Are you unsure what questions to ask estate agents when selling a property? Here are the top 10 you should ask
If you’re considering selling your property and have invited local estate agents to conduct a market appraisal you’ve likely got a few questions that you’re thinking of asking the agent regarding their service and the steps they’ll take to achieve the best possible outcome.
As a selling agent who’s worked in the industry for over 13 years, Paul Cooney has fielded many questions from sellers. There are a few questions that potential sellers will ask that Paul thinks are really important, especially those that have come from sellers who are moving and wish they’d asked as they only found out useful information when they were tied in and it was too late.
Here Paul shares the 10 questions to ask estate agents when selling:
1. How will you make my property stand out?
In a world where potential buyers are online sieving through details around the clock it’s never been more important that your property stands out online. That first impression as house hunters are scrolling through listings can make all the difference. Once a buyer has opened the full details, they are hoping to be able to gain as much information as possible about the property. Our tailored approach to marketing is incredibly successful, on Rightmove our listings receive almost double the number of page views than those of our competitors. The most recent statistics from the property portal positioned us first out of all the agents in W4 with 199 views per day, our nearest competitors were behind at 124 and 109 views per day.
2. How experienced are you and your team?
Leading the Chiswick team Paul has the greatest amount of experience working in property, having sold more than 500 properties personally in his 13 years in the industry. Giorgia, Paul’s right-hand woman, has over 5 years’ experience selling property. In the office, the rest of the team also has deep knowledge of the W4 area with Emily having lived in Chiswick for many years, Parinda a born and bred West Londoner and Amy, a Chiswick resident of 6 years and each are experts in their professions. Learning more about an agent, their experience and that of the team who’ll be selling your home is hugely important so be sure to ask.
3. What extra marketing do you offer?
From the images to the description our team of marketing experts ensure your property is listed in the best possible light and reaches the most amount of buyers. Social media is also an important place for your property to feature as potential buyers increasingly look at various channels to find their next home, Horton and Garton Chiswick have a dedicated Social Media Manager who ensures your property is being seen online.
4. Percentage of asking price achieved from the last five sales?
To ascertain if a selling agent is really achieving the numbers that they’re providing you with I’d suggest asking for the percentage of asking price they’ve been achieving recently. An agent might tell you to market for a certain figure, often a high figure, but if they’re not actually agreeing the sale at that level, you could find yourself on the market unsold for many months and inevitably likely end up having to suffer a price reduction.
5. Who will be showing my property?
The person you meet at the very beginning, the one who provides a market appraisal and likely the person you form a trusting relationship with might not reliably be the person who’s going to show your property to potential buyers. A small, close knit team can ensure your property receives the due care and attention and importantly that each person who shows a potential buyer around is armed with all the relevant information.
6. Who manages my sale from offer accepted to completion?
One of the most unique features of our service to sellers is that I personally manage each and every transaction. With Director level care and attention to your transaction you can rest assured it’s in the best and most experienced hands in the office. Across the industry around a third of property transactions typically fall through, since opening Horton and Garton Chiswick just 11% of our sales have fallen through. It’s important to know who’ll be handling your sale as its arguably one of the most complicated parts of the process.
7. Do you have weekend staff?
Saturday is the busiest day of the week in every Chiswick agent’s diary, with so many viewings being booked for the weekend you should try to confirm that an experienced agent will be showing your property. With some agencies, on certain days of the week a viewing might be conducted by someone who’s never even been into your property prior to viewing with a potential buyer meaning they’re unlikely to make the best impression.
8. Land Registry data for my valuation?
Another very valid question is to ask for evidence to support the asking price an agent is quoting. We’re not talking about other properties that the agent currently has on the market for sale. Anything that’s ‘for sale’ is not a good comparison as it’s not yet sold meaning that price might not be achieved. Land Registry is where all sold property prices are recorded – any comparable properties recently sold near to your home can offer a realistic idea of the possible selling price.
9. Contract length and is there a notice period?
Horton and Garton Chiswick has far shorter contracts than other local agents believing that within 4 weeks you can establish if the property is going to be sold by that agent or if they’re going to achieve the desired price. The contract with Horton and Garton Chiswick is four weeks with no notice period. Be wary of longer contracts and watch out for notice periods – it might be that the contract is 12 weeks with a four-week notice period meaning you are tied in for a minimum of 16 weeks. Always read the small print.
10. Your percentage of reduced properties and what were they reduced by?
This can feel like an unwelcome question to ask but frankly if you don’t ask it, you could be setting yourself up for failure – you need to ascertain if an agent is achieving the prices that they’re proposing. The highest price that your property has been given by local agents might not be the right price but being lured into selling with an agent who overpromises can result in them underdelivering leaving you on the market for an extended period and having to accept a reduction in price after your property has already been online for some time and will have dropped down the listings. So far in 2021 we’ve had just one price reduction, and after consideration we reduced the price by 3.7% to attract the right buyer and achieve a sale.
Chiswick Estate Agents
As a long time Chiswick estate agent Paul has a wealth of experience selling homes in W4.
Through working with several other agency brands prior to opening Horton and Garton Chiswick Paul has not only honed his skills as a selling agent, but he has also finessed a service, with the help of his stellar team, that focuses on the client and achieving the greatest success.
To talk to Paul about selling your property in Chiswick please do get in touch.