What to ask an estate agent during an evaluation?

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  • This topic has 28 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by  ahsat.
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  • What to ask an estate agent during an evaluation?
  • user-removed
    Member

    We’re just at the point of getting estate agents in to value our house. Are there any pertinent questions I should be asking? First time I’ve done this and I’d like to get it right.

    I know HIPS has gone but there’s now some sort of energy efficiency report isn’t there? Do we have to have one? That kind of thing…

    Chap’s turning up tomorrow morning. Best get the Hoover out I suppose.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    What’s the commission, what do they do for the cash, whats the top value on your street, how is the market, what is or isn’t selling, plenty more.
    Get 3 valuations and compare their offerings, you can also try the pay up front do all he viewings yourself model once you have an idea of the market.

    user-removed
    Member

    Ta. Done all the research on other local house sales- there’s another couple for sale on our street so that was easy. We’re getting three valuations – already had one and his fee is £1000 if the place sells. Top value is difficult – people move to my street for a nice view and stay there until they die. MUST ESCAPE!

    Every single word that passes their lips will be a lie!
    Give them 6 weeks, sole agency (not sole seller) at 1% max (inc photos)
    Or go purplebricks etc.

    user-removed
    Member

    I’m all up for selling on the internet and as a photographer, I can do the photos myself. My wife however, is keen on going down the trad route.

    If I was buying a house, I’d hit the web first then visit in person.

    Is there an agency which lists properties across the whole gamut of internet agencies?

    Purplebricks advertises on Zoopla and Rightmove. , so you have 100% coveage.
    Most agencies use either zoopla or rightmove, + another one who’s name no-one can remember, set up by the big agencies but a dismal failure.

    user-removed
    Member

    Grand thanks. Might have to (will) mount my own internet campaign whilst the guidwife deals with real people. Does a scanned floorplan drawn on engineers’ paper pass muster?

    Apparently not. We had a full topo survey done for planning but the agents insisted on using a laser measure for their floor plans.
    The agent will want a higher fee if you’re also using another (internet) agent or selling yourself. They’re slimy gits and 40% of them are in severe financial shit. Stick the boot in!

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    Mrs kilo has been looking at a place which was on purple bricks only, admittedly she saw the property whilst driving past it first but all the relevant information was on the purple bricks site and one of the bigger property search enginesit was easy enough to arrange viewings and a survey as the owner although not resident in the property was local. From a purchase side I’m not sure what more a traditional EA would add other than maybe be an annoying leach. We have a rental property and I only use open rent, a letting version of purple bricks, if you can devote the time and effort it may be well worth doing your own listing especially if you’re in a sought after area

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    I would ask them what they actually do and how do they sleep at night

    Rob Hilton
    Member

    Couldn’t you find a cheaper suit?

    UrbanHiker
    Member

    http://www.madisonoakley.co.uk/selling/
    is worth a read, download the selling guide. MadisonOakley probably not local to you, but info is generic.

    jekkyl
    Member

    I did it through house network. co. uk. Honestly don’t bother with traditional estate agents, there is no significant difference, as long as you get on rightmove. Compare the differences in prices and convince your wife by telling her she can spend the difference on soft furnishings for the new house. 😀

    Premier Icon trailwagger
    Subscriber

    +1 for purplebricks. My house advert went live online at 8pm saturday night, and by 4pm Sunday i had 2 viewings done and received an offer. Trad agents wouldn’t be working those hours!

    councilof10
    Member

    Ask how many qualified applicants they have on their books. This will give you an idea how many buyers they have waiting for properties in your area, and they should be ringing them, sending them your property details in the first week (this is the main advantage of trad agents – experienced sales people plugging your property as much as possible).

    They have a bad rep, but in my experience (quite wide and from all angles), a good traditional agent is the best way to sell a house.

    Don’t fall for the agent who gives you the highest valuation – most properties sell in the first couple of weeks due to the ‘feeding frenzy’ of buyers wanting to secure the house before anyone else. If you price it too high and it sits on the books for months, you lose that impetus, even when you drop to a more realistic price.

    Good luck!

    IHN
    Member

    Your can ask them what you like, the problem is that you can’t necessarily believe the answers you will get.

    councilof10
    Member

    Your can ask them what you like, the problem is that you can’t necessarily believe the answers you will get.

    That’s rather a sweeping statement, what basis do you have for such opinions? Estate agents are like any other business – they’re accountable for what they do or say and they have contracts to protect both themselves and their customers. They’re also bound by the Property Misdescriptions act, and in my experience, are one of the most hotly scrutinised industries by Trading Standards.

    IHN
    Member

    what basis do you have for such opinions?

    I’ve been bullshitted to by estate agents on many occasions, that do?

    They have a bad rep, but in my experience (quite wide and from all angles), a good traditional agent is the best way to sell a house.

    In my experience they have a bad rep because there are very, very few good ones. They absolutely do exist, sure, but the majority are not.

    natrix
    Member

    Ask them if there is anything that you can do to a)improve the value of the house and b)improve the chances of selling it.

    Last estate agent I used was actually very good and came up with lots of ideas (dressing certain rooms, bit of re-decorating here and there) that I would not have thought of. You have to get into the right mindset, it is no longer your home, it is an asset that you are trying to sell.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Subscriber

    What is the weight of an unladen swallow?….

    Melinda Messenger or Kathy Lloyd?….

    How much is a new gear cable at the local bike shop?……..

    councilof10
    Member

    I’ve been bullshitted to by estate agents on many occasions, that do?

    In what way?

    jon_n
    Member

    We sold our house mid last year. We got all of the local estate agents out for valuations (which varied by approx 45K!), and PurpleBricks.

    We were going to use PB up until seeing the last agent – who had sold some 3 or 4 houses recently on our street and had a lot of local knowledge of the area. The PB agent was based approx 40 mins away so didn’t know the location, schools, or have much local knowledge. May not make much difference if you are planning to do the showings yourselves, but make a difference to us.

    In the end the agent we chose had the buyers already on their books, and helped out massively with the process when some points were raised by a dodgy survey – helping us formulate a response to some inaccuracies on the buyer’s survey and subsequent negotiations. With an internet-only agency I really don’t think we’d have have the same level of support.

    user-removed
    Member

    Lots of food for thought, thanks. Had the second valuation today from a local firm – 20K less than the first valuation! Will show this thread to Mrs. Removed tonight.

    councilof10
    Member

    Do your own homework regarding the value – there’s no hard and fast formula so agents just use comparables… And experience.

    They should be showing you which recent sales they’re using as reference, but a good agent will be able to demonstrate how quickly they sold, or if properties didn’t sell due to being overpriced.

    Unfortunately, there’s always an agent who overprices and wins the instruction because he ‘sells’ the owner the idea that their house is worth a lot more than it is. You should have a realistic idea of your own based on research – it’s pretty simple nowadays.

    freeagent
    Member

    I’ve been bullshitted to by estate agents on many occasions, that do?

    In what way?

    In my experience there are good and bad, just like many other industries (motor trade and building trade are obvious comparisons)

    If/When we sell our house we won’t use the estate agent in our village as they have a reputation for being shifty/dishonest. (and have been caught out many times)

    However the guys we sold our last house with were great.

    Same with builders – we had a couple of absolute **** round to quote for our house extension a couple of years ago, however the guys we ended up with were really great.

    Your can ask them what you like, the problem is that you can’t necessarily believe the answers you will get.
    That’s rather a sweeping statement, what basis do you have for such opinions?

    His lips were moving.

    I do think traditional estate agents are worth more, probably not £5k more. But even if they just give you a bit of a kick up the backside to de-clutter a bit before they start doing viewings. There was always the impression when we were looking that the house on purple-bricks/tepilo/house-network were being sold at the end of the re-decoration cycle, all quite dated and the owners wanted to move on. Most of the agents houses tended to be freshly painted, with the owners clutter in storage.

    They also know what buyers want. We don’t have kids, but do have hobbies and like a good pub. So the homeowner showing us round and telling us how quiet the area is, how good the schools are, is all nice but completely irrelevant. Telling us it’s got an extra store room, has a double length garage with doors to the back and the pub at the end of the road serves TT Landlord, that’s what we needed to know!

    If it were me, I’d spend the agents fee on a decorator and 100l of white emulsion, it’ll probably add more value however tasteful you think you are.

    DT78
    Member

    We sold last year, were going to use purplebricks but decided to use a local agent who sold the majority of similar properties in the area. I’m not sure they did anything much for us in terms of viewings or getting us a fantastic price (we ended up accepting 5% under asking). Our valuations were within 10k, and we ended up going with the lower value.

    Where we did get the benefit was in a long drawn out chain, they helped insulate us from some of the tensions that were going on, and probably held the chain together, because at one point we were ready to quit….

    Premier Icon ahsat
    Subscriber

    Think it totally depends where you are. We sold in the NE last year – slow, slow market. Internet agents not that common. People still expect to chat to a local agent. 99% sure purplebricks wouldn’t have worked, and I have heard issues in the after-offer period.

    However, we bought in N Leeds late last year and viewed various places with PB (didnt end up buying through them). The market is SO buoyant down here, that everything half decent at a certain price point is sold within ~48 hours, and therefore paying for an estate agent would be madness.

    Think it really depends on the local market, area, type of people you’d expect to buy you house (e.g. PB probably better if more likely to be selling to first time buyers rather than retirees).

    Edit: I see from your profile you are between Durham, Sunderland and Newcastle. So were we – Ouston, just outside Chester-le-Street. We used Your Move at Chester and they were very very good – in particular the after-offer part – a dedicated office at Washington handles things. I’d be cautious using an internet agent in that market place – its very old school!

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