OK, so you’ve chosen your estate agent and put your home on the market; now here are ten top tips to help you manage your relationship with them to get the most out of their skills, so you can get the most money for your home.
1. Before you begin, make sure you completely understand all the terms and conditions pertaining to your agreement with your chosen agent, to avoid any surprises and unpleasantness later on.
2. Agree on the marketing strategy your agent will employ. Most agencies will provide a number of options for marketing your property, including websites, brochures, advertisements and photography. Make sure you are both agreed on the strategy first to avoid frustration later.
3. Ask your agent for advice on how best to present your house for viewings. You may think you know best, but at the end of the day they are the professionals, and will have a better idea of what viewers want to see; take their advice on board – from de-cluttering to updating paintwork and removing traces of pets and cigarette smoke (and maybe even children!)
4. Agree in advance how viewings will be managed. Your agent will most likely advise you to not be at home, and for them to conduct the viewing themselves. Some sellers prefer to do the viewings, but it can make buyers uncomfortable and inject too much emotion into what is already a sensitive process. Besides, the agent is a professional salesperson, so be happy to take a backseat.
5. Don’t assume that your role is finished once your home is on the market; keep on top of things by staying up to date with what is happening in the market in your area; keep your home in good order; and don’t be fussy when it comes to viewings at inconvenient times.
6. Your agent should be giving you feedback on all viewings that take place. If they recommend you take certain steps to change things in your home in line with the comments they are receiving from buyers, take it on board.
7. Once your property is being marketed, keep the lines of communication open. If your agent isn’t keeping you updated, don’t be afraid to call them and get the service out of them that you are paying for.
8. Raise any issues immediately if you think a problem is arising. If you think your agent is plain not doing their job, make a complaint to the agency directly in person and in writing, and make sure it is taken seriously. If you really can’t sort things out and get back on the right track with your agency, contact the relevant property ombudsman for advice.
9. Be prepared to re-evaluate if your selling strategy is not working. Your agency should be constantly reviewing the marketing process, and be able to provide you with information on how best to move forward if things start slowing down.
10. You will obviously have an agreed asking price set, but if you aren’t getting the offers you want within the time frame you want, a degree of flexibility on your behalf will help. If your agent suggests lowering the asking price, make sure they aren’t simply hoping for you to make their job easier; ask for evidence from the local area to back up their advice so you can make an informed decision.