To get the most out of buying and selling property, whether it be your home, a buy-to-let property investment or even commercial property you’ll need that expert touch, ideally from someone with the right local knowledge, experience and ability to access local property buyers and sellers… and this is where good local estate agents or commercial property agents come in to their own.
In the UK estate agents often get a bad press, but in actual fact their job is an extremely valuable one when it comes to helping property investors buy and sell property quickly and efficiently.
If you are thinking of buying or selling property, the first thing you should do is contact a number of local estate agents to discuss what your options are.
If you are selling property you should arrange for them to come and view the property and prepare a valuation.
If you’re buying property for investment purposes it would be a good idea to go and meet a number of your local property and estate agents, to introduce yourself, explain what types or property you want to buy and your budget, and also to review what properties they are currently offering for sale.
Choosing a Local Estate Agent to Sell Property
The reason you should contact more than one estate agent is because you want the very best price for your property – and estate agents will often value it slightly differently.
Do check however that the property valuation is realistic and has not been inflated simply to gain your business ahead of the other estate agents on your list.
It is also important that you use a local agent who knows the area well, who is familiar with the type of property, and who has a good reputation for selling property quickly.
Estate Agents Terms & Conditions
Once you have decided which estate agent you want to use to help sell your property, you should then contact them to agree any specific terms and conditions as well as agreeing their terms of engagement.
This will usually include details of what services they will provide as part of the property sale process, information about exclusivity and sole or joint agency, fees to be paid etc.
Always make sure you read carefully the terms and conditions as they will form your contract with the estate agent.
Marketing your Property to Prospective Buyers
After all the paperwork has been agreed and signed, this is when the estate agent will take it upon themselves to market your property in the best way possible to potential property buyers.
Estate agents have a legal obligation to market the property accurately and fairly, but can still use creative language to help attract potential buyers in.
Normally, they will market your property both online through their own website and other property web portals, and on paper… and will use plenty of photographs to show buyers what they will be getting for their cash.
Some estate agents will also use on-line “walk-a-round” style video clips to further enhance the sales proposition.
However, some estate agents don’t push certain properties as much as others, so if you feel your property isn’t getting the advertising attention it really deserves, you have the right to say so.
Selling Property & For Sale Signs
As well as advertising your property, estate agents will also put a property “For Sale” board outside the property; again to draw attention to the sale and drum up any passing interest.
As well as the estate agent marketing your property and portraying it in the best light, you, as a property owner also have an important role to play in selling your property and to ensure that you generate maximum interest from potential buyers.
Preparing Property for Sale
You should always ensure that all external areas forming part of the property, including driveways, gardens and lawns are kept neat and tidy, even if you do not live there anymore.
You should also make sure that the property looks and smells good for when people walk through the door for the first time … remember first impressions do count for a lot so it is important you get this aspect right first time.
Prospective Buyers Feedback
Your estate agent should record any buyer responses and general feedback after people have viewed the property and these should be logged.
Because of this, you can ask your agent to share this feedback with you to learn if there is anything that can be improved… this helps to identify any issues that maybe hindering a sale.
Adjusting your Asking Price
If you are getting little buyer interest in your property, to improve your chances of making a sale you and the agent could renegotiate the asking price.
You also have the right to be present whenever there is a viewing, so if you think you are a good salesperson and can show your property in the best possible light, feel free to show potential buyers around.
Making the Sale
Once you have got a potential buyer interested in your property, it is important that you keep on-top of things to make sure everything runs smoothly with the sale, it is also advisable that you liaise regularly with your estate agent.
When someone makes an offer on your property, you and your estate agent still have a long way to go to ensure that everything is completed as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
Good Estate Agents will Research the Buyers Offer
Firstly, the estate agent will carry out some background research to see if the offer that has been made is viable… for example:
If you are lucky enough to get more than one offer on your property, you should let the estate agent do the negotiating… after all, they are being employed by you to thrash out the very best deal.
Exchange of Contracts & Completion
Finally, once you have accepted an offer on your property, your estate agent will put both parties in touch and will help move the sale on to the exchange of contracts, solicitors and the last hurdle, the completion stage.
These stages of the sale process are crucial, it is therefore important that you are easily contactable and in-touch with both your estate agent and solicitors to ensure everything runs as smooth as possible.
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More information about estate agents… here →
More information about the UK’s National Association of Estate Agents… here →