I’ve recently returned from a short break to Durham. While I took in the sights, I was very aware of the number of Estate Agency offices in the town centre. I counted nine in one street! It struck me how difficult it may be to decide which door to choose.
In East Lothian in May 2018, 46 different estate agents & solicitors listed one or more properties. 46! That’s a whole lot of choice and a bit of a minefield if it’s been a while since you bought or sold a property. So how do you decide who to trust with probably your most valuable asset?
I’ve listed below five tips to think about when choosing an agent.
- Does the agent have a local office? It’s still common for buyers to actively ask for their details to be added to the buyer’s database of local Estate Agents. This means that when your property matches their requirements, the agents will proactively contact the buyers and match you together.
- Is the agent being paid to list your property or paid to sell? A lot of agents now take payment up front to list. Traditional estate agents will be paid their estate agency fee from the proceeds of sale. This incentivises the agent to get the highest price in the most efficient timescale.
- Do you see “under offer” or “sold” stickers added efficiently to the agent’s for sale boards? If a property is struggling to sell, what action is the agent taking to boost marketing?
- Slick TV advertising and freebies can be very attractive. Ask lots of questions about what level of involvement you will have in the process. Often the cheaper the fee, the more work you will do yourself. Do you want your most valuable asset shown in the best light with professional photography or are you okay with home made and “do it yourself”? Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer. What will attract them to view your home? How easy do you want to make the process for them to find your property and book a viewing? Do you prefer talking to a human or are you ok with searching online?
- Do you know anyone else who has used the agent? What personal word of mouth recommendations can you obtain?
It’s an exciting property market in Edinburgh and East Lothian at the moment and property is selling quickly but lack of stock is making purchasing competitive. If you’d like to take the next step on the property ladder whether it’s up or down, buying or selling, contact one of our local offices now for a free, no obligation valuation appointment.
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The information and opinions contained in this blog are for information only. They are not intended to constitute advice and should not be relied upon or considered as a replacement for advice. Before acting on any of the information contained in this blog, please seek specific advice from Gilson Gray.