1. Make a shortlist of agents to carry out a valuation on your property.
  2. Question their advice and choose an agent who explains their decisions well and has lots of information about comparable sales in your area.
  3. Check their fees and details of the contract.
  4. Check if they're Propertymark Protected.
  5. Choose someone you feel comfortable working with and who communicates well.

Make a shortlist

First of all, make a list of possible agents. Here are some tips on how to get started:

  • Ask family, friends and neighbours for a recommendation.

  • Is the estate agent selling your type of house in your area? Some estate agents specialise in specific types of properties.

  • Look at online sites such as Rightmove and On The Market and check that the estate agent has taken attractive pictures of all the important features of the houses they are selling.

  • Check when they work at weekends – just Saturday mornings could significantly limit the number of viewings that can be arranged.

Ask questions and get a valuation

When you have a shortlist of possible agents, go and visit their office. Are they friendly, professional and knowledgeable?

Next, contact a couple of agents to provide a valuation for your property and ask them what their advice is for a successful sale. They should be able to provide some local comparisons and reasons to justify the price they have come up with.

Ask lots of questions and make a mental note of the agent’s punctuality, politeness and knowledge. Does the estate agent seem to understand and recognise your personal circumstances, like whether you need to move before a baby arrives or in time to start a new job?

What are their fees?

Then you will need to look at the nitty-gritty of the contract and the agent’s fees. If you are selling your house using a traditional, high-street estate agent, their fee will be based on a percentage of the price paid by the buyer.

A high-street estate agent fee can vary between 1% and 3.5% including VAT. Some buyers will negotiate the fee with the agent.

In order to avoid unexpected costs, don’t sign anything that you don’t understand and make sure to ask about anything that is not clear.

Are they Propertymark Protected?

NAEA Propertymark Protected agents will give you the assurance that your estate agent follows best practice, meets all requirements of the profession and works to industry standards.

We always recommend that you use an NAEA Propertymark estate agent. They hold Professional Indemnity insurance and if they are holding monies are required to be covered by Client Money Protection to give you peace of mind throughout the sale of your house.

Finally, choose someone you have felt comfortable dealing with and who you feel you can get along with.