Selling your property is considered one of the most stressful and emotional periods in life and normally coincides with other important events. Because of this, it requires some clear decision-making as your choices are regarded as some of the most consequential you will ever make.
The selection of your estate agent
Selling and buying property is a complex, expensive and time-consuming activity relying heavily on excellent communication, good management and experienced professionals.
The vast majority of homeowners simply do not have the time, resources or skills needed to sell their own property.
An estate agent’s role is to facilitate the sale of your property. Important to this process are regular communication, guidance on the presentation of your home and support through the more complicated and stressful stages of the transaction. Responsible estate agents will provide a realistic market appraisal by taking into account economic issues affecting the market.
The agent will also manage the marketing package for your property including the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), floor plan, photography and brochure.
Qualifying prospective buyers is an important part of the estate agent’s role as much time, money and effort can be wasted when prospective buyers have not been particularly truthful about their circumstances.
In essence, an estate agent will manage all stages of the transaction from the initial market appraisal and marketing to the management of the chain and the entire transaction process through to the finish.
What are the legal requirements when selling a property?
Properties in England and Wales require an Energy Performance Certificate to be ordered before marketing can commence and the completed EPC must arrive within 28 days of being ordered.
The EPC is an assessment of your property’s energy efficiency, which must be carried out by a qualified domestic energy assessor (DEA).
Additional marketing options
High-quality full plans have been proven to greatly increase interest in the property, enabling potential buyers to build an accurate image and comprehension of its dimensions before calling to arrange a viewing.
Professional photographs play a key role in how property is presented either online, in magazines, in local newspapers or in other printed material. Taking extra care to ensure the photos of your property are welcome posts of high quality will result in increased interest and improve the possibility of achieving a quick sale.
Advances in communication and information technology allow homebuyers to use their ‘smartphones and other handheld devices to access information about properties for sale or to rent with ease and convenience. It is therefore important to appoint an agent whose marketing tools fully exploit online activity.
It is very difficult to ask an estate agent whether you can trust them before you make your choice. Often, it is not until after you have instructed an agent that you are fully aware of their capabilities and attitude.
So how do you ensure the estate agent you choose will deliver you the expertise and quality of service you require?
The fact of the matter is that setting up an estate agency business in the UK is relatively easy and currently unregulated.
A person is not required to have qualifications or a license, giving rise to the possibility of receiving a disappointing level of customer service.
Finally, people looking to sell their homes should appoint estate agents who operate strict codes of conduct and are members of industry bodies such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors or the Property Ombudsman Scheme.