It doesn’t always work out with your first choice of estate agent.
Perhaps things went well at first, but viewings are now thin on the ground. Maybe you sense your agent’s initial enthusiasm has begun to cool. Or you could be wondering if your home was overvalued at the start, particularly if you’re being pressed for a hefty price reduction now.
Being stuck on the market is no fun, and when your neighbours are selling their homes and being whisked away by removal vans, there comes a point when you start to think about a new approach.
But how can you be sure that changing estate agents will turn your fortunes around?
In this week’s blog, you’ll find everything you need to make the switch with confidence and pick the best estate agent to get your move back on track.
WHAT’S YOUR REASON FOR CHANGING ESTATE AGENTS?
People change estate agents for many reasons, and some of the most common reasons I hear when they’re switching to us include:
- their plans have changed, and moving is more urgent
- their home has been on the market for a long time with no – or only low – offers
- they’re disappointed with the marketing of their home
- they’re getting no viewings and no new enquiries
- they’re being pushed to reduce their price much lower than the agent’s initial valuation
- they don’t enjoy talking to their agent, or the relationship is less than ideal
- they’ve lost confidence in their agent finding them a buyer.
If one or more of these rings a bell with you, changing estate agents could be your next step. Remember: there’s no such thing as an unsellable home, and it’s never too late to start again.
THE BENEFITS OF CHANGING ESTATE AGENTS
Even if your home has been on the market for a long time, changing estate agents might seem like a pointless hassle. Doesn’t every buyer just look at the same portals these days? Surely one agent is much the same as the next?
Well, there are some real and tangible benefits to changing estate agents, including:
- your property is immediately reset as a new listing on the property portals (you’d have to take it off and wait 16 weeks to regain that status if you stayed with the same agent)
- there’s nothing more exciting for an estate agent than a brand-new listing to sell
- you’ll have the benefit of hindsight and experience to ask the right questions of your next agent (more on that later)
- new photos taken from different angles and a new description can make your home look fresh on the market and catch the eye of buyers who may have missed or discounted it.
Changing estate agents can also replace any feelings of resignation with renewed confidence in your move. Whenever you’re feeling stuck, taking action is always the answer.
REVIEW YOUR CURRENT AGENT’S PERFORMANCE
When you’re thinking of changing estate agents, take a few moments to look back over the time you’ve been on the market, from the interest you’ve had to the experience with your agent.
- How was the communication when booking appointments, giving feedback and staying in touch?
- Were you welcomed with a friendly tone whenever you called, or did you feel like a nuisance?
- Are your photos and description a compelling combination that does justice to your home and entices people to call?
- How many viewings has your agent had, and how does that compare to other homes they are marketing?
- Has your agent sold homes similar to yours and nearby, or are you the odd one out among their listings?
- Is your asking price the one your agent advised, and does it reflect recent nearby comparable sales?
- Has your agent made any suggestions around presentation, either when they first met you, or in response to comments from viewers?
Finally, for an accurate picture of how your home is being handled, ask a willing friend or relative to pose as a buyer and call your agent about your home to test their talents. Now you’ll know whether you want to stay with them, or if it’s time to say goodbye.
SELECTING YOUR NEW ESTATE AGENT
If you’ve decided you want to change your estate agent, here are some things to consider to help you find your ideal selling partner:
- Search the property portals for homes similar to yours, then check the agents’ websites to find the best marketing
- Speak to your second and third-choice agents from when you first had your home valued to get their updated thoughts on price, market conditions and their campaign
- Look around your local streets for boards from other agents selling homes like yours
- When you invite agents into your home, do they support their suggested asking price with recent comparable sales?
- Check their terms of business for contract lengths, notice periods, and whether any costs are payable upfront or if it’s completely no sale, no free
- Try asking them to lower their commission rate – not to pay less, but to find the strongest negotiator. The best agents generally aren’t the cheapest.
Finally, ask yourself which agent’s company you enjoyed the most. Your relationship is going to last a good few months, so whoever you choose should be someone you trust and who you’d like to speak to every week.
CHANGING ESTATE AGENTS CORRECTLY
After you’ve settled on a new estate agent to take over the sale of your home, there are some steps to take for a seamless switch with no loose ends.
- Give your current agent written notice in line with the terms of your contract and request a response.
- Get a list of the names of the people who’ve viewed your property so you can inform your next agent of them and avoid paying double fees
- Instruct your existing agent to hand over any keys they hold to your property to your new agent
- Ask your new agent for any recommendations over minor repairs or presentation so you can get ready for when they take their photographs
- Talk to your new agent about what’s best for selling your home – a same-day switch and relaunch, or taking a short break from the market.
With all that in place, you’ll be all set for a clean break and a fresh new start to get your move underway.
Is it time to change your estate agent?
If you’ve got this far, you’re probably looking at your options for changing estate agents and getting your home sold. If that’s the case, we’d love to show you how we can find you a buyer and get your move underway.
Call me on 01384 958811 or email me at email@example.com to tell me all about your plans.