What is an estate agent?

If you are wanting to sell your property, it’s quite usual to engage the services of an estate agent to help you do so. But who are they and what do they do?

An estate agent is a person, working either on their own or for a company, who will help you to sell your property. For a fee, usually a percentage of the final selling price of the house, they will provide you with technical help and support to achieve the best price for your property.

The first thing they will do is value your property, using their personal knowledge of the local market combined with existing data on sold property prices. Once you have agreed the selling price with them, they will produce what is known as a ‘property schedule’. This is a marketing document that will give potential buyers details about your property such as number of rooms, sizes of rooms, details about the local area, local schools etc and any other pertinent information about your property. Your estate agent will also take photographs of your property to include in this document.

Once the property schedule has been completed to your satisfaction, you are ready to put your property on the market. The estate agent will usually provide you with a ‘for sale’ board to display outside your property and they can also arrange for your property to be advertised in a variety of locations including the local paper, online and specialist property publications. There will often be an additional fee for advertising such as this.

Once your property is on the market, the estate agent is responsible for showing your property to potential buyers who express an interest in your property. If someone then decides to put in an offer on your property, the estate agent will be the ‘middle-man’ between you and the buyers, taking details of the buyers offer and passing it on to you for consideration.

If you are thinking selling your property, speak to friends and family and find out their experiences of different estate agents. Look around and see which estate agents are making the most sales in your area, and find out what each company will cost. Chosen well, a good estate agent can make a huge different to the process of buying or selling your property.