How to choose an estate agent?

Not all estate agents are the same and some will be more effective than others. Use the following tips to choose the right agent for you:

1. The best place to start is to ask friends and family for recommendations especially if the they have recently purchased or sold a property.

2. Go online and check the property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla to see what agents list property for sale in your area.

3. Create a shortlist of say five agents and research each one by looking at their websites to see if they have any testimonials or reviews. Are the properties presented well on their website with good quality pictures? Do they advertise on at least one of the main portals?

4. Are they regulated? The three main trade bodies are the RICS (Royal institute of Chartered Surveyors, the NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) and the GPEA (Guild of professional estate agents).

5. Narrow your list down to three and contact each to arrange a valuation of your property. When each agent arrives pay attention to their punctuality, politeness, professionalism and knowledge. After each agent leaves make sure to make notes that you can refer back to later when making a final decision.

6. Questions to ask:

  • What is your fee charged for sole agency?
  • What is your fee charged for multiple agency?
  • What other costs should I expect?
  • Where will the property be advertised?
  • Do you have a minimum tie in period?

7. After all your research and you have met your top three agents it’s time to use your gut instinct. Which agent came across the best? Which agent do you believe you could work best with?