Thinking of selling in the next few months?

Here are three very important questions you might like to ask an estate agent you’re thinking of hiring to help you with the sale:

I am prepared to take good advice about the value of my property. But why do you think that the price you have suggested is the right one? If an agent can’t demonstrate to you how they have arrived at this figure, how on earth can they be expected to convince a buyer?

How long have you personally worked in the local area? One or two years is not very long. Four or five is better and ten plus is really good because then they will have experienced a full market cycle, and also will know everyone in the area.

Tell me about your office back up? If they don’t have one then better steer clear. If they are a one-man-band and are out talking to sellers all day, who is speaking to the buyers? What happens when they are on holiday or are ill? Who is dealing with solicitors, surveyors, valuers, and lenders? Some firms may be cheap but it is for a reason.

How do you charge? Is it fee - no sale or no sale - no fee? Some companies nowadays simply charge an up-front fee to put a property on the internet but thereafter have no commercial interest in the outcome. On the other hand estate agents market property first and only charge a fee on a successful sale - so they remain fully invested in the transaction until completion. There is a big difference.

Above all, remember that selling houses isn’t about getting over the start line it is about getting over the finishing line.