While buying or selling property can be a super exciting and fun process in itself, it can also turn out to be an exhausting process. Most people undergo this process only a handful of times in their lifetime. Hence, finding estate agents in your neighbourhood is a decision that will ease the process of buying and/or property for you. But before you look for estate agents in Lee, there are some important questions that you must ask your estate agents before hiring him or her.
While the process of buying and selling is difficult to handle, the thought of hiring estate agents also scares many people. But after reading today’s guide, you will learn about 7 important questions to ask before hiring an estate agent.
Let’s jump into the first question:
- How much do you charge, and what are the additional costs if any?
Normally estate agents will charge their clients a percentage of the sale price of the property bought or sold in the form of their fee. Now it is noteworthy that this fee is at times quoted with the VAT and sometimes without it. Hence, as clients, it is always your duty to find out how much the fee of your estate agent will be given if the property in question is sold at the asking price. In cases of a sole agency contract, the fee is usually lower in comparison to that of a multi-agency, and that can be anywhere between 2 to 3%. Some agents have a fixed rate in the form of percentage so clients will have an idea of what they need to pay when the deal is closed. But this rate will not budge even if the property is sold at a price that is lower than the asking price.
Estate agents who are working in a hybrid model offer their service charges with an upfront fixed fee. This option definitely seems cheaper but you must remember that the fees you paid before selling a property will not be given back to you if the agent does not manage to sell your property.
Raise questions about the other costs that might not be included in the fee. In most cases, marketing costs are usually included.
Properties with an Energy Performance Certificate also sell faster so get this certificate done before you put your property out on the market. Even if your certificate is no longer valid (it remains valid for 10 years), your estate agent can arrange for the certificate for your property. When discussing fees with your estate agent, it is also wise to ask when the fees are due so you can cut out any unprecedented costs at unexpected times.
- What are the different kinds of contracts you offer?
Whenever you are hiring an estate agent, there are different kinds of contracts that you can sign up for. Some of the most popular contracts offered are:
Sole selling rights:
Under this contract, only your estate agents have the right to sell your property under a stipulated period of time.
This will allow your estate agent to sell your property or find buyers for your property, you may also look for buyers yourself. However, this prospective buyer whom you may find should have come to know about your property from any marketing done by your agent. For example, your family friend might have heard from your family that your property is on sale.
Under joint agency, you take help from two estate agents who come together to help you find buyers for your property, or they try to find a property for you. Under this contract, the fee is shared in a 50-50 percentage, and the fees in general for the joint agency are higher than sole agencies.
Multi-agency allows you to put many agents to work at once, and you pay the commission only to the agent who brings you the best deal. It is up to you whether you would accept an offer when made by an agent or wait for a better offer to come up.
- How long am I tied to a contract?
The duration of a contract usually dictates how swiftly the marketing for your property is done by the estate agent. Hence a short duration usually means more motivation from the estate agent to find a buyer for you. Longer commitments are important when you are trying to achieve a target price.
- How many properties have you sold in the area recently?
Before investing in any estate agent, you just find out their knowledge of the neighbourhood. This would be an added advantage for you if your agent has recently cost similar properties in the area. It indicates that they might already have a list of potential buyers at their disposal.
- How much can I ask for my property?
Your estate agent should have well-researched data that will help you determine your property’s true worth. This will help you to find buyers for your property easily. Setting astronomical prices will only drive away potential buyers.
- Is this a good time to sell?
The real estate market is a dynamic one and sometimes it is a buyers’ market, while at other times, it is the sellers’ market. Hence, timing is important when it comes to buying or selling property. Hence, before hiring an estate agent, make sure to ask about the condition of the market.
- Is online listing important?
In the post-COVID era, online property listing has gained huge traction. Hence, have an open conversation with your estate agent about online listing and whether it is necessary to boost the number of potential buyers. This isn’t a place to cut corners in your budget.
Any good estate agent will have the leverage of adequate local knowledge, a huge pool of potential buyers, good and effective marketing tools, etc., to chalk out a good marketing plan for your property. We hope this guide provides you with pointers and questions to ask an estate agent before hiring them.