How to choose the right estate agent

Moving house is a big moment. It’s an exciting life change that should create wonderful new memories for your family. But, like any big change, you’ll no doubt have concerns about how smoothly it’s all going to go.

In our experience, we’ve found that choosing the right estate agent can be the key difference between loving your moving journey or feeling stressed. So, we’ve put together some top considerations for choosing an estate agent in Newcastle under Lyme.

Get in touch to learn more about selling your home with Follwells

Here are nine factors to consider…

1. Find out how their fees work

Let’s be upfront and start with protecting your financial interests. It’s important to find out from the beginning how an agent’s fee system works to determine what best fits your personal situation.

Some agents charge a percentage fee of your final sale price, payable on completion, which means they have the same shared interest as you – to proactively sell your home for the highest possible sales price and chase the sale through to completion. Other agents charge a fixed, upfront fee. This means you know exactly what the cost is in advance, but you may have to pay this regardless of whether they sell your property or not.

2. Check personal recommendations

If you’ve shortlisted a few agents, speak to family, friends and work colleagues about their experiences with those agents. Having a recommendation (or warning) from someone you know is great insight into exactly what it’s like to sell with that agent. Reading previous customer reviews is also helpful to understand what value a particular agent can add to your sales journey.

3. How’s their communication?

Consider what each agent’s communication has been like during these initial stages. How did they respond to your valuation enquiry? Was it a clear, straight- forward process to arrange? Were they prompt with their response? Did they make it easy for you?

In addition to the arrangement of the valuation, how was the actual experience? Did they take the time to get an understanding of why you want to move? Did they explore whether you might be looking for another property and explain how they can support you through the process?

Being kept in the dark is one of the biggest frustrations some of our clients have experienced with previous agents. If good communication isn’t there from the start, it’s not a good sign of what’s to come – and you don’t want to spend lots of time having to make call after call to find out the status of your sale (whether that’s getting feedback on viewings and offers, or chasing for answers to any queries you might have along the way).

4. How do they treat potential buyers?

Linking to the above point, ask them about a property you’re interested in. See how much they know about it and whether you can speak to a member of the team who has visited the property and knows it well. Are they enthusiastic about key selling points of the property? Did they take the time to check what your buying position is? And did they offer you a viewing? Remember, this is how your potential purchaser will be treated.

5. What experience do they have?

Take a look to see whether the agent sells many properties similar to yours? If so, they will know what potential buyers want in a property and they should have a strong pool of buyers to immediately market yours to.

Other questions to explore are… do they know the local area well to add value to the conversations with potential buyers? Are they well-established? Do they have a reputation of being trustworthy?

6. How good is their marketing?

Browse the agent’s property listings to see how well they market properties and find out what marketing will be included within the standard fee.

Are the property listings well-presented, with high-quality, professional photographs? Are the descriptions written with attention to detail? Do they have a compelling balance between essential facts and emotive selling points? Do listings include clear, detailed floorplans and enticing virtual tours?

7. Don’t feel pushed to go with who you’re buying from

Who you sell your home with is your choice. You’re under no obligation whatsoever to sell with who you’re buying from. They might tell you ‘it’s more efficient’ – but that’s not always the case. First and foremost, you should always consider whether they’re a good agent, and if they’re the right match to the property you’re selling. Do they know your current area well? Do they sell similar properties to yours? Consider these questions before being pressured into a decision.

8. Watch out for over valuations

Some agents try to win your business by over-inflating the value of your property under the illusion that they can achieve a much higher sales price. Unfortunately, when this happens the majority of the time the property then has to be reduced, which can have a knock-on effect on the length of time it takes to sell. According to a Which? report looking at which properties had to be heavily reduced in order to sell, ‘properties that were heavily reduced went on the market for £5,000 more than all other properties – but ended up being sold for £20,000 less’. To make matters worse, these properties also took a lot longer to sell.

Bear this in mind during your valuations and feel free to ask questions during the process to understand the rationale behind the value you’ve been given.

Also, be sure to use the valuation to get a feel for the people working at the estate agents – after all they’re what you’re buying into when you choose who to sell your home with.

9. What are their company values?

The right estate agent for you will have values that align with what’s important to you. If communication is at the top of your list, seek out an agent that prioritises honesty, openness and prompt feedback. If effective marketing is essential then look for an agent with passion and experience in talking about properties like yours.

As a family-owned business, it’s really important to us that our clients enjoy the moving journey as they countdown to an exciting new chapter.

We strive to make your selling experience stress-free so that you can focus on the enjoyable side of moving. Our promise to our clients:

  • ✓ To listen to your needs
  • ✓ To always keep you updated
  • ✓ To proactively market your property

What you can expect

From the minute we come to value your property, to the moment you receive the keys to your dream home, we’ll take the pressure off by handling as much as possible so you can prepare for your exciting move.

To minimise any stress, we proactively market your property, arranging viewings, following-up promptly with potential buyers and negotiating the best possible sales price for your house. And we always, always keep you updated.

We prioritise all of this because we want you to be able to focus on the other important things, like packing-up, booking removals, mood-boarding your new home and of course stocking the fridge with fizz for moving day!

Love your moving journey

Get in touch to start a moving journey you can enjoy. We’re here to help answer any questions you may have.


Newcastle Under Lyme01782 615530