Moving house is often considered one of the most stressful events in life, it’s not something most of us do every day so the process can seem a little daunting.
The majority of us will use an established estate agent to sell our homes, but over 47% of movers have experienced at least one issue with their estate agent, leaving them feeling concerned and disappointed during what should be a momentous occasion. Contrary to common belief, not all estate agents in Surrey – or elsewhere for that matter – are the same, and may actually add further complications rather than relieve any tension or worry which will hugely impact your house move. So, how do you choose the right estate agent for you? There are several different factors to consider which may have you feeling at a loss. In today’s blog post, we’ll be taking you through our ultimate guide to ensure your property sale in Surrey can be made a smooth and memorable experience.
#1 Make a Shortlist
It’s likely you have a few ideas already popping into your head at the very mention of estate agents in Surrey. To begin the process of selecting the right estate agent for you, it’s essential you build a shortlist of 3-4 possible agents and do in-depth research on each. One of the very best places to start is by asking your family or friends to share their experiences; a personal recommendation can be a fantastic indicator of the service you should expect to receive and can help narrow down your search considerably.
When you’ve built this shortlist, consider visiting each individual office in person. Whilst a phone call can be useful, this is your chance to check their communication skills, professionalism and knowledge face to face. To create a fully rounded picture of the company, place yourself in the position of a potential buyer too, not only as the property seller. First impressions are everything!
#2 Beware of High Valuations
It can be a deciding factor for many, however, a high valuation of your home doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve found the right estate agents in Surrey. Whilst a high figure can sound tempting, many estate agents deliberately overvalue your property to influence your decision and ultimately secure your instruction. This can backfire in the long term, with the inflated price attracting unsuitable buyers your property may go stale leading to a drop below the true market value.
Correct valuation is paramount to your property’s success in the housing market. It is critical you not only appoint an agent with a proven sales track record but one who also has a working knowledge of current buyer activity and is able to interpret prevailing trends to your advantage.
Book a valuation with our team now.
#3 Ask the Right Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions when choosing your estate agents in Surrey. House sales will usually span several months so you’ll want to form a positive working relationship with your chosen agent to ensure the process is a painless experience. It’s easy to concentrate on the good when advertising a company’s services, but take notice of how the potential realtor answers the difficult, direct questions – skimming the surface may indicate a lack of willingness to communicate any bumps in the road during your property’s sale and could be considered a major red flag.
Our team at Seymours have compiled a list of the must-ask questions for your estate agent to ensure you can gather the relevant information to make an informed final decision:
- Do you live locally? If so, what is your favourite thing about the area?
- What can you tell me about the market in my area?
- How many properties have you sold in my area?
- What kind of prices have you achieved for sales similar to mine? Are these at the asking price?
- How long have you been in the property business?
- Do you have a team of people to help with my sale?
- What are your working hours and will you or a colleague be contactable on weekends?
- What would you do if my property wasn’t selling?
- Do you accompany all viewings, including evenings and weekends?
- If required, is the office owner contactable?
By asking these essential questions, you should be able to walk away feeling confident in an estate agent’s capabilities. Whilst it may seem obvious to ask, those looking to sell their property often avoid an interrogative style search, leaving them with unanswered worries that could be easily prevented. This in-depth questioning is an excellent gauge for narrowing down your search to the very top contenders.
#4 Understanding Commission Charges
Sellers who choose not to base their decision on a high valuation tend to then focus on the percentage of commission charged by a property agent without fully understanding the considerable differences in the level of service offered. You could think of it similarly to a dining-out experience: a fast-food outlet is unlikely to charge for service whilst a fine-dining restaurant will, both will provide you with a meal but the two are completely different in terms of experience.
Commission charges encompass reliability, performance, quality and security – the overall selling experience is reflected within this expense. Some agents simply cannot afford to provide an effective or hassle-free selling experience. For example, they are often the last firms to secure adequate staff training or supply post-offer support resulting in missed offers, slower sales and lower prices. The focus is on a high turnover of property, rather than achieving the best prices for their clients; the total net amount you receive should surely be more important than the percentage fee charged.
#5 The Marketing Strategy
To achieve a top sale, an estate agent should be advertising your property on their own, professional website and at least one of the most popular search sites: Rightmove, Zoopla Primelocation – or the new kid on the block, Boomin. Over 80% of house sales are procured through one of these property portals, and therefore maximum visibility is absolutely fundamental to securing the best offer. However, very few estate agents utilise all the marketing resources available to them. So, how can you identify the most effective strategy?
Look at some of the current advertisements from the agent online, a premium listing will not only promote but it will also feature floor plans, professional photography and potentially even a virtual video tour of the property in question. Furthermore, will your home take residence in their window ‘for sale’ display, or be advertised through the agents dedicated social media channels?
Your home should be showcased in the very best possible light, and you need to have the right agent on your side – enthusiastic, experienced and willing to create this desirable content.
#6 What Happens After the Sale?
Some estate agents in Surrey believe that once a buyer has been found, the sale is done and will not see the process through to final completion. All too often a sale has been lost due to poorly structured follow-ups or inadequate liaison with surveyors or solicitors. In the UK, up to 35% of property negotiations ultimately fall through and therefore it is vital you find an estate agent that provides a dedicated progression service to avoid these common pitfalls. It’s easy to get caught up in the start-up of a sale, but the most important part of the process will come in the latter stages to ensure you can pass over the keys to the best buyer without error.
A successful property agency will train its employees to spot any potential difficulties before they arise, and see that employees commit time to find a prosperous solution. Communication is of the utmost importance and you’ll want to work with an estate agent you can trust, those that withhold information about the final stages of the selling process may be cause for concern.
#7 Estate Agent Agreements
Be aware of agencies that force you into a long-term agency agreement, you could end up stuck with an estate agent that has lost all interest in your property sale and still have to pay the mandatory fee! The agent you choose should instil confidence in their abilities, and if they insist you sign an agreement you should ask that they spend the time to explain the contents or you could always seek independent advice.
We at Seymours believe that if you aren’t 100% happy with our services, you should be able to walk away (though our team of dedicated experts will always try to resolve any concern you may have!).
Choosing The Right Estate Agents in Surrey
Ultimately, you are best served by a locally-based agent who holds similar values to your own. One who always has the time to listen; one who will fully understand your needs, answer any concerns and provides the right advice; one who takes pride in their role, and combines a passion for the housing market with proven results.
The Seymours team not only fulfill the expectations outlined here but go above and beyond, providing you with a service you can rely on time and again. Our customers have always been at the very heart of what we do, and we pride ourselves in the exceptional selling experience we offer ensuring you walk away with the very best results.
When selling your next property in Surrey choose wisely, choose Seymours.
If you’d like free market advice or need an instant property valuation you can trust, get in touch with the team at Seymours using this contact form, or call us one of our 25 dedicated offices and departments here.