Buying or selling a home can be a stressful business. Sometimes you may not know where to start, especially if this is the first time you have gone through the process. Even if you have a good idea about the area you want to live in, the type of property you want and your budget, it can still prove to be a challenge.
You should do everything possible to make it easier, and it starts by finding a good real estate agent. A good agent can help make the process simpler, less stressful and even enjoyable. So how should you do this? Here are a few of the most important factors to keep in mind.
How Experienced is the Agency?
You want to ensure you choose a real estate agent with a long history. The simple fact that they have been around for a long time means they are successful and are good at selling properties. Whether you are buying or selling, this is always a good sign.
So if you look for properties online at Bridgfords knowing that it has a 180-year history, this will give you confidence that they know exactly what they are doing and that you are in safe hands.
Talk to Previous Customers
When you are choosing an estate agent, another way to get a good idea about how good an agency is for you is to contact people who have used them recently. Look at the properties that the estate agent has sold, and talk to the sellers or the buyers if you can. Ask your agency for contact information and they may be happy to provide it, then you can get in touch to find out what they thought of the experience.
Carry Out Online Research
It’s easy these days to find out about companies by researching them online. One of the best ways to do this is to read some online reviews, and a quick search online should bring up something. Third-party review sites will provide you with a good idea of what you can expect, but be aware that there will always be a few negative reviews. As long as they are mainly positive, this is usually a good sign.
Find Out What They Specialise In
Does the agency specialise in a particular type of property? If you’re looking for a mansion, you will want an agent who knows this market. Also find out whether they are experts in your local area. One specialising in your local area is important because they will know the local market inside out, which may help you to sell for a better price, or buy for less.
Ask the Right Questions
When you have identified an estate agent you like the look of, get in contact. You should have a conversation with an agent either over the phone or in person, and make a point of asking them a number of questions.
As well as asking about their experience and the type of properties they specialise in, ask about the homes that they have recently sold. Were they similar to the sort you are looking for, size, price, etc? Ask about the local area as well to try to work out how much they really know, and find out how long on average it takes them to sell a home.
As you ask all these questions, make sure you get a feel for them. Do you feel like these are people you can work with? Will they work tirelessly to get you the best deal?
Make Sure They Have the Credentials
If an estate agent does not have a lot of experience but they look like a good fit, make sure they have all of the credentials they should have. Are they a member of any associations, like the NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents)? Do they have the certificates from the NFoPP (National Federation of Property Professionals)?
Check Their Listings
You can get a lot of information about an estate agent simply through checking their listings either in their window or often on their website. Search through these and try to find whether they buy and sell the types of property you are interested in, and this can be a good sign that they can be of help.
Find the Perfect Real Estate Agent
Buying or selling a property is a big deal for most people. You may only do it once or twice in your lifetime, so it makes sense to do it properly. So spend the time finding the best estate agent for your property search or to sell your home, and you will enjoy a less stressful and more enjoyable experience.
Andrew Alexander is an estate agent who has worked out of many UK offices. With a vast experience under his belt, he writes property articles which get published online.