Selling your house can be quite a daunting proposition and definitely not one to take lightly. It usually is the most expensive thing you own and so, some care is required in the handling of it. Most people are aware of this so who do they turn to? The professionals- the estate agents.
Now some estate agents have bad reputations. In some cases this is deserved but as is usually the case, the good ones get tarred by the same brush as those who are not to be trusted. Most times, estate agents are doing the best they know to do and are sincerely trying to help. I have sold houses quite successfully through estate agents.
So lets do a quick run through of the steps involved in using an estate agent to sell your house:-
Sign up an agent
Usually, when you call them up to start the process of selling your property, they will ask to come and see your home and talk through issues relating to the sale with you. They will usually ask for some identification in order to make sure you are not trying to launder money. Then the discussion at some point will lead to you signing an agreement with them. At this point, you must make sure you understand what you may be signing. In fact I would get a quote from a few agents before settling with any one. Or why only one agent, why not set up some competition by signing up with a few agents at once. They will ask you to pay a higher percentage as their fee but remember you can negotiate. Do not accept their fee as written in stone. You have nothing to lose by trying to negotiate a lower percentage fee and everything to gain as then you take more of the money with you after the sale.
Your pictures go on the web, usually RightMove. The agents call up potential buyers and arrange the viewings.
Hopefully, the viewings result in offers that are to your liking. If accepted, then the agent will again check the identity of the buyer to prevent money laundering. Then, the agent must also check that the buyer is actually able to follow through on their commitment. This can be via a bank statement or more usually, a decision in principle is provided by the buyer for a mortgage that will cover the sum required to buy the property. This decision in principle would have been supplied to the buyer by the mortgage lender.
Thus starts the conveyancing process.
Though this is not strictly the realm of the estate agent, you may be able to ask them for help in chasing up solicitors and help with keeping everything moving forward as swiftly as possible. They may be quite obliging in this as they are paid usually by commission. Therefore, it is in their interest to keep things moving forward as swiftly as possible.
Now if all these things line up, you have a sale!
In summary, estate agents are there to work for you. Milk them for all your money’s worth!