Whether you’re in the market to buy a new house or need help selling your current home, you don’t want to go it alone. Finding a good UK estate agent to help you with the task is essential! After all, since moving property is their business, they can help you with the ins and out of closing on a home, offer tips to make things go more smoothly, and connect you with options you might have known existed before.
That said, you don’t want to pair up with just any estate agent. After all, buying or selling a home can be one of the most important things you’ll ever do, so you want to make that choice with a reliable and experienced estate agent. Here are some tips on how to find a good estate agent.
Meet them in the field. A good agent spends most of her time on the go rather than working from a desk. An open house is a great place to meet agents, even if you aren’t interested in that particular property, as many agents use these gatherings to socialize with potential clients. If you’re buying a home and really want to multitask, attend an open house in the neighborhood you hope to live in so you get an idea of the home prices there.
Check your agent’s experience. Many agents only close on a couple of homes each year, so more years of experience and more closings is a good sign. Check their references and find out if they’re friendly with other local agents. They should also be knowledgeable about the local market; for example, how many schools are nearby for families with young children. You might find a great estate agent that you really like who just isn’t quite in touch with the local vibe in a particular area of the city you’re moving to, and a local agent who has a finger on the pulse of that neighborhood will be a much better fit.
Make sure your agent works full-time. If an agent is only working part-time as a second job, she may not be as attentive to the market or she may not be available when you need her. Your agent should also be active online and be available via cell, e-mail and social media. Do keep in mind, though: calling outside of normal business hours is not okay. She has a life, too!
Don’t rush to sign anything. Interview several agents before you make your choice, and ascertain their expertise: buying or selling. Different agents will have different levels of expertise in these fields and you also want to make sure that the properties they will show you and the goals they will set are realistic. You should be able to take a few hours to look at properties and build trust with an estate agent before making your relationship official.
It doesn’t hurt to ask your estate agent for references to help you while buying or selling your home someone to do repairs, for example, or help in obtaining a mortgage. Beware, however, of an estate agent who only refers a small group of people and receives some sort of compensation for doing so. In general your estate agent should be able to recommend more than one provider for a task so you have options.