When choosing an agent to sell your home, it can often be hard to look past a low fee or basic fixed-fee package that you might be enticed with.
But when weighing up the pros and cons of which agent go with, there are some important questions to ask that will take you far beyond any headline fee or fixed-fee offer.
1. What could be the true cost to me for selling my home this way?
Opting for the cheap option can actually end up costing you money. Here are a few scenarios to illustrate why it’s important to focus on the bigger picture:
Property 1 – On with another agent with little-to-no interest. Brought on Home as secondary agent to help increase interest levels. In less than two weeks we had three offers and agreed a sale for £50,000 more than where the previous agent had begun marketing the property.
Property 2 – On with another agent. Lost their buyer which put their onward purchase at risk. Turned to Home. Not only did we get the property back under offer in 2 days but sold it for an additional £25,000 – which more than covered our fee.
Property 3 – Brought on alongside another agent. From the outset we secured nine viewings whereas the other agent only managed two. In less than a week we had agreed a sale for £30,000 more than the asking price.
Property 4 –On with two agents for over a month but with limited viewings and zero interest. Decided to move to Home. With no reduction in asking price, we got the property under offer in less than a week which enabled the vendors to make their dream move down to the south coast.
2. What am I actually getting for my money?
Particularly with fixed-fee packages, really look at what you’re actually going to get for your money.
In many instances what comes as standard from an agent offering a percentage fee will be the equivalent (if not better) than some of the more expensive fixed fee packages on offer – and for less money. They can seem like good value until you realise what more you can get for your money.
3. Who will be more motivated to sell my home for the best possible price?
Percentage-based fees are, by their very nature, performance-related – the more the agent gets for your home the more the both of you benefit. It’s win-win.
Compare that with a fixed fee model where it doesn’t really matter what an agent sells your home for, they get paid the same regardless. Often that will create a team just keen to get it sold quickly so your listing isn’t costing them money. What it sells for becomes secondary and they may even start pushing you to accept a low offer or price reduce unnecessarily.
4. Who are the people I’d want to deal with on day-to-day basis and would best represent my home?
If you’re having trouble deciding between agents and you’ve only met one team member at the valuation then why not ‘mystery shop’ them? There is a whole business that sits behind that fee and there’s no better way to understand it than experience it for yourself.
If you can, pop into the office to get a feel for people you’ll be dealing with or pick up the phone and make a general enquiry. How are you treated? Are the levels of help and professionalism as you would expect? Do they seem like a good fit with you and your property?
It’s important to know exactly what, and who, you’re buying into.
We’re not saying the cheapest option or a fixed-fee package won’t not be right for you, only that it’s worth considering the bigger picture before assuming the lowest fee means more money in your back pocket and that all agents are the same.
It’s not always the case… and by some quite considerable margins. The most important thing is to find an agent that you feel is the fit for you and the one your home deserves.