Estate Agent’s Role Outlined
What Does Your Agent Do For You?
Where to Begin...
Estate Agents have been around for centuries; albeit under different titles prior to the 1800s, but there has always been a need for someone to manage the sale of land and property in the UK. The market and the industry have obviously seen countless changes over the hundreds of years, however, the role and purpose of an estate agent remains the same in principle – so what should your agent do for you? Let’s look at the purpose in some detail.
The first thing that any estate agent should be able to discuss with you is the state of the market at the current time. This knowledge will be invaluable to anyone selling property, as it will give you an idea of how quickly you might expect to sell your property or how smoothly that sale might progress. In a fast-moving market, you can expect higher prices, more demand, and the potential for the dreaded ‘gazumping’. In slower times, prices may steady or even reduce, and you should be prepared to wait for a buyer – on the flip side, you would hope solicitors would be more readily available; leading to smoother completions. It’s important to go into the process with your eyes open so as to avoid stressful transactions, so ask your estate agent about the market.
Once you have found the estate agent that you can trust and work with, it is now their priority to collect all the information necessary to get your property on the market. The bulk of the information on your house or flat will need to be given by you via a form or Property Information Questionnaire. This will get all the boring, but essential data out of the way, meaning that your agent can get on with writing the particulars to sell your property, measure each room ready to produce a floorplan and also photograph the property. Once this is done, your property particulars should be given to you for sign-off ahead of hitting all the major portals.
Great news, you’ve received an offer, or perhaps several – this part of your journey could be pivotal and the communication with your agent is key. Estate agents must relay all offers to their clients and should do this in writing. Ideally, offers will be ‘pre-qualified’, which means that wherever possible, the estate agent should validate the information given to them by the person making the offer. If they are getting a mortgage in order to buy, the agent should confirm they have a mortgage approved in principle, etc – this work will stand you in better stead as the sale proceeds and will hopefully reduce the risk of it falling through later on. Of course, if you have received multiple offers, having this background on the people offering allows you to make a more informed decision depending on your own position and your motivation.
At the point you are happy to accept an offer, your agent will send both sets of solicitors the Memorandum of Sale – this is a straightforward document outlining the sale and including all of the details that your solicitor will need in order to draw up the contract. Understandably, the conveyancing process will take time – and for every property, this process differs slightly. To reduce stress and ensure your sale progresses as quickly and smoothly as possible, your estate agent will be liaising with all parties’ solicitors and any other agents in the chain to ensure everything is moving forward – with regular communication, your stress levels will hopefully be reduced!
The final and most enjoyable part of any estate agent’s role in the sale of a property is the very last task, which only happens upon completion of the sale; and that is to hand the buyer the keys to their new home!