7 Questions You MUST Ask Your Estate Agent!

Before you instruct an estate agent to sell your property, make sure you’re clear on the answers to the 7 essential questions below…

Not all agents work in the same way which is why you’ll often find that the terms and conditions that you sign up to with one estate agency are very different to that of another.

We’ve been selling property in Derby for over twenty years so we’re quite familiar with some of the hidden charges and not-so-obvious caveats that sellers often don’t realise are part of their agreement.

To make sure you’re not caught out or caught short financially, always ask your agent the following questions before giving them the go ahead to sell your property.


1. How Long Will I Be Tied In To A Contract For?

Some agents will “tie” you in to long contracts meaning that you’re stuck with them for months, even if the service doesn’t live up to what they promised. Beware of long “tie-ins” and question the motive and confidence an agent has in their own service if this is presented to you.

2. Will I Be Charged If I Take My Property Off The Market?

Make sure you fully understand any withdrawal fees from the estate agent. Some agents will charge you for taking your property off the market during the initial contract period. Others will charge you if you take the property off the market at any time, even after the agreement has expired.

3. Will I Be Charged Even If You Can’t Sell My Property?

Some agents charge their fees “up-front” or tie you in to finance agreements – which are non-refundable. This means that the agent gets paid regardless of whether they sell your property or not. Are you comfortable with paying for a result that’s not guaranteed? If the agent is paid at the beginning of the process, how motivated will they be to actually sell your property?

4. Do You Have Evidence To Support Your Valuation?

A good estate agent will provide you with plenty of well-researched comparable evidence to support the valuation of your property. Ultimately, it is the price of similar local properties that have recently sold which will dictate the price you can achieve for your own. If your agent presents you with a surprisingly high valuation and cannot provide evidence to support it, they may have an ulterior motive that is not in your best interest.

5. What Other Properties Have You Sold Locally?

Whilst not essential, an agent having already successfully sold properties in your area is a great indication that they’ll be able to do the same for you. It means that your agent most likely has excellent local knowledge, is in regular contact with people who are looking to buy locally and may have other similar properties available with which they can cross-sell your own property. There’s much more to getting a great price than just sticking your property online and waiting for someone to find it!

6. What Happens Once The Sale Is Instructed To Solicitors?

As the conveyancing process continues to get more complicated, it is imperative that you have someone looking after your sale once it has been instructed to Solicitors. Someone who liaises with buyers, agents, Solicitors and brokers on your behalf, pushing all the way to exchange and completion is an essential part of the service and you may find yourself lost without it.

7. Will I Be Penalised For Using My Own Solicitors?

Before putting pen to paper on an agency agreement, always make sure you’ve read the small print. Some agents will charge you for not using their recommended Solicitors once your property is sold, which can be expensive and is not always made totally clear at the outset.

Ready To Get Moving?

If you’d like to go ahead and get your property on the market with Hannells, get in touch with your local branch today or complete the short form below and one of the team will be in touch to arrange the next steps!

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