Get­ting to know es­tate agents

Rutherglen Reformer - - Property - Lorraine Howard

Which? The re­search or­gan­i­sa­tion has re­vealed that the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple are sat­is­fied with the ser­vice pro­vided by their es­tate agent.

The re­search or­gan­i­sa­tion sur­veyed 1990 mem­bers of the gen­eral public in June 2015 about their ex­pe­ri­ences of buy­ing and selling prop­erty in the UK. And they found that 65 per cent were ei­ther FAIRLY or VERY sat­is­fied with their es­tate agent. Only 16 per cent were FAIRLY or VERY dis­sat­is­fied and the rest didn’t feel strongly ei­ther way. If you’re look­ing to get a mort­gage, it’s worth speak­ing to an ad­viser to get tai­lored ad­vice for your cir­cum­stances. Here is our guide to buy­ing a house through an es­tate agent It’s fine to search online, you’re much more likely to find your dream home if you get out into the area you’re hop­ing to buy in and register face- to- face with es­tate agents. Start with the agen­cies that are selling flats or houses in your price range and in the style you’re look­ing for, but don’t limit your­self. Be friendly and clear about what you want and keep in con­tact so they will think of you first when some­thing comes up. So that you can re­main fo­cused and get the best deal when you do find that per­fect house, down­load our free check­list of ques­tions to ask the es­tate agent if you’re a buyer.

How do you choose the best es­tate agent?

Try to make a short­list of three good agents as this gives you a de­cent range of views, and in­vite each to give you a prop­erty val­u­a­tion. Although of course get­ting a good selling price will be top of your list, don’t au­to­mat­i­cally go with the agent that of­fers you the high­est val­u­a­tion - they may be over­valu­ing your prop­erty in or­der to get your busi­ness. Make sure you check ex­actly what ser­vices they of­fer and whether you will have to pay ex­tra for them, for ex­am­ple: Will they con­duct view­ings, or will you need to?

• What mar­ket­ing ma­te­ri­als will they pre­pare? For ex­am­ple, floor­plans, pho­to­graphs or vir­tual online tours Where will they ad­ver­tise? For ex­am­ple, news­pa­pers, online prop­erty web­sites? Will they pro­vide a For Sale board? Why has the owner de­cided to sell? How long has the owner lived there? If they are mov­ing out af­ter a rel­a­tively short time, it’s a good idea to find out why. Do they know what might be in­cluded in the sale? For ex­am­ple, will it in­clude any ap­pli­ances such as the wash­ing ma­chine? What is the min­i­mum price the seller will ac­cept? How long has the prop­erty been on the mar­ket? If it’s been on for a while, the owner may be will­ing to ac­cept a lower of­fer. Have they re­ceived any of­fers so far? How many view­ings of the prop­erty have there been? How much is the coun­cil tax for the prop­erty? Be or­gan­ised and pre­pared as you find out the best way to buy prop­erty.

CHOICE: Try to make a short­list of three good agents as this gives you a de­cent range of views, and in­vite each to give you a prop­erty val­u­a­tion.

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