for your type of property. For example, there are national estate agents that work with properties that are specifically seen as: ‘prime’, ‘unique’, or investment opportunities. By using two quite different agencies you can maximise your property’s exposure to interested buyers. This spread of expertise can be especially useful for more difficult to sell properties.

  • A quicker sale

Many professional property investors recommend using multiple agents if you’re looking for a quick sale. They think that competition to win a fee encourages your agents to find you buyers quicker. On top of this, the higher commission fee provides a more exciting reward, making sure your agents are motivated to make your sale their priority.

To use multiple agents to get a quicker sale, make sure you use a ‘multiple agency’ agreement, rather than a ‘joint agency’ contract. It’s more motivating if your agents are competing for the same fee, rather than a fee that they’ll share.

Cons of using more than one estate agent to sell

  • You don’t need more than one online property advert, you just need a good one

One of the downsides of having two or more estate agents, is that you’ll also end up having multiple online adverts. There’s not much benefit to having several adverts for the same house on the same platforms, because it’s likely they’ll all get seen by the same buyers anyway. However, each of your agents will still want to get their advert up on the main online property portals, where most people start off their property search.

It may be better for your home sale to make sure that your online advert is the best it possibly can be. The pictures should be taken professionally, and the description should be written to include all the keywords and jargon that your target buyer is likely to search for. Having a single good online advert is just as, if not more effective, than multiple average adverts.

  • A higher commission fee

Often if you choose a ‘joint agency’ or ‘multiple agency’ arrangement you’ll have to pay a slightly higher commission fee - usually between 2% and 3% + VAT of your final sale price.

This can put off some sellers, because there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a better price with your home if you use more estate agents. The cheapest way to guarantee you get the best price for your home, is to ensure you’re working with an estate agent that has an excellent track record in your local area - and with properties similar to yours. These agents will have the best connections with potential buyers, and the greatest experience in promoting homes like yours.

If you’re unsure which agent is the best fit for your sale, you can use this nifty comparison tool. It uses data about the estate agents and market in your area, to provide you with a list of the top performers in your neighbourhood.