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How To Choose An Estate Agent In 2021

Selling Your Home: Comparing Estate Agents and Conveyancing Solicitors.

Conveyancing Supermarket have gathered together the most valuable pieces of advice on selling your property we have offered over the years and brought you this article to help you make those crucial decisions.

How To Choose An Estate Agent In 2021

We are here to help you understand:

  • The difference between sole agency and multi-agency
  • Fees and costs
  • The tips and tricks you need to know and what to avoid when choosing an estate agent
  • What to do if you want to switch agents
  • The advantages and disadvantages of high street agents vs online agents.
  • We will also cover quotes for conveyancing and some of our most common conveyancing faqs.

Sole Vs Multi Agency

Sole agency means just one agent has the exclusive right to sell your property for a set period of time. Don’t jump straight into signing a long-term sole agency contract with an estate agent straight away, as very often, these tend to be between 6-12 months long. They might charge you upfront and they’ll tell you that you must sign the contract to go to market with them. But you do not.

Think carefully whether you want to be tied into contact with an agent before checking their performance against other agents in the area.

Also think about whether you want the flexibility to move agents  in the future. Remember though, advertising with multiple agents at the same time means several agents will market your property. The successful agency is paid the fee upon sale of the house, which will be in the region of 1.5% to 2.5% of the sale price.

Sole agency is cheaper but there are less people marketing your house. Multi-agency is more expensive, but your property might get more exposure. Whatever you decide, always negotiate on price. Some agents will have offers on.

On the other hand, agents might avoid spending money on marketing your property, only to lose the sale to the other agent.  So the trick is to list your property on the market with one agent at a time but not in a sole-agency contract so that you can leave if you’re not satisfied with how your property is selling.

Fees And Costs

Some estate agents (mainly online) will charge you upfront. It is generally the high street agents that will invite you into a long-term contract then charge a fee once the property sale completes.

Online agents are often cheaper – they will often charge around £600-£700 upfront whereas high street agents will charge 1-1.5% – around £1,500.

Online agents might tempt you with the lower, upfront fees but this might mean they have less incentive to sell or advertise your home and conduct viewings as you have already paid them.

Switching Agents

If you are disappointed with your Estate Agent’s service, giving them notice is one thing you could do. What you will owe your estate agent in terms of commission is, however, a grey area and there is no definitive answer.

Firstly, you must check the small print of the contract you signed. Establish whether, after the notice period has expired and whether you have any continuing liability to the agent. Also check to see if there is a definition of “an introduction”. Whilst there is no agreed definition it may be defined as someone who has viewed the property or even someone who has seen the details in their brochure.

If your contract suggests you would remain liable to a fee if someone originally introduced by them went on to buy the property, through whatever channels, then ask the agent for a list of names of those introduced or ask them to pass the names onto your new agent.

Regulations state that a sole agency agreement between a seller and an estate agent must include a double commission warning; this should clearly state that if another agent introduces a buyer during the period of the sole agency and that buyer goes on to exchange contracts on the property, the sole agent will be paid commission, as well as the agent who actually introduced the buyer.

Online v Highstreet

Fees: Perhaps the biggest draw for sellers is the potential difference in fees between online and high street estate agents as explained above

Online estate agents offer prospective clients a one-off fixed fee without commission, but you’ll pay that whether your home sells or not. High street agents, on the other hand, will generally charge anywhere between 1 to 2% of the sale price. But it’s important to consider the old saying: you get what you pay for.

Service: Online agencies can offer lower fees because they are in the business of doing things at scale, which means sellers can become little more than a number. Reputable high street agents build relationships, offering sellers a one-on-one service that keeps you in the loop every step of the way.

Big online estate agents might offer a 24/7 service where clients can contact them at any time of the day or night but you’ll be dealing with a call centre representative rather than your actual agent. Call centres can be frustrating, so would you want the biggest transaction of your life handled by a faceless individual at the end of a telephone line? High street agents provide sellers with a more personal service.

Local Vs National: Local agents know pretty much everything there is to know about the local area and the property trends that are going on there right now. Compare that level of local knowledge to that of a national online agent where strangers make vital decisions on things such as valuations based on online data; information that can often be very out of date.

Due to the levels of complaints they have received, online agents are trying to address this problem by offering local ‘experts’ to sellers. However, many of these experts have very little experience in property sales, coming instead from other sales-based jobs into the property market for the first time.

Accreditation: There is very little stopping anyone from opening their own estate agency, accreditations or not. Lack of regulation can be a problem for sellers, but there are, thankfully, ways in which you can ensure that you are dealing with a reputable agent.

Voluntary accreditation shows prospective clients of credibility and is something that shouldn’t be overlooked when searching for someone to sell your home.

Conveyancing

To choose your local Conveyancing Solicitor you must compare both quotes for conveyancing and quality of service. Quotes for conveyancing can be acquired online and are a handy way of collecting information. Whether buying, selling or remortgaging your home, you will want the legal process managed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Quality of service comes before cheap, low cost fees. Use our comparison tool to compare quotes for conveyancing.

Why Do I Need Conveyancing?

Buying, selling or re-mortgaging a property, requires a licenced Conveyancing Solicitor to meet the necessary legal requirements. They will oversee the transfer of deeds to ensure that no legal issues arise.

Some mortgage lenders require you to use a conveyancing solicitor on their managed panel. You can compare quotes for panel solicitors by using our online comparison tool.

Should I Use Fixed Price Conveyancing?

Look for a solicitor that offers you a fixed fee quote. This way, with our help, you will find out the exact legal conveyance fees immediately, online, whether selling, buying or remortgaging your property.

What Will My Conveyancing Quote Include?

Your quotes for conveyancing will include basic conveyance fees (which you can get online), disbursements and expenses. Basic fees are the general solicitor’s conveyance fees. Disbursements and expenses are costs that are incurred and passed onto you.

See our most asked conveyancing faqs answered.

Finally, you can use our Stamp Duty Calculator to discover Stamp Duty costs when the SDLT holiday ends.

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