How to find the right estate agent 

 

Adam Horton talks us through his top tips for choosing the right estate agent for you. 

One thing I think is often overlooked when making a decision is mystery shopping. Testing out potential agents allows you to really get a good picture of their customer service. Mystery shopping can be a quick way to eliminate some agents and help you to pick your favourites. Everyone should mystery shop the agents in their local area before they sign on the dotted line. There’s a lot to take into consideration and it can be overwhelming, but here are a few things to look for when you’re shopping around...

Response time 

Enquiring through an online portal such as Rightmove or Zoopla can be a great way to assess customer service levels. See how long it takes for an agent to get back to you, if it is quickly, you know you’re onto a winner, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case.

Telephone manner

Take note of the way your calls are handled. Are the agents polite and understanding? Do they go above and beyond to help you? It’s likely that your potential buyers will be spoken to in the same way, so this is crucial.

Opening hours

Is the agent open past usual working hours? Most buyers will look at Rightmove when they get home from work (usually between 6pm and 8pm) and at weekends. You want an agent that will be there to pick up calls and ensure any enquiries that come through are dealt with.

Other factors to consider when choosing an agent are:

Marketing

It’s a great idea to search Rightmove and look for other properties the agent in question is marketing. How do the photos look? Would you be happy for your property to be marketed in the same way? Another thing to look out for is a floor plan, which is essential for buyers to easily see if your house could work for them. In today’s digital world, video tours are a fantastic way of getting engagement online so it’s worth making sure that your agent offers them.

Social media

A great tip when looking on an agent’s social media, is not to look at the amount of followers they have, but the levels of engagement their content gets. Followers mean nothing if none of them are commenting and liking posts. There is nearly 40 million Facebook users in the UK, and your buyer is bound to be one of them. Check out reviews on social media too - real, honest feedback is worth its weight in gold.