Before you list a home for sale, there’s one important thing to consider – should you hire an estate agent or try to sell your property on your own? While both methods have their pros and cons, research and market sales suggest that property owners that use an agent not only sell their homes faster but at a higher price.
Instead of trying to save money by selling your property alone, think of the estate agents fees you pay as an investment in your future.
In addition to selling your property quickly and for top dollar, agents also have industry knowledge, professional connections, and high-quality marketing tools. Keep reading for a few more reasons to consider hiring an estate agent to help sell your property instead of going it alone.
The average home in the UK sells in approximately 18 weeks, depending on how hot or cold the market is. An estate agent knows the right time to sell plus how to price and market your property. The more experience they have, the better. Traditional agents have a pulse on the local community including professional relationships and connections that can help land you an offer sooner. Many agents also have professional photography teams that take breathtaking photos and even walk-through videos to showcase your home in the best possible light – literally!
Agents offer a mix of online and local marketing. Your property will be listed on some of the most popular online portals and you may also get a sale board for your front yard.
An experienced agent also knows how to handle multiple offers, the inspection process, negotiations, and paperwork. We’ll get into more detail on each of these points later but it’s worth mentioning that hiring an estate agent will result in a faster sale because agents have the experience, knowledge, and resources to make it happen. They work with properties, buyers, and other agents on a daily basis and are skilled at simplifying the entire process.
Pricing your home properly for sale can make or break a deal. Price it too low and people will think something’s wrong and you may not get what you need to either purchase your next home or pay off your current mortgage. Price it too high and people won’t bite. You may find yourself getting minimal offers and eventually needing to lower the price. Doing so can also send up red flags for buyers wondering why you had to lower the price.
Choosing the right listing price for your property is like making a first impression. There are no do-overs. An estate agent will ensure that you’re asking enough but not too much. Your agent will come to this figure using a few techniques like assessing and valuing your home, checking the climate of the current market, as well as seeing what homes similar to yours in the local area have recently sold for. This gives the agent a better idea of what people are willing to pay.
Many homeowners are emotionally attached to their properties, making it difficult to set a fair price. You may think your home is worth more than it actually is, causing you to set the price too high and lose out on a pool of potential buyers. Your agent will approach pricing your home objectively, using data and statistics, not emotions.
Even if you price your home appropriately, without the right marketing efforts, no one will know that your house is even on the market. Estate agents are experts in not only drumming up interest in your home but also crafting a detailed, eye-catching listing and marketing it both online and locally.
Since it was already mentioned that a majority of house searches are performed online, let’s start there. Two of the most popular property portals in the UK are Rightmove and Zoopla. And unless you’re an estate agent, you don’t have access to these valuable resources. Estate agents near and far rely on these portals to find and sell properties. When your home is listed on these popular websites, you’ll increase visibility substantially.
Getting your listing online is only half the battle. The type of listing you create can either seal the deal for you or turn buyers away. Most estate agents work with a professional photographer to take and edit impressive photographs that show off your home’s best features. Photographers have industry knowledge about what works and what doesn’t. They will suggest staging, angles, and lighting. In addition, they may also offer videography services including walk-throughs and drone footage. Ditch those smartphone pictures and let a qualified estate agent handle it.
Estate agents are also skilled at writing detailed property descriptions that describe all its best features. Things like recent upgrades or renovations, acreage, and facts about the local community can all draw buyers in and help sell your home! The quality of your listing is the determining factor between whether or not a buyer asks for a viewing or puts in an offer.
But not all sales are done online. Some buyers prefer the traditional process of driving around the community and looking for sale boards. Without a traditional or high-street agent, you won’t get a professional looking sale board that displays their name and contact information. Having a sale board on your lawn increases visibility and may spark the interest of someone who wasn’t necessarily in the market for buying a house before but is now after seeing that yours is available.
A common catchphrase in the sales world is “Give the people what they want.” But before you can do this, you have to know exactly what it is that “the people” are looking for. That’s where a skilled local agent comes into play.
No one has more insight or a better pulse on the local market and community needs than a traditional agent. Having worked in the local area and having an office nearby, traditional agents have the inside scoop on what buyers want and how much they’re willing to pay. They know which features of your house to emphasize and which ones to downplay. These agents can prevent homeowners from making rookie mistakes by personally crafting your listing and taking the lead on marketing your property both online and in-person.
Not only do estate agents know about the local market, but if they’ve been around for a few years, they’ve likely formed relationships with other agents in the area. This drastically increases the pool of potential buyers for your home. Your agent will let their colleagues know about your property so they can bring their own clients to it. Most estate agents have no problem working together since they both receive commissions on the sale.
Most sales aren’t cut-and-dry. In fact, a majority of sales include multiple offers and counteroffers. Without industry knowledge or experience dealing with these types of negotiations, you might end up settling for less or losing the deal completely.
Counteroffers occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, an inspection will uncover issues with the home including the condition of the roof, or problems with the electrical, plumbing, or septic tank. If the buyer put in an original offer close to the listing price, they may ask for several thousand dollars off to perform necessary repairs and/or ask the homeowner to fix these issues. Bidding wars over a property may also result in several offers and counteroffers. Let an experienced estate agent handle these tense situations. Not only will this keep the relationship between you and your potential buyer positive, but an agent will determine which requests are and aren’t reasonable.
It’s also important to note that even before your sale gets to this point, your agent is the one to handle all inquiries on the property, answer questions from interested buyers or agents, and conduct viewings, showings, and open houses. It’s often best for the current homeowner (you) and any potential buyers to have limited contact. This keeps things positive and prevents unwanted confrontation. Estate agents act as your representative throughout the entire process, helping reduce your stress, worry, and aggravation.
Nothing’s worse than accepting an offer on your house only to have the buyers drag their feet throughout the process. The longer your property stays off the market during negotiations, the less likely you are to get your asking price if and when you have to re-list it (if your current offer falls through). To avoid this, estate agents stay on-top of the entire buying process, making sure things continue moving forward.
Agents will perform the necessary follow-up calls, file paperwork, contact inspectors and contractors in the event your home needs repairs, and keep in constant communication with the buyer’s agent to ensure things go according to plan and your timeline. If you’re preparing to move, you’ve likely got countless other things on your plate. You can’t be bothered with staying on top of your buyers. Nor do you want to! If you’re working within a certain timeline, let your agent know so they can press the buyers if need be and ensure everything is ready and in order for closing day.
Congratulations! You’ve accepted an offer on your property and it’s time to complete all the necessary paperwork to make the sale official. This can be a daunting process. It also involves attention to detail and experience working with these types of contracts and agreements. One missed step and there could be an unwanted delay in the sale.
Leave all of these particulars to the experts – an estate agent. Necessary paperwork includes, but isn’t limited to:
These documents are required just to sell your house in the UK. You also need to draw up a final contract and ensure everything is legal through a solicitor. Without an estate agent, it’s easy for a homeowner to miss a step or sign something they’re unsure of. This could be devastating to the sale of your property and your finances. An experienced agent will always work with your best interests in mind.
Speaking of your best interests, an experienced agent will make the hard decisions and offer you their unbiased and objective opinion if it means selling your house fast and for the right price. The agent you hire should always act in a professional manner but may say some things that are difficult for you to hear. For example, your home may not be valued as high as you think. A low valuation can lead to hurt feelings for many homeowners.
Your agent may also point out areas of your property that need fixing or renovating. It’s important not to take any of this to heart. Your agent is making recommendations based on their past experience and knowledge of the current market. At the end of the day, the decision is yours, but it’s a good idea to hear what the agent has to say and their explanation.
Remember, the agent you hire wants to sell your house just as much as you do. No sale means no pay day for them. Find an agent who you connect with both personally and professionally and one that shares your same outlook on the sale process but isn’t afraid to offer their honest advice.
Some people shy away from hiring an estate agent to sell their house in an effort to save money. While you may save a few dollars upfront, in the long run, it’ll cost you a lot more in time and aggravation. Not to mention, a failed deal could cost you even more money in the long run.
Simplify the entire sales process and sell your house fast by hiring an experienced estate agent. Not only will they handle all the paperwork, negotiations, and viewings, but they provide marketing expertise and resources that guarantee your property is portrayed in the most attractive way. An agent’s marketing know-how could bring in multiple offers the day your property hits the market!
To get a view of estate agents in your area and how much they charge, checkout Rentround. The platform enables sellers to compare estate agents local to their property for free. A comparison takes less than 1 minute.
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