Lots of valuations done this week and as usual I’ve been asking the owners I meet what research they’ve done on the estate agents they’ve chosen to invite out to value their homes. Four tips below cobbled together from their answers;
Check their Rightmove listings – not just for suitability for your property but also their general standard of presentation, quality of photography, whether they reduce a lot, how long their properties are on the market, what proportion of their stock is sold etc. The quickest & most comprehensive way to get a snapshot of this is to go to the Rightmove homepage and click on the Agents button at the top.
Find your agent and then click to see all the properties they have (available AND sold STC) in one handy list.
You’ll then be able to see quickly on each listing when the properties were first marketed or reduced and some will have green highlights if they are recently added or reduced.
Google just their company name – look for a summary of their activity & overall web presence. Just page 1 of the Google results should give you a decent idea.
Find and read independent reviews – you might see some reviews come up in the results when you do tip 2. If not, go to Allagents.co.uk – it’s basically Tripadvisor for the property industry. Nothing can give you better insight into an agent than what recent customers have said. Don’t just look at one review, look at a selection to get an overall picture and check dates on the reviews to be sure they are current and consistent. If you’re after a particular aspect of an agents service, look for frequently occurring applicable keywords in the reviews.
With three tips above all web based, this one is all about physical accessibility and interaction
a) Look at their window – would you be happy to see your property there? What impression do you get from their display? Is it well presented, up to date & engaging?
b) Walk into their office. How you are treated may be how your potential buyer is treated and it is always a good idea to meet all the staff, rather than just the person who comes out to value your home.