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4 Key Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An Estate Agent

When it’s time to sell your property, how do you go about choosing an estate agent? Well of course, Property Deck should be your first port of call.

Nonetheless, I’m sure there won’t be any problem in locating the nearest real estate agent. After all, you see estate agent signs in every town, every neighbourhood, and pretty much on every street corner!

However, deciding on choosing which estate agent is something completely different! The is where Property Deck comes in.

When selecting an estate agent proposal you need to be asking yourself. Will the agent do a successful job of selling your property for the highest price, in the shortest period of time, and the least amount of inconvenience to you?

Most of us don’t normally get exposed to real estate agents too often, other than a few times in our lifetime.

Therefore, choosing a real estate agent might not be the most straightforward decision to make, wouldn’t you agree?

In other words, choosing the wrong estate agent will undoubtedly lead to financial & emotional headaches ahead!

Here are 5 things to think about and avoid when choosing your estate agent and using Property Deck.

Mistake 1: Choosing an Estate Estate Agent Who Offers The Lowest Commission

Now that you’ve decided to sell your home, your next step will be to upload your house onto Property Deck and start comparing your proposals from estate agents. As you know we aim to assist you choosing the BEST estate agent for you.

There are many agents out there who will undercut the competition by seriously lowering their commission, in an attempt to win the listing mandate!

“As a home seller, I’m saving money already, so why is that a bad thing?” you say.

Well, there are a few ways of looking at it:

  • Reduced commission means reduced marketing resources available to assist in getting your home sold. The potential marketing tools that agent suggested he’ll be using, will be substantially less than what a full commission agent could offer as part of his marketing strategy of your property.

    That’s a fair business conclusion, no?
  • Now, say this listing agent decides to go the route of heavily discounting the commission rate so they can get your property listed, how many buyer agents are likely going to be turned off once they find out how small their cut of the commission will be? Hence, it would financially benefit the buyer agent to take his client elsewhere and be paid a standard market going commission for the services provided.
  • And, finally, aren’t you curious to know why the agent needs to lower his commission by that much just to get your business? When they drop his commission at a drop of a hat (thereby hurting the bottom line), how good will they be when it’s negotiation time on the price of your property? Thereby hurting your bottom line?!

    Does making this decision still make you warm and fuzzy at the thought of saving money?

Before signing up with the estate agent who’s offering the lowest commission, please read the above again.

Hopefully, it will put their listing presentation in perspective versus what other real estate agents are bringing to the table when marketing your home.

Mistake 2: Choosing an Estate Agent Who Gives You The Highest Listing Price

Now that you’ve decided to go on the market with your (overpriced) property, odds are quite high that you will eventually sell your home at a price below the going market price. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of starting the marketing process with the correct asking price!

The first 3-to-4 weeks of marketing are crucial and if the asking price is too high, unfortunately, potential home buyers will simply not even consider your listing.

Never mind taking the time to go view it! And, to be honest, why would they? The property is out of their price range anyway!

Or worse, a lot of estate agents might even use your overpriced property to bounce their educated home buyers off to more correctly priced properties.

“Now that we’ve seen what £400,000 gets you here, wait until I show you the next home which is marketed at exactly the same price. You’ll be blown away by the high finishes and many extra features!” The TV show, Escape To The Country come to mind!

Is that how you want agents and buyers to do when they’re viewing your home?

I didn’t think so either!

Regardless how you look at it, the end result will be that the overpriced property will sit on the market for a much longer time.

And it will eventually sell at a much lower price than would have been achieved if only it was priced correctly from the start!

Now, let’s assume there’s actually this one buyer who decides to put in an offer!

Another unfortunate risk you’ll run with selling an overpriced property is that the banks will have trouble finding value during their appraisal; thereby limiting the finance amount for the buyer.

And, unless there is a bigger deposit to make up the difference, the deal is likely to fall through.

All this effort, time, stress and living in hope, just to see it all go to waste!

Being a home seller, you only have one chance to make a first impression!

And, sure, while one might be tempted to be choosing the estate agent who suggested marketing your property at a higher price, please make sure to ask for proof of how that price was determined. The easy way to do this is to check what Property Deck tells you similar properties are selling for in your area or on your street, or failing that, check out similar properties for sale on Rightmove.

Check with the agent what is currently on the market with similar features as your property.

Having a look at the recent sales of similar homes in your area will give you, as the homeowner, a more realistic expectation regarding the likely sale price of your property.

Plus, it will immediately set the agent straight regarding the listing price he put forward.


Why Use Property Deck?

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Mistake 3: Choosing an Estate Agent Who Sold The Most Properties

We admit that this one might be somewhat counterintuitive! One might be tempted to use the total number of properties sold as the sole measuring stick in choosing an estate agent. While the agent who only manages to sell a couple of properties last year, might not be your direct choice, the agent selling 50 properties in a given year should not immediately be the first choice either.

“Why?” you ask.

Bear with us, as per Mistake two above, we now realise that the estate agent who gives the highest listing price is probably going to get a lot of the listings. Yet, it will become very evident that those overpriced properties aren’t selling (no kidding!) and will likely remain on the agent’s books for longer periods of time.

In other words, the number of properties that agent eventually sells versus renting the properties that he still has on the books will be quite low.

In real estate terms, they refer to it as the sales-to-listing ratio.

Who do you think to be the better agent: the estate agent who sells 13 out of 15 listings or the agent who sells 20 out of 50 listings?!

Do yourself a favor and don’t go looking for the estate agent who sold the most properties!

Rather have a look at how well the agent priced the property, how they suggested going about the marketing strategy, how their reactions were when you attempted to reduce their commission (ie test their negotiation skills) and of course, how their overall presentation and communication report was.

These skills will be very important when it comes to buyer negotiations!

choosing an estate agent

Mistake 4: Choosing an Estate Agent Because You Know Them

Selling your house is very serious business. Most estate agents will agree that there’s no one sales contract the same!

Every client has his/her specific requirements, needs, wants & wishes and all of this needs to be properly documented by both buyer and seller agents.

Therefore, it is very important that not only during negotiation but also at the time of closing, that legally, everything is correctly worded.

You might be uncle John or 2nd cousin Wendy’s favorite, but when it’s time to dive into some intense negotiation sessions, and subsequent legal paperwork, if things were not to work out with the buyer(s), it might be tough to split the personal from the business angle of the property sale!

Will you or your relative/friend be able to look past whatever may have gone wrong during the home selling process if the experience wasn’t the greatest?

By all means, we’re not claiming you should never be choosing an estate agent just because they’re family!

But one’s decision to choose the relative or fried should perhaps not be automatically assumed!

Whoever will eventually be marketing your home should be going through a fair interview process together with other interested agents, all vying for the listing agent job!

Final Thoughts

You didn’t perhaps realise how many mistakes a home seller can make when choosing an estate agent, and how easily it can sometimes be to be making them!

If there’s one thing we would like you to take away from this article, it definitely should be to avoid the biggest home seller mistake of overpricing your property.

As you may slip through the cracks with the other home seller mistakes when choosing an estate agent and not necessarily experience a professional home selling service, in the end, at the right price, at least your property will be sold!

Please apply the above information to avoid home seller mistakes when choosing your proposal on Property Deck!

Who knows, it might result in, not only in saving you thousands, but also avoid unnecessary emotional drama!


Did You Know?

Less than half of all home sellers achieve a sale with the first agent they choose. We solve that problem!

We understand that every person’s circumstances and selling journey is different. That’s why our platform allows you to choose the agent that is the best fit to sell your home. Whether your driven by saving money or getting a first-class service, you can be assured that Property Deck will allow your selling journey to be less stressful.