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In The Second Of Three Articles, Alistair Hilton Head Of Sales At Balfours Examines How To Select Your High Street Agent

It is now time for your short-listed agents to make an appraisal of your property.  Having already browsed their shop window, website and advertising, you can either make a telephone call to invite them to visit, or you can call in to their offices. This would seem much more personal than emailing, although if time is of the essence you may take that approach.

Ultimately you are seeking an agent who is polite, professional and knowledgeable. While these qualities will matter to you, they will be even more important in their ability to close a sale on your behalf.

On the appointed day of your property appraisal, they will tell you what they think the guide price should be and how much the property may actually sell for. If all the agents suggest similar amounts, you can be reasonably sure they are accurate. But don’t be surprised if one comes up with a very different figure. They might know something the others don’t!

A good agent will justify their opinion of the value of your property by showing you examples of similar ones that are on the market and those that have sold.

The agent will want to have an understanding of your circumstances and needs. Perhaps you must sell by a certain date because of a job or school move, or there’s a baby on the way and you require a bigger home. To achieve a good working relationship you need to be totally upfront regarding your circumstances and why you are selling.

Make it clear if there are any points that are confidential and for the agent’s background only. These should therefore not to be disclosed to any potential buyers. A good agent will understand sensitive issues and will tailor their services to deal with them.

As the potential client, you should find out what they are going to do for you individually and how they will market your property. Ask if they have a buyers list and if anyone is already springing to mind as a match.

Now is the time to ask if they will accompany the people who come to view and how often they will keep in touch to let you know how things are going. This may have a bearing on fees charged, which is normally based on a percentage of the selling price. Your decision will be based on factors from your property value and justification to who has the most professional, but also personable approach.

Next issue we will look at what to expect within an agents fees and what they do once a sale is agreed. At which point it is time to decide who you will appoint to market your home.


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