When choosing an Estate Agent the first question you should ask yourself is what it is that you actually need from your chosen agent. Most vendors will have two simple answers, “the lowest fee” and/or “the highest valuation”.
Estate Agents are well aware of this and can easily manipulate their answers in a bid the gain your instruction. Be aware that most of the larger agencies will have instruction targets that must be hit. Falling into this trap could have dire consequences as inflated valuations create false hope and can lead to disappointment. Likewise cheap agents often cannot afford to provide the support or the marketing needed to achieve the best price in a reasonable timeframe.
Do not believe for one moment that any agent on “rightmove” will be able to sell your home efficiently. All too often this is just not the case, the enquiries must be followed up and the applicant properly interviewed before a viewing takes place.
What must also be remembered is a point often forgotten by vendors and by a wide number of inexperienced Estate Agents. That point is that the job of an Estate Agent is not just simply to find a buyer. Any agent can do that, and that is part of the reason why there are so many. But how many will truly help you move, be a guiding hand, advise you on the best marketing strategy, or maybe even be a shoulder to cry on if things get tough?
My advice is to mystery shop your shortlist of agents, make enquiries about properties they have For Sale and see how quickly and efficiently they respond to those enquiries. Test their local knowledge, check their online photography and visit the office.
Pick an agent who you believe will sell your home for the best price in the timescale that you (not they) require and with minimal stress. Therefore a good agent should act on your behalf as your advisor, negotiator, marketing planner and sales progressor. These are the key components to any quality Estate Agent. Remember a good agent will help you with your move not just your sale.