Finding the right agent isn't easy. There are over 18,000 estate agents in the UK. 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. Most often, people will pick an agent based on one of the following:
- The Fee: fees matter, but so does performance. For example, a 1.2% fee on a £450,000 property translates into £5400. If another agent charges 1.4%, but sells the property for £470,000, fees go up to £6580 – but you've also sold for £20,000 more, so the small increase in fee translates into a significant benefit for you. The adage 'you get what you pay for' generally holds true, and estate agents are no different – going with the lowest fee could potentially end up costing the owner thousands of pounds in loss of earnings if the agent underperforms.
- Valuation: With the highest valuation - this leads to purposeful overvaluing by agents. The price is then dropped until the property sells. GetAgent measures the percentage of asking price that the agent achieves, so you can get an agent that values accurately.
- Ask their friends: the issue with this one, is that most people won't sell a property often enough to get an idea of what to expect from their agent, so personal recommendations are far from ideal. Also, unless your friend lives in the same area and sold a similar property, the agent they used may not be appropriate for you!
With so little information to go on, it’s not surprising that so many sellers end up picking either the cheapest agent or the one offering the highest valuation. None of the above methods of selection necessarily help you achieve your primary objective – sell fast, and for the most money.
Historical Sales Data
We use property sales data to give you insights into how well local agents are performing, giving you an indication of which one is most likely to do the best job. We believe local area expertise is a big part of what an estate agent offers, so our technology tracks the following metrics, for every postcode in the UK:
- Average sale time: for some people, a quick sale is really important. We track how many weeks on average it takes for an agent to sell property in that area.
- Number of properties listed: the right agent for you will be a local area expert. That doesn't necessarily mean they have their office on the road, but that they have sold several properties near yours. This is important because a big driver of property value is demand – or in other words, how many dissapointed buyers there were for every seller. An agent that's active in your area will have seen properties similar to yours sell, and be able to give a good estimate of how much it's worth and how quickly it will sell. Hopefully they'll even have contact details for potential buyers that lost out on the last property!
- Percentage of asking prices achieved: it's common practice for an agent to overvalue a property just to win the business, only to then reduce the price until it sells. Getting the price right, and avoiding unnecessary price drops can drastically affect your final sale price (see how to price your property), so finding out how good the agent are at valuing your property is really important. If the % is below 100%, it may be that they're overvaluing. Over 100%, it could show that they undervalue. We advise going with agents with a % as close to 100% as possible.