What is the role of the estate agent?
What is the role of the estate agent?
When someone decides they are selling a property, normally the vendor will appoint an estate agent. However, do you know what the estate agents role actually is? Knowing there role will enable you to get the best service from the industry.
Managing Director of Fast Move Christian Armitage explains the work of the estate agents.
Unlike a number of professional industries i.e. a mortgage broker the estate agent’s industry is not regulated. Therefore it is possible for anyone to start an estate agency business tomorrow without having any qualifications. Someone could even set one up in their bedroom.
I would not say it is imperative to use an estate agent that has qualifications however using an estate agent with experience is hugely important. I would always suggest checking the level of experience the agents actually have before entering into any form of contract with them. However, if you do decide to use an estate agent with qualifications this can only be a good thing.
As previously explained the estate agents industry is not regulated so they do not have a code of conduct to follow. However, a number of estate agents are part of the property ombudsman which does issue codes of practice that its members should follow, which protects the vendors interests.
What service should the estate agent provide?
Once the estate agent has visited your property it is their responsibility to provide you with a recommended marketing price. In order to obtain the valuation the estate agent should use a number of tools available to them which identify similar properties that have sold recently in the area and all the properties currently for sale near your home. There may be a number of nationwide companies who offer to give you a valuation on the phone. However, please think how can this be accurate without them seeing the property. Therefore only use an estate agent who actually visits your property.
A key question the estate agent should ask is how quickly you would like to sell the property. Obviously the faster you need to sell the more attractive the price needs to be. If you are in no rush then it is worth asking that bit more as you can always reduce the price if you decide you need a faster sale. However, if the price is set too high you will not generate any interest.
Once the agent has recommended the marketing price and you are happy with it the agent is then responsible for taking the photographs, writing a description and the marketing of your house to attract as many buyers as possible. The more buyers you can attract the more chance you have of selling your house. The most effective ways to currently market a property are
- Advertise the property on all the powerful internet sites i.e. Rightmove, onthematket.com
- Place a For Sale Board outside the property
The estate agent is also responsible for organising and managing all the viewings. They should call the viewers within 24 hours of the viewing and call the vendor to let them know the viewers thoughts of your property. If you decide to employ an agent who only works 9-5 Monday – Friday please be prepared to show people round yourself as many viewers will want to look after 6 or on a weekend. There is the option though to use an agent who operate 7 days a week and are open till 9pm for example Fast Move.
The most demanding of the role is brokering the deal. Once an offer has been agreed it is up to the estate agent to liaise between the two solicitors and iron out any problems that are encountered throughout the sale. A good estate agent is definitely an agent that has a high conversion rate as this shows they are pro-active and a good communicator.
If you follow this information you should be able to comprehend why you have to pay for the service of an estate agent and also it may help you decide who to appoint.