Property expert shares how to choose best estate agent – ‘vital’ to get ‘the best price’

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Some estate agents may persuade homeowners that a property should be marketed at an inflated price. However, a property expert has warned if a home is overpriced, the outcome is unlikely to result in a quick sale and could even prolong the selling process.

Before deciding on which estate agent to choose, a homeowner should arrange for at least two or three agents to visit the property and conduct a market appraisal.

It is good practice to ask an agent about the information they have used to valuate a property and determine its price.

Lucy Pendleton, co-founder of James Pendleton estate agents, advised a seller to obtain key information before making a decision on who they appoint. 

It is crucial that a seller understands what sort of strategy an agent employs when marketing a property.

Lucy recommended asking an agent about information on sold properties in the same area, which may have been of a similar size and style, and the house prices they achieved.

 “It’s really important that the vendor asks them to back up their advice with success stories: where they’ve got the market research, what they’re comparing the property to and whether they’re comparing them to sale prices that have been achieved in the last six months, because that’s really relevant,” explained Lucy.

By asking crucial questions, a seller will “get a pretty good gauge” about the agent’s approach and how they will manage the process, explained Lucy.

It’s important that a property is marketed accurately with a realistic price.

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Lucy highlighted that a seller will want to rest assured that a property is being viewed by the right buyers.

She said it was vital that a property received crucial viewings instead of “sitting in an agent’s book as part of a beauty parade”.

“When you have a beauty parade the property has been priced a little too high, and, although they may get interest online, they don’t convert into viewings and those are vital,” said Lucy.

After receiving a property valuation, Lucy advised asking how an agent had determined a price. 

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 “Everybody likes an agent to go into a property and tell them it will be worth X amount and sometimes that’s more than the seller was anticipating, but, before you just get all excited about that big ticket, ask the agent to back up their professional advice,” explained Lucy.

“They’ve come to you as experts so they should be able to demonstrate where they’ve got the pricing from.

“It’s not unusual for an agent to go into a property and place a high value on it than what one of their competitors have done, and that’s not to say they wouldn’t achieve it, but they just have to qualify their advice.”

A property which is priced too high can have a detrimental effect on the selling process.

Highlighting that there are no advantages of inflating a property’s price, Lucy said: “It’s highly unlikely that it will get as much traction and you’ll probably be disappointed by the level of viewings and feedback. It would be a very disappointing journey all across.

“The longer something is on the market, the more eyes go on it, and then it’s just a waiting game for people to see how much the property is going to come down.”

When seeking to enhance certain features in a property and to make them look more appealing, Lucy suggested to “look at it through the eyes of a buyer.”

To gain a realistic reflection of the property, she advised asking friends or family for their opinion on the condition of their home and whether they can suggest any areas which require improvement.

“If you want to get the best price you have to present it in the best way you can,” explained Lucy. “If you’re accepting that your property needs work, then it will be priced accordingly.”

For more information about James Pendleton estate agents, go to 

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