Instant Valuation

How to choose your estate agent?

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You don't have to choose Mark Smith Estate Agents to sell your house. You might be thinking about instructing another high street agent or maybe mulling over the idea of handling the property sale by yourself. In some ways, the property marketplace is competitive (most agents fees hover around the 1.4% - 2% level) but in other ways, we are leading the pack with our ability to tailor our services to your needs.

Here's our checklist for choosing your estate agent - and why we believe you should want us on your team.

An accurate valuation

You can only sell your home once, so getting the price right is critical. Over inflating the initial valuation will be great for wishes and daydreams, but could lead to a long time on the market while potential buyers look elsewhere. Bring the price down too low, and you'll be out of pocket and have limited flexibility in your future purchase. Speaking to a number of high street agents will give you a professionally-qualified view of the market and insight into a realistic valuation that you can plan on achieving. You can also ask estate agents if further work or repairs will be essential to a successful sale or might add real pounds to your valuation.

You have access to more than 30 years of local valuation experience in and around Whitstable when you work with us. Our valuations are free and no-obligation - this means you can tap into our expertise and knowledge before you decide whether you want us to sell your home.

Effective property marketing

The world is digital. You could consider listing your property on a range of property marketing sites yourself - including the leading property portals Zoopla and RightMove. These are great ways to get your property seen by the widest possible audience.

Make sure potential buyers can see as much detail about your home as possible. You will be responsible for the accuracy of information you provide and if you can provide further details about the location, local amenities, schools and so on, that will help potential buyers to see themselves in your home. Present your home as well as you possibly can and take great quality photos - smart phones are good for selfies, but aren't good for property marketing photos. If you can find someone to hold the end of the tape measure, create a floorplan of your home too for your online listing.

Of course, buyers come from all areas, many local but also a high number of people wanting to move to the Whitstable area. The sky is the limit with marketing these days and we would recommend thinking through the entire cost of your property marketing plan at the outset or else your costs will exceed the savings you were hoping to make.

If developing your own property marketing plan seems a little overwhelming, we are happy to talk through our property marketing strategy with you. We always list properties on the leading property portals. We make the most of our office windows for direct high street enquiries and - with vendor approval - use Sale/Sold boards to boost drive-by awareness.

On top of all that, we also send details of new properties direct to potential purchasers and also use social media to promote properties on Twitter and Facebook to people who are keeping an eye on the Whitstable, Herne Bay and Canterbury property market.

Negotiations

Some vendors are fantastic at negotiating on their own behalf. They have a clear idea of what they want to achieve and know where and when to be flexible. Other buyers need a little guidance and support in order to articulate their priorities. A good estate agent won't make assumptions though - it is critically important that an estate agent stays in touch throughout the sales and marketing process so as to ensure a close understanding of what matters to you, the vendor.

Understanding what the vendor wants is only part of the picture. A great estate agent also pre-qualifies potential purchasers and develops a good rapport with potential buyers. This provides vital insight into the buyer's commitment and ability to complete the purchase.

You can ask us for guidance and support in negotiations - we help clients to define their requirements and we provide a sounding board for negotiation strategies and always pre-qualify potential purchasers. Most importantly, we handle negotiations directly and professionally.

For some of our clients, this can be one of the most difficult or stressful moments of their overall sale. Our aim is to eliminate the stress and ensure that our client has all the time and information they need to make good quality decisions.

Progressing the sale

Agreeing the sale is a trigger point to enter the next phase of your sale. Now you need to identify all the relevant professional advisers - mostly solicitors and other agents - and stay in regular contact in order to monitor progress towards exchange of contracts, confirmation of mortgage offers and completion dates. This might also involve arranging times for building surveys and additional visits by your buyer. It's not unreasonable for a buyer to ask for another opportunity to visit and 'measure up' for furniture or even bring along a builder to discuss future works.

Lots of questions will arise during this time. As far as possible your estate agent will manage the flow of these questions so that the buyer and vendor continue to maintain a good relationship. For many vendors, this is the central reason for choosing to appoint a High Street Agent and is also the reason many potential buyers don't look at 'direct selling sites' since they have greater confidence in working with professionally qualified estate agents to complete their purchase.

You'll have the support of our complete team to help you through the sales progression stage. Our client testimonials are very positive about the importance of this aspect of our service and clients tell us this is where we make the biggest contribution towards a smooth, stress free sale.

Best price for the best service

Once you are happy with our valuation, you could choose to instruct us straightaway (and we would be happy if you did). Our fees and our contracts are straightforward. We won't tie you up in legal mumbo-jumbo. However, it's not uncommon for vendors to meet with a number of agents. As explained above, asking for two or three valuations is one of the best ways to gain an understanding of your local market and the potential value of your property.

You've found us. We are the only independent, owner-managed agent on Whitstable high street. We won't compromise on the quality of our service. From start to finish, we are committed to delivering a personalised, effective service to every single client.

Call us on 01227 272155 to book a valuation today. We can't wait to hear from you.