Choosing a proper real estate agent is very important. You need to take your time and go through a lot of things to make sure that the agent you’ve chosen fits your requirements and provides you with a house or plot that suits your needs.
According to the US Census Bureau, nearly 5.64 million existing houses were sold by real estate agents in 2020. If you’re planning to buy or sell a house, here are a few things you should look out for in your agent.
1. Ask for recommendations
One of the simplest things you can do is to ask your friends, relatives, or coworkers for some good recommendations regarding agents. Anyone you know who has moved in recently might still be in touch with their agent, so they’ll be able to provide you with accurate contact details.
Estate agents London can be found pretty easily, so you just need to look for them actively. Also, remember to take a quick look in your neighbourhood for signs like “for sale” or “sold”. They can give you insights regarding who the agent is.
2. Check credentials
Estate agents are supposed to be a part of The Property Ombudsman Scheme that allows for complaints lodged against any agent to be investigated independently. A lot of real estate agents can also be members of trade bodies.
Some of the trade bodies you should be aware of are the Guild of Property Professionals, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Without having to walk inside the agent’s own office, you can research their credentials using these organizations.
3. Pose as a buyer
Sometimes, in order to figure out which estate agent is perfect for you, you need to go undercover. Simply pose as a potential buyer who’s interested in looking for some houses or plots.
Pay close attention to how they speak or behave and ask yourself questions like. “Will I be happy if my property was described this way?” and “Will I buy a property from them?”.
4. Choose more than one agent
It’s good to shortlist a few agents but keep at least two or three agents on your list. Ask them to come and evaluate your property. When your property is being valued, don’t blindly choose the agent that marks the highest price.
More often than not, these are ploys by clever estate agents to gain your satisfaction. Ideally, you should go for the person who seems the most honest and trustworthy, not someone who will over-evaluate and then fail to get a buyer at such high prices.
5. Ask the following questions
If you’re confused regarding whether to choose a particular agent or not, here are some basic questions you can ask.
What is the charge for the sole agency: Sole agency refers to a situation where the agent has exclusive rights to sell your property for a particular period. If your property is sold by another agent within this period, you’ll still have to pay the first agent their fee. Sole agency fees can range between 1-2.5% of the selling price.
What is the charge for multi-agency: This is a kind of arrangement where a lot of agents will be trying to sell off your property. The one who is successfully able to sell it gets the fees. This fee is generally within 2.5-3.5% of the sale price.
How will your property be advertised: Will your property be advertised in the local papers or on any specific website? Can the agent show any previous examples of advertisements?
6. Review the agent’s performance
After a few days or weeks of multi-agency, when you’re nearing the end of the tie-in period, it’s necessary to evaluate how your agent is doing. Keep in mind things like the number of viewers you’ve gotten and how each of these experiences was.
Also, make sure if the agent is being able to fulfill their promises or not. Ask them to give you feedback or tips on how to improve your property.
Over to you…
These six tips will be able to help you to pick the right kind of real estate agent for you. It’s important to be transparent and honest with your agent and make sure the communication goes both ways. Only then will you be able to sell or buy a house at proper prices?