12 Reasons You Should Use an Estate Agent
This article aims to provide you an insight into 12 reasons why you should use an estate agent to sell your property.
12 Reasons You Should Sell Your Property Through an Estate Agent
The majority of property sold is done through an agent and there is good reason for this.
Many believe a significant amount of money can be saved by avoiding using an estate agent when selling your property. However, figures suggest that selling property privately will actually result in a much lower selling price than when selling through an agent.
The 12 Reasons You Should Sell Through an Estate Agent
- Selling prices
- Price negotiations
- Sales and marketing experience
- Local demographic and industry knowledge
- Time saving
- Contacts of the agent
- Marketing strategies
- Smoother selling process
- Knowledge of possible complications
- Fees are not set in stone
- Checks integrity of buyer
- They have you in mind
- How do you choose an estate agent?
Let's analyze these 12 reasons..
1. Higher Selling Price
As stated earlier, it may seem like a good idea to bypass using an estate agent, however it is highly likely that you will not sell the property for as much as an agent will, thus in turn “costing” you much more than the fee of the estate agent.
Estate agents also understand how to effectively price your property in order to generate maximum leads. Once the agent has a number of leads, they will then be able to negotiate an ideal selling price.
For example, a property with a valuation of £190,000 sold privately may be negotiated down to £180,000 or even £150,000 if the buyer is devious. That’s between 5 and 20% lower than the valuation.
Whereas, if an agent were to sell the property, they will endeavor to sell the property at the valuation price (provided there is no problems discovered during a mortgage survey) or higher. Their fees will be around 2-3% of the purchase price.
2. Price Negotiations
A large part of the role as an estate agent is negotiating selling prices with prospective buyers. Unless you are an experienced real estate sales person, you will struggle with negotiations and offers on your property.
You should use an estate agent to sell your property, especially if you’ve been living in your current property for a while;
When selling through an estate agent, your own emotions won’t get in the way of negotiations and the final sale price.
Buyers who find a property for sale by the owner are known to be extra pushy and tougher in negotiations, believing they will obtain a lower price, and statistically, they will succeed.
Further to this, you may be considering an online-only agent. While their fees may be lower than high-street agents, they will not be as effective in the negotiation of a selling price; A high-street agent who has worked in a local area for a number of years will be far more knowledgeable of potential selling prices than a sales agent working for an online-only agency which deals with properties all over the country.
3. Sales & Marketing Skills
Estate agents role is to sell your property. Since they will have sold many other properties, they will be experienced in understanding the optimum marketing and sales techniques in providing the fastest possible sale for the best price.
From their experience, estate agents will write an enticing description for your property in order to provide prospective buyers with information on the important features of your property.
Along the same lines, selling through a high-street agent will also provide potential buyers with a human interaction – a highly important factor which is not available when selling through an online-only agent.
4. Knowledge of Local Demographics and Industry
Estate agents that specialize in sales in specific areas will have a profound understanding of all the local demographics.
This will provide extremely useful when prospective buyers contact them with various questions regarding the local area.
Further to this, since the estate agent will have experience in the particular area, they will also have deep knowledge of house price trends in the area, which will in turn allow for the optimum sale price of your property.
5. Time Saving
A large proportion of estate agents time is taken up with contacting prospective buyers, organizing and conducting viewings, paperwork and contacting other parties such as solicitors and mortgage advisors.
If you were to attempt selling your property without an estate agent, you would have to commit the majority of your spare time (and possibly a large proportion of your working hours) to replying to interested buyers, arranging viewings and contacting other relevant parties.
6. Their Contacts
A further point to above, estate agents already have contacts and business relationships with other parties required for a property transaction – thus they will not need to spend time searching for certain people.
Usually, agents will have connections with surveyors and conveyancers, thus potentially leading to a higher property valuation – Not only is this a plus point for selling your home but is also beneficial if you form a solid relationship with the agent and conveyancer; If, in a number of years you are remortgaging a property, you may receive a slightly higher valuation when using the same conveyancer.
Estate agents will also likely have contact with a professional photographer, who will showcase your property in the best possible way.
A large number of estate agents will also have a database of buyers who have interest in purchasing in a particular area – by using an estate agent to sell your property, it may not even require any marketing.
7. Marketing Strategies
When an estate agent is instructed to sell your property, they will incorporate an array of marketing techniques which will leverage higher interest in the property.
If you were to sell your property without an agent, these techniques will be largely un-attainable. It should also be noted, the majority of the time, all of the costs of marketing your property will be included in their fees.
Further to this, usually included in the estate agents fees will be professional photography of your property.
8. Smoother Selling Process
Estate agents will have experience in the entire process of selling a property, they will fully understand each stage in the process.
For this reason, using an estate agent to sell your property will be a far easier and smoother experience than going alone; you will experience far less stress of worrying that you have complied with all laws and regulations.
Once you have received an offer on the property, things may move slowly, however by using an experienced estate agent, they will ensure the remainder of the process of selling your property will be moved along.
9. Knowledge of Possible Complications
Similar to above, as estate agents will be proficient in every stage of a property sale.
If any problems do arise, such as a problem found during a buyer mortgage survey, a buyer dropping out before exchange or completion or a buyer who isn’t serious about completing, the agent will be able to guide you on what steps are available to take.
10. Fees Are Not Set in Stone
Often, estate agent fees are negotiable, especially if you plan on using the same agent again in the near future for purchasing or selling another property. It should also be noted, the majority of agents will only charge a fee upon sale.
If you enter a sole agency contract, fees may also be lower.
11. Checks Integrity of Buyers
Agents that are registered with the Property Ombudsman are required to take steps in determining the source of financing and availability of funds from prospective buyers.
This information is then passed onto the seller, to inform them whether the buyer will be purchasing in cash, with a mortgage or if they need to sell a property before buying. This information can prove useful when deciding which offer to accept if multiple buyers are interested.
12. They Have You in Mind
To the estate agent, you are one of their customers. It is in their interest to make the process as easy and simple as possible for you.
By keeping you happy and pleased throughout the whole selling process, you are more likely to use them again or recommend them to a friend, family member or colleague.
How do You Choose an Estate Agent?
Are you stuck in trying to decide which estate agent to use? Below you’ll find a few points which may help you decide.
- Are they a regulated firm?
- Their fees. Competition between agents provides a small amount of negotiation on the fees charged upon sale
- Any other costs mentioned in the contract
- Do they provide a no sale, no fee contract?
- Knowledge and experience of surrounding area
- Have they sold similar properties to yours? or do they specialize in rental properties?
- Their terms and conditions, ensure you read them carefully and that they are completely transparent
- Length of sole agency tie in period – I.e. How long until you can instruct another agent to help sell the property
- Is their branch open at the weekends?
- Do they have a plan B incase your property doesn’t sell as quickly as first thought?
- If possible, contact past clients of the agents to gauge their experience with them
While it may seem like a good idea to sell your property without an estate agent, many people underestimate the amount of work and time required to see a property all the way through the sales process.
We would highly recommend that you sell your property through an estate agent; Their experience and track records will provide a much smoother and simpler selling transition for you, especially if you are in full-time employment and have no contacts in the property industry or experience in sales.
However one word of caution – When deciding on an agent to sell your property, take the initial valuation with a grain of salt. Whether you choose an online-only or high-street agent, they are known for over-valuing properties to win the instruction to sell your home.
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