How To Choose An Estate Agent

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Sunny Avenue
Online Estate Agents Sunny Avenue
12 Jun 2023

When it comes to selling your property, it can be a daunting task to decide on the right estate agent for you. With so many options available, you may be wondering how to choose an estate agent that best fits your needs and delivers results.

In this insight, we will explore the various factors to consider when selecting an estate agent, along with the pros and cons of different approaches.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing an estate agent depends on the decision of how involved you want to be in the process vs how much you want to pay.
  • If you want a hands-off approach, using a traditional estate agent would be the best option for you.
  • If you want to pay as low a fee as possible, online estate agents can allow you to take charge of your sale and pay less.
  • Be sure to communicate your wishes, talk to different agents and evaluate the fees when choosing an estate agent.

Choosing An Estate Agent For You

When choosing an estate agent, the decision depends on how heavily involved you want to be in the process vs how much you want to pay. You can opt for a hands-off approach, or get heavily involved with an online estate agent. Be sure to consider a few options and think carefully about what you are trying to achieve with your property sale. For example, if you are willing to sacrifice the sale price for a quicker turnaround.

Traditional Estate Agents vs Online Estate Agents

Traditional Estate Agents

Traditional estate agents are full-service agencies with physical offices that usually handle every stage of the selling process. They typically operate on a no-sale, no-fee basis, meaning you won't have to pay any fees if your property doesn't sell.

Online Estate Agents

Online estate agents primarily operate via the internet and generally charge an up-front fee to market your property. They may offer additional services for extra fees, and you might need to handle some aspects of the selling process yourself.

Compare Online Agents

When considering how to choose an estate agent, let's look at an example that highlights the importance of finding the right balance between involvement and cost:

Sarah, a busy professional who wants to sell her home quickly but doesn't have much time to dedicate to the process. Sarah decides to work with a traditional estate agent who can handle the entire sale on her behalf. She values the agent's expertise in pricing her property competitively, marketing it effectively, and negotiating with potential buyers. With the agent taking care of the time-consuming tasks, Sarah can focus on her work and personal life, knowing that she has a dedicated professional working diligently to sell her home.

On the other hand, John, a budget-conscious homeowner who enjoys being actively involved in the selling process. John chooses to work with an online estate agent that offers a lower fee structure. He takes charge of managing the property listing, conducting viewings, and engaging with interested buyers. John appreciates the opportunity to personally connect with potential buyers and showcase the unique features of his home. While he invests more time and effort into the process, John finds satisfaction in being hands-on and saving money on fees.

These examples illustrate how different individuals can have distinct preferences and priorities when selecting an estate agent. Whether you seek a more hands-off approach or wish to minimise costs and take an active role, finding an estate agent who understands your needs and works with you as a trusted partner is essential.

How To Choose an Estate Agent

When it comes to selling your property, selecting the right estate agent is crucial. Consider the following steps and tips to help arrive at your decision:

Create a Shortlist of Potential Estate Agents

Start by creating a list of potential estate agents you would consider using. Ask friends, neighbours, and family members for recommendations. Look for For Sale signs in your local area and research agents on property portals like Take note of agencies with appealing advertisements and professional-looking offices. Ensure that the agents you choose are members of an accredited independent ombudsman service, such as the NAEA Propertymark or RICS.

Conduct In-Depth Research

Now that you have a shortlist, it's time to conduct in-depth research on each potential estate agent. Visit their websites to learn more about their company, staff, range of services, and customer testimonials. Examine their property listings to see if they have experience selling properties similar to yours and if they present their listings with high-quality photographs, floor plans, and clear information.

Visit the Estate Agents' Offices

Although it might be tempting to call or email the agents right away, visiting their offices in person can provide valuable insight into their professionalism and demeanor. Pay attention to their responsiveness, helpfulness, and the overall atmosphere of the office. If you feel comfortable, make an appointment for a property valuation. If not, consider looking elsewhere.

Property Valuation Appointments

Invite the shortlisted estate agents to your property for valuation appointments. During these appointments, assess their punctuality, professionalism, and knowledge. Ask the agents to justify their opinions on your property's value by providing examples of similar properties on the market and those that have sold.

Communicate Your Needs

A good estate agent will want to understand your circumstances and needs. Be honest about your situation and why you are selling your property. This will help the agent tailor their services to meet your specific requirements.

Ask Important Questions

During the valuation appointment, ask the estate agents a variety of questions to help determine if they are the right fit for you. Ask about their marketing strategy, the portals they use, their list of potential buyers, and their communication frequency. It's also essential to ask about their fees and any additional charges.

Evaluate the Estate Agent's Fees

Estate agents will charge a fee for their services, usually based on a percentage of the selling price. There may be additional costs for advertising, photography, or other services. Ensure that the agent clearly explains their fees and any potential hidden costs. When comparing fees, consider the services provided and don't assume that the cheapest option is the best.

Make Your Decision

After reviewing each estate agent's valuation, marketing strategy, fees, and overall impression, it's time to make your decision. You can choose to work with a single agent or multiple agents. Many sellers prefer working with a sole agent due to the lower fees and focused attention on their property.

Collaborate with Your Chosen Estate Agent

Once you've selected your estate agent, inform them of your decision and begin the process of marketing your property. Remember that you and your agent are a team, working together to achieve the best possible outcome. Maintain open communication and collaborate closely for a successful sale.

Is it Better to Have More than One Agent?

You may be wondering if it's better to have more than one agent handling your property sale. While there are advantages to using multiple agents, there are also disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons of using multiple agents:

  • Increased competition between agents may lead to a more proactive approach to selling your property.
  • Access to a larger pool of potential buyers due to each agent's unique list of contacts.
  • Higher fees associated with multi-agent arrangements.
  • Increased hassle in coordinating with multiple agents.
  • Potential pressure to accept a lower offer due to the competitive nature of a multi-agent sale.

Ultimately, the decision to use a single agent or multiple agents depends on your specific needs and circumstances.

Knowing how to choose an estate agent is an essential step in the property selling process. By conducting thorough research, comparing services and fees, and evaluating each agent's professionalism and approach, you can make a decision that is right for you on an agent that best meets your needs.


Stuart is an expert in Property, Money, Banking & Finance, having worked in retail and investment banking for 10+ years before founding Sunny Avenue. Stuart has spent his career studying finance. He holds qualifications in financial studies, mortgage advice & practice, banking operations, dealing & financial markets, derivatives, securities & investments.

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