Buying a property is, without doubt, the single biggest personal investment you’re ever going to make. Therefore, when it comes to selling it further down the line, it’s going to be just as big an event in your life. It makes sense that you’re not going to leave this vitally important aspect of your financial future in the hands of someone you can’t trust.
How though can you make sure that you can actually trust your estate agents? Everyone’s going to tell you they’re trustworthy, professional and the best people to sell your home; but how can you verify any of their claims?
#1 – Reviews
Anyone can say they’re good, but the real measure of whether you can trust your estate agents is to see what other people are saying about them. Reviews and testimonials are a great way to do that.
Good agent will have lots of excellent reviews and maybe even the odd critical one but that’s okay. Everyone is human and in business the odd not so great review means it’s something to work at and can often mean their reviews are real. Reviews often encompass the good, the bad and the ugly. What this means for you as the client is you get to see a good snapshot of what working with a particular agent is likely to be like.
Reviews can be found in a variety of places, with many agents having them on their websites as well as on social media sites such as Facebook. However, you should also take the time to check out external and independently verified review sites such as All Agents or Google reviews.
These can often provide a client with more options for commenting on aspects of a service, rather than simply free-writing their opinion and giving a score out of 5. For example, the ability to display satisfaction with the accuracy of a valuation, or the value of fees charges compared to quality of service given.
On such external sites it is also easier to compare agents with each other to see which one might be best suited to provide the service you’re looking for.
#2 – Professional Bodies
There are no legal requirements for agents to join professional bodies; however, being a member of such organisations can be a further indicator that you really can trust your estate agents.
Here at The Purple Property Shop we are members of the NAEA Propertymark scheme, which we believe gives our clients a deeper protection, and additional security when working with us. As a Propertymark agent we automatically offer client money protection, professional indemnity insurance and are subject to the Propertymark Conduct and Membership Rules and disciplinary procedures.
#3 – Good Track Record
There’s nothing to say that an estate agent who has only just set up their business can’t be trusted, or isn’t going to be any good at what they do. They might well have years of experience working for other agencies in the local area, and therefore genuinely knows what they’re doing.
However, if you really want to know whether you can trust your estate agents, you’re going to want to have something to go off. That means they need to have some proven background behind them, and their business, to showcase what they’ve done for clients already.
A business that has only just started isn’t going to have any reviews or recommendations to their name. Their process and sales procedures may not have been fully tested, and there is the potential for there to be multiple snags along the road. Whilst everyone has to start somewhere, do you want to leave the selling of your property in the hands of someone who is only just starting out?
#4 – Personal Recommendations
Whilst reviews are a fantastic way to find out more about an estate agent, it’s arguable that nothing will beat a personal recommendation. If you know someone who has recently sold their property with an agent, ask them to tell you more about their experience. What agents did they invite to provide a valuation, and what made them go with the one they chose?
Did that agent meet their expectations throughout the entire process? Were there things they could have done better? Were they available to discuss concerns, issues and queries? Would they recommend them? Would they use them again?
#5 – Trust Your Instincts
We often have gut feelings about people and places, and it’s very rare for these to be wrong. After meeting with a potential agent, and speaking to them for an hour or so, you should have a good idea whether they’re the type of people you can work with.
Did they genuinely seem interested in what you had to say? Did they talk over you, and ignore your questions? Did they walk around your property like they owned it, or did they respect that it was your space? Are they open, honest and friendly; or are they confrontational and guarded?
So just a little bit of research can make sure your property is in the right hands when the time comes to sell it. ?