According to Rightmove, there are 443 estate agents in central London that handle property sales. While it’s great to have such a wide choice when you are selling your home, the challenge is to find an agent that’s right for you.
We believe the best way is to draw up a shortlist, then discover as much as you can about each estate agent’s fees and services. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 15 key questions to ask before you sign on the dotted line.
1: What are your estate agents' fees for selling a house?
Before you sign up with the agent charging the lowest fees, check out what you can expect for your money. A lower fee could result in a more limited marketing campaign, which could in turn lead to fewer viewings.
2: Do you charge a withdrawal fee?
If you think your circumstances may change, it’s a good idea to check what the agent will charge if you pull out of the sale. By withdrawing before the transaction has completed, you may become liable to pay the agent’s expenses.
3: I'm unhappy with my current agent and thinking of switching. If a buyer introduced by my last agent made an offer through you, would I have to pay double commission?
In most cases, it’s unlikely that you will end up paying two sets of commission, but there are steps you can take to avoid this. If you’ve just left one agent and are asking another to market your property, explain the situation to your new agent.
4: Are there any hidden costs I should know about?
Check whether items such as property photos, marketing, floorplans and managed viewings are covered by the fee. Some agents will charge extra for things like 360º walkthrough videos.
5: What kind of contract will you use when you sell my property?
The type of contract will depend on whether you want to use just one agent, or several. The most common type of contract is ‘sole agency’, where you instruct just one agent to sell.
6: How do estate agents value houses?
Your agent should be aware of the many factors that can affect property values. You could ask them to explain why two seemingly identical houses in the same street might be priced differently.
7: What is my home worth?
The agent should be able to back up their assessment of your home’s value with evidence. Ask them to show you similar London properties that have recently sold for an equivalent price.
8: When is the best time to sell a house?
There are certain times of the year when the property market becomes more active, and a good estate agent will advise you of the best times to sell.
9: What's your approach to marketing? How will you advertise my property?
Encourage the agent to describe what they will do to market your central London property. Ask about their reach when it comes to advertising your home to overseas buyers.
10: Where will my property be listed?
At the very least, your listing should appear in major property portals, social media, printed publications and the agent’s own website.
11: How quickly will you be able to put my property on the market?
According to Zoopla, it’s possible to list your property within one to three days. In practice this often takes a little longer, to allow for images of the property to be taken and property details to be agreed.
12: How often can I expect to hear from you? And will you report potential buyers’ feedback after each viewing?
You should feel confident that your agent will maintain good levels of communication throughout the process. You should receive immediate feedback from potential buyers after each viewing.
13: How quickly do you find buyers for houses similar to mine?
Everyone hopes for a speedy sale, so it could be useful to know how long it has previously taken the agent to sell similar properties.
14: Your agency covers sales and rentals. Are you more active in property sales or lettings?
As you are selling your property, you may prefer to avoid an agency that seems to be more focused on the lettings side of their business.
15: What makes you different from any other agent?" "Do you have any recent client testimonials?
Ask the agent to tell you why they believe their service is better and more effective than their rivals. Read the testimonials on the agent’s website and don’t forget to research Google and TrustPilot reviews.
When selling your London home, you should look out for an agent with a strong reputation and a great track record for selling similar properties. If we can help with your home moving plans, we would love to hear from you.