What is an Estate Agent?
An Estate agent is a curious mix of sales, marketing, administration and counselling. An estate agent can utilise their marketing skills to maximise the selling value of your home by appealing to the widest possible audience. Once potential buyers start to enquire about a particular property the agent will switch over to their sales skills in order to make sure that these enquiries are handled properly and any negotiations are to the owner’s advantage. When the offer is accepted the agent becomes an administrator to see the sale through to its conclusion. Lastly, an estate agent will use their counselling skills and knowledge if things do not go as planned.
If you wish to sell your property you can find a buyer yourself, use an ‘on line’ agent or use a traditional estate agent. Before making a decision you should consider how much each method would cost and how much time you have available. If you use a traditional estate agent it will be more expensive but the agent will take full responsibility for the property details, floor plans, advertising and promotion of the property on the various property portals that we use, as well as accompanying the viewings, negotiating the sale and following through to completion. If you use an ‘on line’ agent the fees will probably start less and still use the property portals but there may be services to add on such as floor plans, a for sale board, photographs, negotiating the sale and following it through to completion which will increase your fee. If you do it yourself than you do everything.
Selling Your Self
If you wish to find a buyer yourself it may well be cheaper but you will need the time to make all the arrangements yourself. You will have to do your own property details, photos and a floor plan [if you have the technology] you will also not be able to use the property portals to advertise your property but you could use social media and the local newspaper but that could be expensive. When you have an offer you will still have to negotiate with the buyer to secure a sale then have to deal with Solicitors yourself which could add unnecessary pressure and time restraints.
An ‘OnLine’ Agent
Historically most of us would always go to a high street agent when we decide to sell or purchase a property. Times have changed a little now with retail seeing a shift from high street to online and the same for the house buying a selling process. More than 90% of property searches are now done on- line via property portals like Zoopla and Rightmove from the comfort of peoples own homes. So the property industry seems to be following the retail trend.
If you use an online agent you could save money, but with all property transactions make sure you choose wisely. You can research easily now with on line for testimonials, reviews etc. to help with your decision. Many online agents provide the same services as a high street agent, in some cases they may even negotiate the sale and progress it to completion for you. They will generally take photographs of your property, provide a floor plan, arrange viewings [but not accompany them], vet potential buyers, market your property on the property portals and provide a for sale board if required. The main difference between a high street agent and online agent is that the online agent will not have a local office, so you can’t call in you have to communicate by phone, email or text.
If you are looking to sell via an online agent it will be to save money. Most agents will offer a flat fee then add on a fee for say adding a floor plan to the details, erecting a for sale board, professional photographs etc. Most on line agents will show all their fees on line plus a copy of their contract. The online agents overheads should be a lot lower than I high street agent therefore they can afford to pass some of the savings onto their vendors.
Because of the way an online agent operates they are often not based in the area of your property so they have limited local knowledge, but you need people with local knowledge to help set the sale price of your property. One way around this is to invite three local agents out to value your property before deciding whether to use the online agent or not and get a good idea of your property value at the same time.
The online agent will probably not accompany your viewings but who better to show prospective buyers around but the person who knows the property well? You can choose times that suit you and you will hopefully get feedback from the viewer as you go around the property with them. If you don’t think the feedback would be reliable [as people are usually reserved when looking at a property] for an extra cost the on line agent may do this for you.
Most online agents will take an offer on your property for you, discuss it with you and then if required negotiate on your behalf. If required they can usually recommend Solicitors also.
Some online agents will take some of the fee upfront with the rest on completion; others will require the fee up front and others on completion. If they are paid up front does this really matter as the property is advertised on all the web sites until it sells? It would be up to you’re whether you change the price to sell it quicker. A high street agent usually has to sell first before they get paid, so they will review the property on a regular basis to make sure they get paid.
The use of on line agents is on the increase. This does show that in most cases online agents can still match prices that a traditional high street agent obtains as well, while not scrimping on service, knowledge or understanding, but maybe saving monies on fees. The choice is yours?
The Selling Process with a Traditional Agent.
If you have not sold a house before it can be a daunting process. Our aim is to simplify that for you and offer you a step by step guide to the process.
The most important part of any sale is your free market proposal meeting with us, the agent. We will give you an accurate valuation and advice on an appropriate asking price. This is free consultation with no obligation.
We will also discuss the marketing strategy we believe that will be right for you, offering you a range of options tailored to sell your property. Marketing your property with us would include benefits such as a Swindon Homes ‘for sale’ board at the property [ though this is optional], your choice of colour property details including photographs and floor plan plus your house details in the office window display and internet coverage on all the main property portals. You would also need an energy performance certificate [EPC] if the property is to be marketed, which we would organise for you.
Once you property is on the market with ourselves we will deal with the sales procedure in a proactive manner, contacting you on a regular basis with all developments. By monitoring the levels of interest from all sources we can always give ongoing advice and adjust the marketing accordingly.
We will always accompany the person[s] who is viewing your property, so you do not have to be there if you do not wish. We believe this takes the stress and anxiety away from you. The viewing process is so important, as we gather information from the buyers and soon have a feeling if there could be a problem selling the property. We can then give you detailed feedback usually within 24 hours, and if required, any suggestions that we believe will help you obtain the best price for your property.
When you receive an offer on your property we will always make sure your purchaser is procedable before we contact you with the offer. We will double check with the buyer, looking for details such as their current situation, whether they require a mortgage or whether they are cash buyers, whether they are selling anything, and if so, is there going to be a chain? This information gives us a realistic time scale and ensures that the buyer is in a position to proceed. When we have done this will be put the offer to you and take your instruction from there to secure the sale.
There are other factors to take into account when accepting an offer, such as your own time scale, whether you have found anywhere you would like to buy, will there be a chain, do you require a mortgage, have you nominated a Solicitor yet etc.? Again, this can all be very daunting, but when we give you the value of your property, our trained professionals will run through these points with you, step by step.
At Swindon Homes we would like you to be a 100% happy with the service you receive from us. On top of what has been highlighted here we can also offer Independent mortgage advice, a lettings service plus we also have an Architectural Draughtsman who can help you with any plans for your property.
If you have any questions about the service we offer please call us on Swindon 01793 535777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Swindon Homes Direct a Traditional Agent. [With a Twist]
Here at Swindon Homes we aim to sell your house with the minimum amount of inconvenience and fuss for you, whilst aiming to achieve the maximum possible result. We will help you through the whole – whether you are selling or buying – offering you professional straightforward advice at every stage of the transaction. This is probably the largest single transaction that you will make, so let us take the strain. If you would like to take the ‘on line’ agent approach, Swindon Homes can offer that facility to you via our ‘on line’ agent portal.