In this three-minute read, we list five things Sawbridgeworth and Bishop's Stortford sellers should look for in an estate agent.
It pains us to say this, but a recent survey found people were more likely to trust a traffic warden or a lawyer than an estate agent.
When it comes to telling the truth, it seems that only politicians have a worse reputation than estate agents (source: YesHomebuyers.com).
As you can imagine, this frustrates us. Firstly, we’re a hardworking Sawbridgeworth and Bishop's Stortford business with a strong track record – just ask our happy customers. We know there are some cowboys out there – and thankfully, the industry is working to weed them out – but we hate being lumped in the same category as them.
Secondly, selling a home is one of the most significant transactions a person makes in their lifetime. We hate to think that people are being led through that process by someone they think is a consummate liar. It must make the whole experience more stressful.
So, we’ve put together a five-point list of things to look out for when you’re hunting for an estate agent you can trust.
1) Word of mouth
Speak to friends and family about their experiences of selling in Sawbridgeworth and Bishop's Stortford. Don’t just ask them to name a good agent but dig deeper to find out: how long it took them to sell their property, if the agent’s valuation was realistic, who conducted the viewings, and if the customer service was up to scratch.
2) Marketing research
Identify popular agents in Sawbridgeworth and Bishop's Stortford and scrutinise how they market their properties. Look for good quality photography and well-written property descriptions as these are vital ingredients for achieving top price. Dodgy snaps of cluttered rooms, and minimal information, should set off alarm bells.
3) Are they registered?
All UK estate agents who deal with residential properties must register with either the Property Ombudsman or the Property Redress Scheme. These organisations deal with customer complaints (hopefully, you won’t have any, but it’s good to have peace of mind). If they’re not registered, steer clear.
4) Are they a member of a professional body?
Many good agents will be part of a professional body, such as the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) Propertymark, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or The Guild of Professional Estate Agents. Membership shows they take their professional responsibilities seriously.
5) Realistic valuation
If an agent vows to sell your home for a price that far exceeds market trends or your expectations, be suspicious. They’re either over-promising to win your custom or clueless (or both!). Either way, buyers won’t buy it (literally), and you’ll wind up dropping the asking price later. Don’t fall for this time-wasting exercise.
To find out more about why people in Sawbridgeworth and Bishop's Stortford have been trusting us with their home sales for years, give us a call.
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