Which Type of Agency?
As most people use traditional agencies which can be visited and ask a fee for seeing you through the selling process, this is what we cover here. Online agencies often charge to put your property on the market.
Make a Shortlist
You need to narrow down your initial choices to about six agents. Keep an eye out for advertisements in the press, For Sale boards and promotional leaflets through your door. On OnTheMarket.com you can look up agents in the neighbourhood; alternatively, check out agents’ windows on the local high street.
Estate agents must be a member of an Ombudsman scheme which deals with unresolved complaints. Some agents are members of an industry body such as the NAEA Propertymark (formally the National Association of Estate Agents) or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Look Closer at Your Choices
Investigate your chosen agents further. You want to find information about each company, its employees, its services and perhaps customer comments – their website may be useful. Check out how the properties for sale are presented: can you see your property being similarly treated? Make sure the agent advertises properties on one or more property portals such as OnTheMarket.com. Now narrow your list down to two or three agents who you can ask to evaluate your property.
See the Agent in Person
It’s a good idea to visit the agent’s office. After all, you are asking them to handle one of your most cherished assets, so you need to know you can trust them and do business with them. Consider whether you feel made welcome. Are they helpful and friendly? Trust your instincts, and walk away if you are not comfortable. Reputable firms are to be found locally. For example, among Gloucester Estate Agents TGRES is Merging with Alex Clark Glos.
The Valuation Process
When having your property valued, assess the agent on their professionalism, politeness and knowledge. Ask for examples of similar properties to get an idea of how much yours should sell for. The asking price and the actual sale price may vary. If all the agents agree on a price, the chances are that they are accurate – but don’t rule out one having inside information resulting in a different figure.