ask other agents

Most people invite more than one estate agent to provide a valuation.  Here are some helpful questions to ask each and every agent that you talk to if you discuss selling your home – and some clues as to the answers you should expect!

Key  Questions

  • The majority of properties now are sold to buyers who search on the internet.  The biggest property sites are Rightmove, PrimeLocation, Propertyfinder, Findaproperty, and Fish4.  Which sites are you listed on?
  • If you’re confident of selling my house, and your customer service is good, why do you want to tie me into a contract?
  • if your contract is a ‘Sole Selling Rights’ contract, but I sell my house to a friend, neighbour or relative, why should you get paid?
  • If I’m unhappy with your service or have a really important issue to discuss, who can I call?
  • If I choose your agency, do you get commission for winning this instruction, and is that commission dependent upon the price you sell my house for?
  • If my home doesn’t sell quickly, what will you do to make up for it?

PRINT QUESTIONS

Website advertising

Question – The majority of properties now are sold to buyers who search on the internet.  The biggest property sites are Rightmove, PrimeLocation, Propertyfinder, Findaproperty, and Fish4.  Which sites are you listed on?

Answers – Rightmove and Zoopla are the biggest sites. If an agent isn’t on these two, don’t use them. PrimeLocation, Findaproperty, Nestoria, Globerix and Mousprice are important sites, with prominence in London, where many buyers of South West homes are found. They are all really important if you hope to attract buyers from outside Devon. Major national newspapers, like The Mail, The Times and The telegraph, are also important for getting the best buyers from the widest market. Underhill advertise on all of them.

Fees

Question – If I accept your fees now, but I’m not happy with your service or the price you sell my home for, will you charge me less?

Answers – Underhill have answered this question with our ‘set your own fee’ scheme.  It seems perfectly reasonable to us that the customer should decide a fee after the job is done, and not before!  But ask the question and see if an agent is willing to back up their promises by matching payment to performance.

Contract Length

Question – If you’re confident of selling my house, and your customer service is good, why do you want to tie me into a contract?

Answers – Actually, we can’t see any good answer to this.  Advertising is rarely booked more than a couple of days in advance, so the standard 2-week notice should cover all eventualities.  We have no tie-in.  We believe that if you’re not happy, you should be free to change agents.  We think that asking for a tie-in shows that the agent has no confidence in their ability to do their job well.

Type of Contract

Question – if your contract is a ‘Sole Selling Rights’ contract, but I sell my house to a friend, neighbour or relative, why should you get paid?

Answers – again, our best answer is ‘you shouldn’t’.  Be very, very cautions about any agency which uses ‘sole selling rights’ contracts.

Ownership

Question – If I’m unhappy with your service or have a really important issue to discuss, who can I call?

Answers – Ultimately, you want to know that you can take any issues to the top, to the owners of the company and not just to a branch manager.  Underhill is a local company and you’ll have no difficulties in dealing directly with the Managing Director, Joe Catcheside, if need be.

Commission

Question – If I choose your agency, do you get commission for winning this instruction, and is that commission dependent upon the price you sell my house for?

Answers – If an agent’s paycheque depends on your decision, its important to be absolutely sure they aren’t over-valuing your home just to win your business.  This is even more the case if the agency commission isn’t influenced by the final sales price, or the agency wants you to sign a long contract.  As Underhill don’t pay personal commission, our agents are under no pressure to exaggerate

Not selling

Question – If my home doesn’t sell quickly, what will you do to make up for it?

Answers – Underhill give all the power to the customer.  If you’re not happy, you can give us notice at any time.  If we get a buyer but you are disappointed with our service, you can set our fee lower.  And, under our Guarantee, if we haven’t found a buyer inside 12 weeks, we’ll cut the fee even lower.