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article dwell leeds

12 Questions To Ask Estate Agents When Selling

It is vital you know both what to ask your estate agent, and what you should tell them before you sell your home. The conversations you have at the outset will determine how well you work together, and it might even influence the level of service you receive from your agent.

At Dwell, we know you have many options when it comes to choosing an estate agent. We also know you are looking for the best professional in your local area, or for your type of home. If you want to enhance your chances of connecting with the best possible agent, please consider the following 12 questions to ask estate agents when selling your home.    

As you would expect, we will be more than happy to answer these questions for you.

 

How Much Do You Charge?

While someone selling their home is more likely to be focused on the expected selling fee of their house, it is important to consider the costs associated with selling your home. Not all agents charge the same fee(s), and of course, not all agents provide the same standard of service. This means the value for money on offer from one agent might be very different to what is provided by another.No matter the fee charged by the agent, it is vital you know what services you need, and what constitutes good value for money for you.

In saying that, there are some guidelines to consider when it comes to agent fees. Most traditional High Street agents operate on a commission basis, and you’ll pay a percentage of the final sales price. This is often between 1% and 3%, so make sure you have this in writing and you are certain on what you should pay.

When Are Your Fees Due?


The amount you have to pay in agent fees is important, but the timing of payment is also another crucial issue.
Selling a home is often a challenging time, with a lot of money flowing in and out. If you don’t manage your finances, and pay close attention to when bills are due, you might find yourself in short-term trouble.

Understandably, especially when the fee is linked to the sales price, the fee will not become due until the property is sold. From that point, you will be expected to pay as quickly as possible, but please check your contract to clarify when you must pay agent fees.

Have You Sold Any Other Properties In The Area Recently?


Experience is vital in the property market, and there is a lot to be said for hiring an estate agent with a proven track record of selling homes like yours. Therefore, it is entirely reasonable for you to question whether an agent has sold other properties in the area.If they have, ask for details or carry out research to see the sales price, how long the property was on the market for, and compare this to other local sales.

If your agent shows consistency with the market, or even outperforms the average in price or time, it is likely they will provide you with a high standard of service.


How Much Is Our Property Worth?


When you come to sell your home, you want to know how much money you are likely to get. This is useful information for many reasons, but if you are looking to buy another house, it is vital you have a reasonable budget to work with.

Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable to ask an agent to offer a quick assessment on what they think your home is worth. If you are committed to the sales process, you can arrange for a more thorough valuation to take place, but at the starting point, a good agent will be able to offer a quick estimate which allows you to better consider your options.

How Does An Estate Agent Value A Property?


A good agent begins the valuation process before they arrive at your property. A lot of a property’s value is linked to the local area, transport and school options, how many shops and amenities there are, the crime figures and so much more. This information provides an agent with the platform for evaluating a home, and it will influence the value of your property.

Also, factors like the supply and demand for homes in the area will influence what buyers are willing to pay, so these elements are considered in the valuation process.

Inside the property, there are many factors that an agent considers. The size of the home, the layout of property and whether space is functional, and the condition of the property are all important factors. Whether improvements work has been carried out, and whether there is further scope for improvements will also play a big role in the value an agent places on a home.

The outside of the property is also considered, with garden space, security and access elements all impacting the value of the home.

What Are Your Opening Hours?


In the modern world, businesses operate around the clock, and with websites or property portals, the housing market is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
However, it is unreasonable to assume your agent will always be available when you need them, so it is best to clarify their working hours. It might be that you have unconventional working hours, and you would prefer an agent who was flexible enough to meet or speak with you outside of traditional working hours.
This is something that can be arranged between you and the agent, but make sure you are both clear on when you would prefer to communicate.

Who Will Conduct Property Viewings?


 

One of the most important aspects of the sales process is the property viewing, and it is good to clarify who will conduct property viewings.

In the vast majority of cases, the viewing process is best left to the estate agent. They are the professionals with considerable experience with this line of work, and by allowing the agent to manage the viewing process, it removes the personal nature of having the homeowner present.

Some buyers will be unwilling to offer honest feedback on a property if the owner is present, so it is best to allow the professional to conduct this step when selling a home.

Before you successfully sell your property, it’s likely that several viewings will need to be conducted.

How Quickly Can My Property Be Up For Sale?


Once you are committed to the sales process, it is natural you want your home to be on the market as soon as possible. Not every agent has the same process, and some have steps and procedures they like to complete before listing a property for sale. There is also a lot of work to carry out before going to market, including photographing the home, arranging an EPC (if applicable), writing the listing and setting up the promotional work.

The nature of selling a home means that not every project takes the same time, but a good agent will provide you with a rough outline of when they expect the property to be on sale, and will update you if this changes.

Where Will My Property Be Listed?


Being seen by the right buyer in the right place is vital in selling your home, so you are well within your rights to ask where the property will be listed.
A good agent will ensure you receive considerable coverage in the leading property portals, but they will not overlook more traditional listing methods either. A High Street agent should ensure they list properties in the window of their store, capitalising on foot traffic. Also, depending on the local market, there might be an opportunity to list properties in local newspapers or listing pamphlets.

How Long Will You List My Property?


A property isn’t listed forever until it is sold. It is likely the estate agent will only list the property for a maximum amount of time (say until it is sold or six months pass), but clarify this with your agent.

All being well, your property will connect with buyers, and it will sell before too long. However, at the start of the process, it is vital you consider all options, and knowing what your agent will do if the property fails to sell in a short amount of time is useful information to have.

How Best Can I Stage Our Home For Viewings?


Staging is one of the most important elements of the sales process, and a good estate agent will help you present your home with the most likely buyer in mind.
There are many general tips that people take on board, such as decluttering, cleaning, redecorating in neutral colours and carrying out repairs, but staging is a step beyond these initial tasks.

A staged property is one that intends to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons, connecting with buyers. Great photographs grab attention and make people read the listing, or contact the agent to arrange a viewing.

Can You Handle Offer Negotiation And Sales Progression?


An estate agent will generate interest in your property, but a good estate agent will take you to the end of the sales process. This means your needs will be represented during negotiations. It is likely that there will be offers and counter-offers during the sales process, and this is when having a professional on your side who’s aim is to achieve the best price for you, is a massive boost.

You will also find a skilled estate agent ensures administrative work is up to date, and that no party falls behind on correspondence. A good agent will provide thorough sales progression as part of their service. This involves managing all parties through the many steps and stages involved with buying or selling property.
 
They will manage the buyer, the seller, Solicitors and on both sides of the transaction to make sure there are no bottlenecks and things proceed in a timely fashion. Where there is a chain, it is the job of a good estate agent to manage the parties up and down in the chain as well and try to pre-empt any issues in the links along the way. This is a very technical job given the complexity of the process and the number of parties that can be involved.

If you are looking for peace of mind when it comes to selling your home, find a good estate agent and allow them to manage the process for you.
We're an independent Estate & Letting Agents based in Leeds. We pride ourselves on high quality service and expert local knowledge delivered through focused, passionate, and well-trained staff. Our Team are residential property specialists with an intimate and unique in-depth understanding of our local market. Call us on 0113 246 4860.