Selling through an estate agent offers a number of advantages and disadvantages. It may not suit everyone but it is still the best option for some people.
All paperwork, viewings and offers should be taken care of for you
Your agent should have a list of people looking for properties like yours and should be very familiar with the local market
You should have a good chance of getting the maximum sale price possible
Your home should be marketed and advertised widely in all the right places
Not all estate agents offer the service described above
Some estate agents will put pressure on you to use their mortgage brokers and surveyors – because they get commission from doing this
Potential buyers using the agents’ mortgage broker may get preferential treatment over those who do not – regardless of who makes the best offer for you
Estate agents’ fees vary widely but can take a big chunk out of your sale price
In fact, some estate agents are pretty crooked – so make sure you get valuations from two or three and don’t be afraid to quiz them about how they work.
If you do choose to sell your home through and estate agent, make sure you understand all the details of the contract:
What will all the fees be?
How long are you tied to that agent?
Don’t be afraid to negotiate on fees – even the government recommend it!
An Office of Fair Trading report* into estate agencies concluded that “Consumers can and do benefit from shopping around and negotiating on fees. This should be encouraged.”
*Estate Agency Market in England and Wales, Office of Fair Trading, March 2004. (Crown Copyright).