What to look for in an estate agent

It would be fair to say estate agents have not had the best reputation in the world but the likelihood is we will all need to use them at some point in our lives. Whether you are moving into a house with friends at university, buying your first home or even selling your first home you will use an estate agent.

I myself am in the property game and don’t worry, I can handle being the punchline to a few jokes here and there... At the end of the day, those who do it properly provide a valuable service and are consistently coming up with increasingly novel ways to help make the public’s every property experience as quick and easy as possible.
When it comes to selling your home it can be an emotional and stressful time. Choosing your agent alone can seem like a daunting task! How do you know which agent will achieve you the best sale price? Well, simply put there is no one answer but there is something you can do. Below are a few tips on areas you should be looking at to help your decision making. Firstly, do some detailed research into your list of potential agents.


Qualifications

Everybody wants to be looked after by professionals. In the UK, it is not a requirement that estate agents gain qualifications, however there are industry recognised courses available. At homes4u, all of our staff undertake the National Federation of Property People (NFoPP) exams and regularly attend seminars and training events. With these qualifications under their belt, our team stays up to date with the latest market trends and industry regulations and can demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the industry.


Property Portals

There are many property portals out there and there is not one in particular that has it all. The undisputed big two in the UK are Rightmove and Zoopla. Around 2.6 million people visit Zoopla and Rightmove at least once daily whether they are looking for information on homes or simply some inspiration. When you are choosing your agent, make sure your home will be getting the maximum coverage on both portals.


Social Media

Technology is developing at an incredible rate these days and to compete in any industry you have to stay ahead of the curve and adapt, not simply bury your head in the sand. 92.6% of the UK’s population of over 65 million people has access to the internet. Of that number, 63% are active on social media. That is 38 million potential customers that you can access for free in the UK. Who would not use social platforms such as facebook, twitter and YouTube? It’s a no brainer. Be sure to check the agent you decide on has a decent social media presence to help market your home when it goes live on the market.


Marketing

As well as a social media presence, a pro active attitude to marketing is something to be aware of. An estate agent who keeps in touch with any potential buyers through multiple avenues is more likely to be able to achieve the best sale price for your home. Ask about the use of email newsletters, property updates, property video tours and even text messages.


Reviews

The experiences of previous customers are one of the best independent sources to find out how good an agent’s service really is. Check out the agents review pages on Google and facebook and see what the public opinion is. Between the months of July and August 2016 at homes4u we received just under 100 fantastic five star reviews across Google and facebook in recognition of our excellent service levels. It’s fair to say it was a record breaking quarter! Take a moment to assess your shortlisted agents, it may help you to narrow down your choices much in the same way as you might do with a hotel or a restaurant.


There are many aspects of an agent you can look into, these are five of the top ones to look out for. Do your research, ask around and have a chat with one of the advisors to get a feel for the company. Who you choose is an important decision.

Would it help you to know how much your home is worth? Whether you are considering selling, or just out of interest one of our valuation specialist can visit your home without obligation to provide you with an up to date valuation for sale or for rentals. Its easy to arrange, simply complete our online form and one of our team will call you back. Alternatively, drop into one of our branches or give us a call

If you are looking for a property to let or buy, please visit our property search pages where you can view all our current availability. If you would like to be kept up to date with new instructions and price changes simply register in our members area or contact our friendly team in branch.