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How To Choose An Estate Agent

In the first of three articles, Alistair Hilton head of sales at Balfours, examines online versus the high street agents.

If you have made the decision to sell your home, the next move is to choose an estate agent.

A traditional full-service estate agency will have an office that you can visit, ours is at The Square, in Shrewsbury. A traditional agent will normally take care of every stage of the selling process in return for a fee when the sale goes through. We work on a no-sale, no-fee basis, so if the property doesn’t sell you shouldn’t be out of pocket.

Online agencies generally don’t have offices that you can visit and normally charge an up-front fee to put your property on the market. Once launched you may need to deal with a lot of the selling process yourself. And finally there can be further charges if a sale takes place.

When this is one of the most important transactions you are likely to make, why would you put it in the hands of someone you have never met? Someone who you can only hold accountable via email and if you are lucky, telephone conversation.

It is therefore no surprise that the overwhelming majority of sellers use traditional estate agencies like Balfours.

Once you have made that decision, assuming it is the “no sale, no fee route” of a high street agent, make a shortlist: Whose for sale boards, adverts or other promotions have caught your eye? Check out their shop windows too, which ones are appealing?

Significantly all estate agents must belong to an Ombudsman scheme for dealing with unresolved complaints ie the NAEA Propertymark or RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). Next week we will narrow down the choices and consider what to watch for in a valuation. Alistair Hilton, head of sales Balfours, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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