If you’re looking to buy or sell property, but you don’t have too much experience in the same, it is best that you hire an estate agent. Think of it like this – you go to a financial manager to help you manage your finances, you go to a chartered accountant to do your taxes, you go to a lawyer to fight your legal battles; so why shouldn’t you hire an estate agent to help you buy or sell a property? Follow these tips to find the best pro-activate real estate agent who is right for you.

1. Do your research

Whether you’re looking for estate agents in Battersea or you need an estate agent in Shoreditch, you need to do your research before just waltzing into any real estate agents office. Does this agent have experience in selling a property like yours? Have you gone online and read the reviews about this real estate agent? Has someone recommended this agent to you? What was their experience? You need to do your research on all the potential real estate agents in the area before deciding who to choose to represent your property.

2. Shortlist your potential favourites

Shortlist a few agents based on your research. Now, it is time to start visiting these agents. Do they know your area well? How many years of experience do they have? Are they open and honest when it comes to communication? Can you trust them? Ask them questions like how they plan to showcase your property on a wider scale? Will they accompany potential buyers to view your property? Will they be flexible with your timings when you need to visit open houses? Based on these questions, you need to start making a decision.

3. Have a trial run

Don’t make your selection just yet. Ask a select few to come by your house and visit the property – that’s if you’re selling. What valuation are they quoting for your property? Before asking them this question, you should have done some background work of your own and figured out a ballpark valuation. Does it match your asking price? If you’re looking to buy property, ask these select few to show you a few potential properties. Do these properties match your list of requirements? Is the agent showing your properties that are strictly within your budget? Is he or she pressuring you into making a purchase/sale or is the estate agent being patient and understanding?

4. What fees are they quoting?

Usually, agents charge a fee to sell the property. So, if you’re a buyer, you don’t have to worry about agent fees – but it never hurts to ask. After all, full disclosure is better than having to pay a lump sum at short notice. Now, if you’re looking to sell your property then you need to find out the cost of hiring this estate agent – usually, estate agents charge a certain percentage of the selling price as their fee. This is usually anything between 0.75% and 3.0%, plus VAT. Are there any other hidden costs? Will they charge you extra for professional photography? Will they charge you extra to advertise? Here, it is important to remember that the cheapest fee is not necessarily the best. Make your decision based on the overall cost, not just the fee.

5. Who is the best match for you?

Now, it is time to decide which estate agent you would like to hire. If you are still unsure, you can always work with two or three estate agents to find the home of your dreams, or even to sell property. However, it is more likely that you will probably like the rapport that you share with one certain estate agent. In this case, you should make a well-informed and well-thought-out decision, and follow that with your gut intuition. If you feel that one real estate agent has really stood out, be it because of his or her open-communication, be it because of prior experience or be it because of the unique plans that he or she has come up with to ensure that your property sells for the right price. Also, it is suggested that you choose one sole agent as opposed to several because when you have just one agent you have an upper hand at negotiating the fee. This agent will be more vested in your property and will probably take a personal interest it in.

Now, you and your agent are going to be working as partners. You need to ensure that communication is open. Tell your agent what you expect from them. If you have a certain budget to buy property, be clear about that. If you won’t sell your property lower than a specific amount, let your estate agent know. You and your agent need to be on the same team – that is why, it is so important to choose an estate agent that is right for you, and for your property.