Using Your Estate Agent Effectively & Negotiating Offers

When it comes to selling your house, there are many things that need taking into consideration, and perhaps one of the most important things is choosing your estate agent. You will need to be confident that the estate agency that you are putting your house on the market with is going to be as efficient as possible, which is why it’s a good idea to speak to several before choosing who to put your house on the market with.

Get a few valuations from different estate agents within your area, and have a look into the companies yourself to see what type of properties they sell. It’s important that your house is for sale with an agency who sell a similar range of properties to yours, as those looking to buy a house will generally look for an agency who sell properties within their budget and location.

Equally, take each valuation given to you by your estate agent and carefully consider them; you may find a great variation in the prices, but don’t be blown away by the highest offer, this might not be the right solution. Do your homework yourself to see what prices other similar properties within your area are on the market for and what they’re selling for. If your property is priced too high, it may price you out of a sale.

Making sure your house is marketed effectively.

Your estate agent will put together a brochure of your home, and your property may be listed online, so it’s important to thoroughly check all the details are correct and that you’re happy with the way your property is being marketed. Check for any inaccuracies in the descriptions and make sure you’re happy with the photos they have used. If you think there could be better images of your home, tell your estate agent – it’s in their interest to promote your home as best they can too!

If you are looking for a quick sale and don’t feel you are getting enough views and interest in your home, it’s always a good idea to get advice from your estate agent about things like auctions and open-house days.

Receiving your first offer on your home.

Hurray! You’ve finally received that much anticipated first offer on your home; but what now? If you are using an estate agent, they will help guide you through the process most effectively and will advise you on how best to approach and negotiate these offers – often doing the negotiating for you.

Whether you have chosen to use an estate agent or not there are some important things for you to remember when negotiating that all-important offer on your home. Firstly, you should never give anything away to a prospective buyer (think of it a bit like Poker); the last thing you need is for them to hear that you are desperate to sell your home and need a quick sale, as they may offer far lower than you would like, and may feel they can negotiate for a cheaper, quicker sale.

Secondly, try not to mull over their offer for too long, you don’t want them to lose interest and start putting offers in elsewhere. By all means, take your time to consider the offer and discuss it in detail with your family, friends and estate agent, but try and get back to them as soon as possible so you can keep the ball rolling.

Know how much negotiation you can go for.

If you’ve done the research on the property market, you should be well up on how buoyant the property market is. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where properties are high in demand and the market prices are on the up, then you shouldn’t have to give in too much to negotiations.

On the other hand, if the market is struggling or your home has been on the market for a long time without much interest, then be prepared for the fact that you may have to do a bit more negotiating than you may have wanted to. If you want to move quickly, then you may run the risk of having to wait a long time to receive another offer, so weigh up the pros and cons of accepting a lower offer.

That said, you should always be happy with the offer you receive. You will know how much you value your house for and how much you think it’s worth, so don’t just take the first offer given to you in desperation if it really is blind robbery.

Responding to that offer.

Once you have made your decision it’s time to respond to your offer. If you have decided that the offer is too low for what you require, don’t dismiss the buyer straight away, they may be testing the water to find out how much you’re willing to negotiate by. Let them or your estate agent know the price range that you are looking for and wait for their returned response.

It’s always a good idea to make it clear just what is and is not included in the overall price of your home; for example, will you be leaving the curtains? By running through these things, it may give you more room for negotiation.

Accepting an offer.

Now you’ve finally accepted that offer on your home, you should be aware that you don’t legally have to take your property off the market. Your estate agent should inform you of any further offers or interest right up until the point you exchange contracts with the buyer; so always make your estate agent aware of what you’d like to do. By not taking your house off the market it allows you a potential back-up should the sale fall through.

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