How to choose the right estate agent

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Moving house is often cited as being one of the most stressful things a person can undertake, but choosing the right estate agent can remove a huge amount of stress from you. But when people don’t move home for years at a time, how can you possibly know which agent to choose?

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It’s an important choice – after all, your home is your most valuable asset and choosing the wrong estate agent can be a costly mistake in terms of both money and time. You need to work with someone who has expert knowledge of the local area, and one that understands the regional market well.

Research

Do some digging locally and come up with a shortlist. Ask for recommendations. Chat with friends and neighbours, asking questions like, “Do you know any estate agents Bath based, that you would recommend?” Perhaps include acquaintances and people you know less well, who might be more likely to give you an honest answer rather than one you want to hear.

Some agents specialise in a definite type of property, which will make a difference to those you are able to add to your shortlist.

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Industry credentials

You’ll want to know that your agency takes their business seriously, so don’t be afraid to check out if they are a member of any trade bodies or local business associations that might have codes of conduct. Once you have a list narrowed down for “Estate Agents Bath and surrounding area”, for example, start contacting them and arrange to meet in person. Email or phone contact can be useful, but you’ll get a better sense of whether they are the right agent for you when you meet face to face. Ultimately, you want to see if you ‘click,’ and their punctuality and professionalism will be big clues to that.

Money talks

Ask about fees and what they cover. More importantly, ask what is excluded from the fees, so there are no unexpected costs at the end. If there’s something you don’t understand, don’t commit until you do.

For more information on how to choose the right estate agent, see the advice from Which.

Start with a positive outlook and trust your intuition. Always choose the estate agent that you feel best understands exactly what you need.

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