Suggested Questions to Ask an Agent Prior to Marketing...
1) What will the fee be for me to sell my property?
Many agents will quote a % figure for their services, this can sometimes not be particularly easy to calculate if not dealing with round numbers. Ask for a guide as to how much it is likely to cost in Pounds and for this to include the VAT, this should make it easier to compare between agents.
Cheaper is not necessarily better – how confident are you that the agent is going to be able to achieve the price which they have stated as a marketing figure? A lower commission may be appealing, but a great Agent may get you a higher price for your property, which could dwarf the additional expenditure on commission.
2) What are the Agent's Qualifications?
Is the Agent a member of organisations such as the NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents)? Are they regulated in any way, such as by being member of an organisation like The Guild of Property Professionals? In addition, what qualifications do the other staff at the branch have? There may be several different members of the organisation who take part in the marketing of your property, you would hope that training and appraisal of all concerned would be a priority for the Agent.
3) How has the Market Appraisal been Calculated?
There are many sources of information available to the Agent when arriving at a marketing figure for your property. The most common method is by utilising ‘Comparables’, reviewing and digesting the sales information of properties similar to yours, in areas with demographics similar to yours. The best comparable data uses actual values of sales achieved rather than simply comparing what is currently available on the market – some of these properties could have been over valued, or the circumstances of the vendors could be currently very different to your own. Try to not be seduced by the highest valuation – whilst it is tempting and perhaps flattering, it does not necessarily mean that it is correct.
4) Will the Agent be conducting Viewings?
At PLJ 90% of viewings arranged are conducted by Sales staff from our offices. Ask the Agent what proportion of sales viewings are conducted by their vendors rather than the Agent, and also refer back to point 2 regarding Qualifications. At PLJ, all staff complete the qualification to be an Associate Member of The Guild of Property Professionals prior to conducting viewings in order to ensure that the very best service is achieved when at your property.
5) What are the finer points of the Contract?
Is there a tie-in period to the contract, or an extensive notice period? Will there be a withdrawal fee if you terminate the agreement? At PLJ we work on the basis that we will provide an accurate market appraisal and then utilise our skill and experience to achieve the best possible price for our clients. We do not tie our clients into long term contracts and only request 14 days notice if for any reason you wish for us to cease marketing your property.