An estate agent who is underperforming is one of the main reasons that property sales fall through. If you are viewing this article, it is likely that you need to switch your current estate agent with another. That sounds like it should be simple, but sellers often find switching agents more complex than they first thought. Here, we explore why you should switch, what makes a good one, the importance of contracts, as well as some benefits, disadvantages and more.
Real estate agents only sell about half the homes on their books. Agents not performing is pretty common, but most homeowners going into the selling process aren’t aware of this. They optimistically choose an agent based on recommendation or the fees they charge (or a bit of both).
Reasons To Switch Estate Agents
- Very few offers on your home after a long time on the market.
- You want a local agent who knows the area.
- The fees your estate agent is charging are too high.
- Your real estate agent is hard to get a hold of.
What Makes A Good Estate Agent?
According to MoveWise, a good estate agent “has a proven track record (preferably with homes like yours).” They are hard-working and determined – with a great list of prospective buyers on their books and they call them. If they’re relying on Rightmove, move on. They set up viewings with the right buyers – not just anyone who’s vaguely interested. Finally, a good estate agent pushes hard to close down offers.
How to Switch Estate Agents
The first thing you need to do is to talk to your estate agent. If the property isn’t selling, you need to ask why. In many cases, the price is too high, and that’s down to the estate agent valuation. There’s still a tendency to value properties a little too high on the basis that a higher valuation is more likely to win you over. Pay attention to when you pay commission and check what rights you have in the event your estate agent isn’t selling your property.
Contracts are important. You should look at your initial contract for the definition of “an introduction”, and then ask your current real estate agent for their understanding of the contract – do they have any future claim on commission? When talking to your new estate agent, be clear and honest with them about why you have switched and what you don’t want repeated. There is likely to be little in your contract to stop your first estate agent from continuing to advertise your home.
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Benefits Of Switching Estate Agents
If you switch to a competent real estate agent, you will be more likely to sell your property quickly, as they will better know the area, your ideal buyers, and so forth. They will have a better understanding of your circumstances and needs. If you need to sell by a certain date because of a job move or there’s a baby on the way, a new agent can speed up the process and minimise the fees you will have to pay.
Disadvantages of Switching Estate Agents During A Sale
If you do decide to switch, you may still have to pay some charges to the real estate agent to cover costs, such as advertising, that the agent may have incurred. Furthermore, you may find that you will have to pay two commission fees. It may be that the agents can come to an agreement as to whether the commission should be split between them before the matter arises. However, in most cases this is rare.
Can You Use Multiple Estate Agents?
Appointing “multiple agents” is the big-bang, quick-sell option. Under a multiple agency agreement, you have three or more agents all acting for you at the same time. Basically, you are putting the house on the market with everyone. Only the agency who actually makes the sale gets the commission, and the others get nothing – so they are all competing with each other. This can make the sales process quite frenetic. Multiple agency agreements attract the highest fees – typically 2.5% or 3% +VAT.
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