How to choose the right estate agent for you

The biggest posters or the loudest ads don’t always translate to the best person for the job. Agents are a critical part of the selling process, and can offer unique insights and experience. They also help shoulder some of the stress; helping you to focus on what matters most.

Rapport is all important when it comes to your estate agent, so here are some tips about finding the best agent match for you.

When you select an estate agent, you’re performing a job interview for a prized position. You’re choosing a stranger for an incredibly important task; one that requires trust, expertise, and adaptability. Your expectations should be demanding when it comes to selling one of your biggest assets!

Agents should have a high degree of professionalism and dedication to their work. They should have a good reputation, and still be committed to impressing you and working hard.

Does the agent you’re investigating appear interested in your property – or is it just another one in a line of many that they’re hoping to sign as a listing?

When researching, get a sense of how you fit into the agent’s ‘map of the world’ and whether you’re likely to fade into the background once you sign on the dotted line.

What should you look for in an agent?

  • Ability to meet your actual requirements (not impose their own)
  • Clear interest in meeting your needs
  • Professional accreditation
  • Positive word or mouth and testimonials from previous clients
  • Knowledge of the area in which you’re selling your property
  • Knowledge of the price bracket you’re likely to sell in
  • Commitment to frank, realistic dialogue about the market and your situation

How do you research?

The portals let you know which agents are working in your area, and you can start your search there.

Combine this with an extensive online search to explore their website, blog and any reviews or recommendations from clients.

Make a shortlist and meet with them personally and put together a list of the questions you’d like them to answer.

Here are some suggestions:

  • What is your experience as an estate agent?
  • How long have you worked in this particular location?
  • How many property sales were you involved with last year?
  • Do you normally represent buyers or sellers?
  • How many properties do you currently have listed?
  • How many prospective buyers approach you?
  • What do you perceive your personal strengths are as an estate agent?
  • What do you think our property is worth in the current market and how did you arrive at that figure?
  • Which marketing strategy do you suggest is the best one to pursue for our property?

Your agent should provide

  •  Access to recent market sales and appraisal data in your area
  • Contact with a large number of buyers
  • Screening of those buyers to identify qualified leads
  • Advice on how best to market and present your home
  • Negotiation services between you and buyers
  • Ongoing access to a range of advertising and marketing options
  • Honest and continual discussion about how well your property is performing, and whether changes are required
  • Effective administration of all legal and financial requirements

Why do our clients choose Ellis and Co Golders Green rather than another Estate Agent?

Our people: Rapport, good communication skills, understanding and a deep-rooted care and interest to succeed for our customers, are the factors that really make us stand out from the crowd.

We look forward to helping you with your move.

 

Buyers – Now is the Time to Buy in Golders Green

Despite data suggesting the demand for homes may be easing; 40% of Brits would choose bricks-and-mortar over other investments

For a long time now house prices in the capital have, in the eyes of many, been going crazy, outstripping house price growth in the rest of the UK by some way. Whether you pinpoint the cause of the rise on foreign investment, Help to Buy or genuine demand, there haven’t been many signs of a slowdown for some time now. No signs until recently anyway.

In the last week of August 2014 Rightmove released figures showing that asking prices for new properties being introduced to the market were down by 5.9% in the capital and this is not an isolated event; it was actually the third month running that asking prices had fallen and it was also the biggest drop recorded in the property portal’s history and is certainly worthy of note, so why the drop?

Expectations of an interest rate rise

As much as the Bank of England have been trying to delay it, it is inevitable that a small interest rate rise will be on the way sometime early next year and most industry experts are predicting this. The possibility of a rise might not just be affecting the decision making of buyers who may be wary of overcommitting themselves or of finding that they have overpaid for a property if values were to fall after the rise. It may also be affecting the expectations of sellers as they perhaps start to worry that their chances of selling their property quickly after a rate rise may begin to diminish and the value of their property may also start to erode too.

New rules on mortgage lending

While the new rules introduced earlier this year to tighten up criteria on mortgage lending may not have had the drastic dampening effect on the market that some may have thought it would, it has certainly had some effect as borrowers are grilled more intently about their ability to repay and find that they now fall outside of the affordability criteria.

Supply is starting to catch up with demand

Supply constraints, which have contributed to rising sales prices in recent years, have eased throughout 2014. Some owners and investors have chosen to capitalise on property gains and sell, while increased choice has motivated other vendors to move. This resulted in a 26% rise in the number of properties marketed in Q2 2014 compared with Q2 2013.

Despite the above and all the alarming media hype; let’s take a deep breath and remember…

#Rule 1: Never underestimate the London property market

If there is one thing that we’ve learned over recent years regarding the London housing market, it is never to underestimate it. This is not a ‘cooling’, more of a natural correction after a period of insatiable demand.

In reality, this is good news for anyone who was worried about being able to get on (or move up) the housing ladder. House price growth is slowing, a trend which will hopefully continue and will ultimately lead to a more stable market, and on a really positive note, it means first-time buyers won’t need to constantly worry about increasing their deposit requirements.

The drop in house purchase approvals shouldn’t give too much cause for concern. Yes, the stricter regulations following the MMR could be having an impact, but it shouldn’t stop those who can comfortably afford a home from being able to buy one. The process may take slightly longer, but it’s all for a good cause; the whole point of these new rules is to ensure that the market doesn’t return to pre-crisis approaches, which saw affordability become a serious issue and many people lose their homes.

It’s anticipated that, while the overall pace of lending activity could remain more subdued than previously, approval volumes are likely to recover once the market fully adjusts and processing times quicken. The likelihood is that it will end up being a more sedate market than we’ve previously experienced, but that equates to stability, and is therefore good for all concerned.

London has always been attractive to investors for many reasons and is still considered one of the leading international cities and many investors view London property as a ‘must-have’ trophy asset.

With supply on the increase and heightened concerns about interest rate rises and the potential impact of any annual tax on higher value property, buyers are now in a much stronger position to negotiate. For opportunistic buyers, this is a potentially attractive market, particularly as vendors look to complete before the end of the year.

Current activity levels and our own day-to-day conversations suggest strongly to us that neither international nor domestic interest in property is waning significantly. This is certainly the case in Golders Green where we continue to seen buyers from any nationalities.

There may be growing pressure on income levels and on seeing interest rates rise in the coming months but overall the prognosis for the property market remains positive and now will, we are sure, be looked back on in the future as having been a good time to move.

Register with Ellis and Co Golders Green today and we will find you your perfect home tomorrow.