Every estate agent will claim to be the best, but if you are looking for help selling your property, how do you cut through the marketing-speak and figure out which is actually best for you?
Read The Reviews
Reviews always give a good insight into the company from a client’s perspective rather than relying on what the estate agents says about themselves. Check that the reviews are provided by an independent body such as Feefo or Trustpilot so that you know they are genuine. Also look at how frequently the estate agent gains reviews and how old the most recent review is as this can sometimes be a good indicator of consistent quality of service. Check out our reviews.
Ask Your Friends
Speak to people you know and trust who have sold a house in your local area recently. Ask them which estate agent they used and what the good and bad points were. Everyone is different but if you ask friends who have similar views to yourself, or have sold a similar type of property, their opinion will almost certainly be helpful.
Check The Numbers
Look at the estate agents with the most properties on the market. You will usually find that the most active agents will have the largest database of buyers, allowing your property to be seen by more people, more quickly.
Join Their Mailing List
Signing up to an Estate Agent’s mailing list will allow you to judge the strength and professionalism of the company by how many new properties and updates they send you. As surprising as it sounds, some Estate Agents don’t always utilise their database of buyers and rely on sites such as Rightmove to generate interest. Being added to their mailing list will help you understand how proactive the agent actually is.
Check Out Their Marketing
Look at how different estate agents market other properties. In particular, review the photographs of previous and current properties for sale, as, if the photographs are of high quality it indicates that they take pride in their work which directly benefits the sale of your home. A better image leads to a higher degree of interest, a higher degree of interest usually results in a quicker sale.
Challenge Their Valuation
Invite at least 3 estate agents round to your property to conduct a valuation. During the valuation, challenge each agent on how they arrived at their valuation. A good agent should be able to offer a detailed analysis of their valuation on the spot. During the valuation process, pay close attention to the questions they are asking: Are they asking questions regarding the area, your neighbours, work you have carried out, how old the heating, doors and windows are? These are all good questions and the more questions an agent asks the more detail they are gaining regarding the property. So, when a buyer asks them a question, they will most likely have all the answers already, leading to a smoother process and usually a quicker sale.
During a valuation, what is the agent looking at throughout the property; are they looking at the outside of the building, boundary lines and the roof? Are the entering every room and checking all windows, doors and looking for any defects? The more attention they pay to the detail, the more accurate the valuation, the more accurate the valuation, the more likely a smooth and seamless sale.
Speak To Them
Ultimately, however good an estate agent is on paper, you need to actually like them if the relationship is going to work well. Go in and chat to the people you will be working with. Do you trust them? Do you feel confident that they will look after you? Are they listening to your concerns? Do they return your calls? Do they do what they promise? Don’t make any final decision until you feel comfortable.
Investigate Their Awards
Firstly, if an estate agent is award-winning that is a good sign. However, do look into the awards they have won. There are three types:
- The awards you receive just because you paid for them – obviously, these don’t tell the customer anything.
- Awards that are independently judged that estate agents pay to enter. These are valuable as they compare all the entrants and pick the best. However, they only judge the agents who choose to enter and not all the estate agents in the area, so just because an agent doesn’t have an award doesn’t mean that they aren’t good enough.
- Awards that cover the whole market, that agents don’t have to enter. For example, the Best Estate Agent Guide Awards review over 21,000 estate agents using data covering over 99% of the property listings in the UK, and draw on a wide range of independent data sources. That means the guide can be trusted to give a full and accurate picture of the whole of the marketplace.
O’Malley Property was awarded Gold in The Best Estate Agent Guide for 2024 with a rating of “exceptional” for property sales, the top rating, only given to 10% of all agents nationwide and the top 8% of estate agents in Scotland. Criteria taken into account during the judging process included property marketing, selling properties faster than competitors, achieving a high selling price in relation to the asking price and providing outstanding customer service.
An independent review of this type gives customers confidence that their chosen estate agent will take good care of them throughout the process, whether they are selling a home or buying one, and will give them the highest possible opportunity of achieving the results they want in a reasonable timescale.
If you are looking for the best estate agent in your area, it’s a good place to start, then use the other tips mentioned above to narrow down your choice and pick the agent that is right for you.