Wells property advice: Choosing wisely when it comes to estate agents

  Posted: 02.08.21 at 09:43 by Wells Nub News

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If Thomas Jefferson was right that "all men are created equal", he may not have been weighing estate agents in his estimation.

Perhaps he was lucky when he put his house on the market, and the sale went through like a knife through butter.

But not everyone is so fortunate. Estate agencies are certainly not equal.

So, when you’re taking the plunge and putting your house on the market, you’ll be hoping for great service, market knowledge, swift action and - fundamentally - a speedy sale. But how can you know whether the agent you choose is likely to deliver?

We all know that estate agents are hardly adored by their public, and prospective buyers and sellers accuse agents of a multitude of sins from inexperience and lack of qualifications to incompetence, deviousness and even duplicity.

Given that background, how can you be sure you’re in the best possible hands? Navigating the choppy waters of selling a house can be daunting, with many a trap for the unwary, so it’s crucial to choose an agent who's efficient, professional, trustworthy and competent.

Hitting the ground running

First up, does your agent have the requisite knowledge and experience? Are they returning your calls promptly?

Are they quick to field enquiries from prospective buyers? From the moment you instruct them, your agent needs to hit the ground running – organising photography and marketing materials, contacting buyers, scheduling and conducting viewings, negotiating offers, liaising with solicitors, other agents and - importantly - you.

Then there are the intricacies of conveyancing itself - local land searches, a gazillion forms to complete, endless questions to be answered and surveys to be conducted - all of which can take many weeks.

Added to that, lengthy mortgage applications plus any number of other roadblocks can pop up just when you thought you were home and dry.

During that process, you want to be kept in touch. You want to know what’s going on, day by day.

To be part of the process and not feel you’ve been elbowed to the back of the desk and ignored while things stagnate.

An agent who's quick to respond and swiftly manages issues as soon as they appear is crucial in keeping the show firmly on the road.

The importance of creativity

So is your agent communicating? Nothing is more frustrating during this process than wandering in the dark.

Regular, detailed updates are vital for you, your solicitor, your mortgage company and all others involved.

And, there’s the creative side. How is your agent marketing your property?

While most agencies will list on the main web portals such as Rightmove and OnTheMarket, what else are they doing to showcase your property and draw possible buyers from the street and through your front door?

This is a digital age, and regional newspapers and magazines are evolving from print to the internet, which means that traditional print advertising of properties for sale is rapidly dwindling.

As strange as it sounds to many, effective social media marketing reaches a far wider audience than traditional advertising. It’s creative, it’s free and it reaches buyers both locally and nationally.

So estate agency is definitely not a field of equals, but choose wisely and there’s no reason you can’t have the same kind of luck as Thomas Jefferson.

Roderick Thomas is an award-winning independent estate agency based in Wells and Castle Cary.

For expert, friendly, no-obligation advice on your property sale or purchase and to find out more about how Roderick Thomas can help, get in touch on 01749 670079 [email protected] or visit www.roderickthomas.co.uk.

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