The abundance of estate agents can make choosing the right one to sell on an investment property a daunting task. Of course, everyone wants to achieve the very best price possible for their property and so it is tempting to plump for the estate agent that gives the highest valuation figure.
But it’s easy to put a big asking price on a property – the difficult part is getting it. If an estate agent is simply telling the vendor what they want to hear, it can lead to disappointment further down the line when it becomes obvious that the price is not obtainable. It is far better to have an achievable asking price provided by an estate agent that has experience and knowledge of the area.
If several estate agents view the property and offer valuations, the vendor will gain a more realistic idea of what it will sell for. If any of the valuations seem wide of the mark, ask for evidence that similar properties in the area have achieved such figures.
Use a Local Agent
Buyers will tend to look for a property in a particular area and so will visit nearby estate agents. It is a good ideal to sell through a local estate agent, therefore. Check the surrounding area for boards – preferably reading ‘sold’ rather than ‘for sale’ – and examine local newspapers to establish which estate agents are selling the most properties in the area. Better still, get a friend or relative who has recently sold a house in the area to give a personal recommendation.
It is obviously tempting to negotiate as low a fee as possible with an estate agent, but this can prove to be a false economy, as the estate agent may struggle to find the enthusiasm needed to get the best price if the rewards are not great. A better plan may be to work out a fee that offers incentives, so that obtaining the full asking price will earn the full fee, but the fee will reduce on a sliding scale if offers on the property drop below the asking price.
Check the Small Print
Before giving an estate agent the authority to sell a property, be sure to read the small print in the contract carefully. It may be that the estate agent wants vendors legally bound to them for a long period of time. In this case, if a vendor were unhappy with the service provided by the estate agent, they would not be able to take their business elsewhere unless they were willing to fork out two fees. It is better to insist of a short-term contract – either month-to-month or even week-to-week. Then, if the estate agent is failing to attract suitable offers, the vendor can try another one.
To achieve the best price for a property, it is important to get as many potential buyers as possible to see it. One way to increase the profile of the property is to use several internet estate agents, or at least more than one agent. If using multiple agents, it is crucial to examine the small print on the contracts, as some may insist on being the sole agency, which means that even if the property is sold privately or through another agent, the sole agency will still charge a commission fee.