Finding the right agent isn’t easy. There are over 18,000 estate agents in the UK, and in the average postcode, 62 estate agents have listed property for sale. Many of them look and sound the same, so choosing isn’t easy, and it can be tempting to pick an agent based on one of the following factors:
It seems like common sense to pick the agent offering the lowest commission. However a low fee doesn’t guarantee a better deal. An agent’s performance should also be taken into account. One agent might charge 1.2% commission, and sell your property for £450,000. This would translate into a fee of £5,400. Another agent might charge 1.4%, but be able to achieve a sales price of £470,000. Their fee is larger, at £6580, but your property has sold for a significantly higher price, making you more money too. Look for the best performers, not just the lowest fee, when picking an estate agent
Another common mistake is assuming that the agent offering the best valuation will achieve the highest sales price. It’s common for properties to be overvalued by estate agents. This can either be due to a lack of experience, or worse, be a tactic to win your instruction.
An experienced agent will know that over-valuing your home can actually damage a commission-based business. An overpriced property will need a greater number of price cuts to encourage a sale. This means your home could end up selling for less than if it had been accurately priced from the start. Zoopla recently found that overpriced homes sell for an average of £12,000 less than their list price.
Recommendations from friends
Most people won’t sell property often enough to get a real sense of what to expect from an agent, so personal recommendations may not be that useful when making your decision. On top of this, local expertise is key to the success of many top performing estate agents. Unless your friend lives in the same area, it’s likely the agency they used isn’t the best one for you.
On their own these factors are not be enough to help you find the best estate agent. However, with a bit of research you can easily compare estate agents and find the right fit.
At GetAgent we analyse huge amounts of property sales data. Our technology tracks the following metrics for every postcode in the UK, so you can accurately compare the best estate agents in your area:
Average sale time
We track the average number of weeks it takes for an agent in your local area to sell a property. So, if a speedy sale is important for you, we can let you know exactly who is best placed to help.
Number of properties listed in your area
We believe the best estate agents are local experts. An agent that’s active in your area will already have worked on properties like yours. This means they’ll be able to give a good estimate of how much your home is worth, and how quickly it will sell. Hopefully they’ll even have contact details for potential buyers that lost out on a similar property!
Percentage of asking price achieved
Getting the price right, and avoiding unnecessary reductions can dramatically affect your final sales price. Finding out how successful an estate agent is at valuing property is crucial. If they regularly don’t achieve the asking price, it may be that they have a habit of overvaluing.
On the other hand, if their percentage success rate is above 100%, it could show that they have a tendency to undervalue. For your best chance at achieving the highest sales price, we recommend picking an estate agent with a percentage success rate as close to 100% as possible. These agents will be the most accurate valuers.
Many homeowners choose the estate agent with the smallest commission fee. Others take the sale of their property into their own hands and list with an online estate agent. Both of these options may end up costing you more in the long run. It’s important to consider a number of factors, and not just the fee, when deciding on the best estate agent for you.
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