Choosing your estate agent, ahead of taking on one of the most stressful processes you can go through, is a momentous decision. It may seem obvious to go for the biggest company, but this article explains why smaller, local independent estate agents are the best and will be so much better for you and your move.
You've already decided to sell, so you now need to choose which agent you should have in your corner to help guide you through this process. Your home is likely the most significant investment you've ever made and the most valuable asset you have. Selling a property is a huge undertaking, one that most of us only tackle a handful of times in our lives. Estate agents are the professionals in this process who help you navigate it. But, if you choose the wrong agent to help you move into your dream home, you could have a nightmare.
Branding and advertising can play a huge role in which agent a seller chooses; often, the largest national agents will be selected because, well, bigger is better, right? Nationwide coverage, maybe even TV advertising or sports team sponsorship, ensures that some of the largest estate agency chains in the UK are known by many.
Large estate agency chains may seem the best option for selling your property because they can promote your property throughout their brand, which covers the whole country. Surely, that will mean more buyers will see your property, leading to more viewings and offers, right? Sadly, this is not always the case.
Corporate estate agencies have many branches, often with one in every major town in the country, but they are not a team. They don't work together to sell properties; and they can't show your property to buyers in other parts of the country any more than a quick search on the internet can. Sure, if someone walks into the office in Suffolk and wants to look at the properties available in Aberdeen, the agency could show them. However, that customer would likely have found that information out online from the comfort of their own home. The onus would be on the customer to ask for the information; the agent will not be actively trying to market homes across the country from every branch.
Due to the corporate hierarchy and job roles within these companies, there is likely a Branch Manager, a Property Valuer and Sales Negotiators. Perhaps even Regional and Area Managers, too. This structure means that after the Property Valuer has come to your home and provided you with a valuation of your property, you might never see or speak to them again. The person you've bought into has presented their USPs and opinions of how well your home could be sold. They won't be in the office actually selling the property. You build a rapport with this agent, only to call the office and have to get to know someone new. That Property Valuer will be out of the office, valuing other properties. It isn't their job to sell the homes but to get them onto the market.
So, how does this differ from an independent estate agency business?
- The hierarchy within an independent estate agent's office is not as structured. Often, the Property Valuer can be the owner of the business, meaning that they have a vested interest in your home selling, not just getting onto the market for sale.
- An independent estate agency office is often not structured in a way that team bonuses and commission structures are paid for different parts of the process. The businesses wouldn't survive if they were only concerned with listing properties on the market.
- If we're honest with ourselves, anyone can tell you whatever price you want for your home and convince you to put your home on the market. If this is how the valuer earns their commission, it isn't too hard to assume that they might be slightly more optimistic. They are far less concerned with whether your home will sell than an agent who only earns a fee when a house is sold.
- Because there is less of a structured hierarchy, you will likely have contact with all team members, as they will work more cohesively together to sell homes. So, if you choose an independent estate agency, you will more than likely be able to speak to the CEO, the founder of the company, not just someone in a middle-management position. The valuer will be concerned with selling your home, not just advertising it, and the relationship that you will develop will be with the team as a whole, not just the staff that look after the various roles within the office as you pass through the journey of selling your home.
Selling a property is a complicated process that can be filled with anxiety, which is why the personal touch is essential. Working with an independent estate agency will mean that you have a whole team working together to help you move on.
To find out how working with an independent estate agency can help you to sell your home and ultimately achieve more money in the sale and have a much more rewarding experience as you do sell, get in touch with our team of property experts, who are happy to help you through this journey.