Advantages Excellent professional service, and good sales technique
Disadvantages Not the cheapest in the market
My first task was to consider which estate agents sold (and not just marketed) houses in my price bracket. This meant that we spent a couple of weeks scanning the newspapers and websites to notice the properties that sold. We also considered the effectiveness of the advertisements, and more importantly these days, how accessible their web pages were (as it goes, our buyers actually spotted our house on the web). From this, we produced a long list of suitable estate agents.Reeds Rains actually seems to sell quite a price range of properties without specialising in any particular type of property. While our house was lower end, Victorian terrace, I would consider Reeds Rains for any type of property except perhaps, real top end.
Next, was a tour of these estate agents on a Saturday morning (one of the busiest days for house selling). We discounted a few estate agents for their sloppy shop presentation. When I see a board headed "Properties under £100,000", I do not expect to see properties on the market for £120,000 beneath it. It just gives an indication of a lack of attention to detail (Hello, Halifax Property Services). We also focussed on the estate agents we had heard of, or knew the location of the shop. Buyers may well not trouble to hunt down that obscure agent down a backstreet on the edge of town.From the shops we liked, we then asked staff for a rough guide for selling fees. Again, we discounted one estate agent (Boulton's) who couldn't tell us because they "only have trainees working on the weekend" (why have only trainees working on the two busiest days of the housing market week?).
Even more frustrating was the response of those who almost made me feel ashamed for worrying my pretty little head for asking about such a gauche subject as money. The response that they don't give a guide cost as the valuer would discuss selling fees during their visit, just didn't wash with me. Why would I let someone waste my time in my home if they were going to be considerably more expensive than other agents were? William H Brown didn't get a look in for this reason.You might be surprised that even after this intensive vetting, we still had 4-5 candidates! From these, we selected the three best known to us and arranged free valuations with each of them.
In preparation, we had spent all day tidying our home, following a period of some weeks where we had decluttered, and upgraded and finished some rooms
I know that a professional valuer can look at the quality and location of a house within a couple of minutes and come up with an approximate value, but after all this work, I expect them to at least put on a "show" and spend a little longer lingering.
|Value for money - of service|
|Comprehensiveness of service|
|Speed of sale|
|Range of property available|
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