Can you really achieve over 100% of the asking price?
Read our essential guide to choosing the best agent.
The choice of options when it comes to selling your home has never been better. With traditional high street estate agents sitting alongside the new breed of online estate agents, consumers have more flexibility than ever, but because these online agents are a relatively new phenomenon there are still questions about which might be the best for customers. So the questions is, who should you trust with the sale of what is, in all probability, your greatest financial asset?
What does local really mean?
High street estate agents will usually work within a fairly small area – a single town or a particular suburb of a city which they know well. Online estate agents offer valuations too, but a single valuer will often cover a much larger area; most valuers will cover a whole region of the country or a city and its surrounding towns, so make sure any agent doing a valuation really does know your market.
Having access to someone who has in-depth knowledge of your area will mean that your property is priced accurately. Properties that are priced accurately sell quicker than those that are overpriced – crucially, a good agent will ensure that your property doesn’t sell quickly because it has been undervalued.
Traditional and online estate agents have different fee structures. Traditional agents will usually charge you a percentage fee, based on the final agreed sale price of the property, while an online agent will charge you a fixed fee. If you do opt to go with an online agent and your property doesn’t sell, you will most likely have to pay the full fee as well as any additional costs you may incur through relisting with a traditional agent. Online agents receive a flat fee regardless of a sale whereas a high street agent is much more motivated to achieve the best sale price because both parties are invested in the outcome.
Achieving the best sale price.
Looking at a selection of 22 sold properties from April 2017, Robert Oulsnam and Company achieved an average sale price of 100.18%* of the asking price for their customers. When shopping for an agent it is certainly worth asking them what sales figures they have achieved in your area, as you may be better offsetting a higher percentage fee to achieve a higher selling price depending on who you choose and the level of service you receive.
Sale to completion.
Your property has sold – fantastic news. You can now look for your next property or move forward with the completion of sale. As a rule of thumb, sale to completion usually takes around 12 weeks with a traditional agent. UK Land Registry data shows that figures of five months or more are not uncommon amongst online agents. If others are involved in your chain, you need to ensure they are prepared to wait the additional time it may take, or potentially they may pull out of a sale altogether.
Often a traditional agent will give you a single contact who will manage the whole process whereas many online agents outsource and charge an additional fee for ‘sales progression’ services. They may also require you to use their nominated conveyancer or charge you an additional fee to use your own, or have to pay upfront rather than at the time of completion, which is when a high-street agent will invoice you.
With so much at stake the best advice is to do your research and choose an agent who can give you the best levels of service and achieve the best selling price for you.
Robert Oulsnam and Company are an award-winning estate agency, with 12 offices operating across Birmingham and Worcestershire. With over 40 years experience we understand our local markets and pride ourselves on exceptional levels of service. Click here to book your free valuation.