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5 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Estate Agent

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When it comes to selling your home, selecting the right estate agent is an investment which always will pay for itself. Professional agents will have an in-depth knowledge of the property market and be experts in their local areas. This level of expertise can help you sell your home faster, and for a higher price, than if you try to do everything on your own or through the wrong estate agent.

However, with so many different agencies out there, it’s not always easy to know who will be the best one to meet your needs and expectations. Listed below are some key factors to consider when choosing an estate agent and just a few of the reasons why using Bourne makes a refreshing change, showing why our ever-growing company has fast become the recommended estate agent.

1. Reputation of the Agency is Key

The first thing to consider when choosing an estate agent is their reputation.

  • How strong is the reputation of the company?
  • How long has the agent and their team been operating in your local area?
  • What do previous and current clients think of them?

Not surprisingly, an estate agency with a strong reputation can be expected to provide you with a much higher level of service, as opposed to one who has not spent time or effort building a great name for themselves.

Nowadays, it is easier than ever to find information to support your choice of agent. A good place to start researching is through reviews on Google or Facebook. An estate agent with very few Google reviews, for example, is less likely to have been operating in the local area for a long time, or have delivered an amazing service their clients want to shout about, so might be a riskier choice to sell your home with.

As well as researching online reviews, asking friends and family to recommend estate agents or a letting agent is a great way for reliable referrals. At Bourne, we are proud to say, two thirds of our business comes from word of mouth and recommendations. This, coupled with an average 4.9* google reviews, shows that not all agents are the same.

Testimonials are also a great indicator of estate agency reliability, especially if they offer client contact details. If the estate agency is proudly showing off what its clients have said about them, then they are more likely to be a trustworthy business.

Each dept at Bourne encourages feedback from clients, whether they have bought, sold, let or rented through us. We are a totally transparent estate agent who genuinely care about building a great reputation in every town in which we operate. We invite EVERY client to have their say, through questionnaires, online reviews, or comments on one of our social media sites, all of which are directly linked to the Directors at Bourne.

2. Local Experts with Local Successes

It’s important to know whether the agency you’re considering has experience in successfully marketing and selling properties in your specific location.

An important part of picking a trustworthy, locally-based estate agent is their knowledge of the local prices, micro-markets and fluctuating market trends.

The teams in Bourne all live in our local areas, many with children in local schools. This means we have in-depth knowledge of our marketplace, understand our clients’ needs and are as committed to the area and its community as you are. Our connection to our local area means we are more informative and passionate about it.

Discover more about your local Bourne branch and the teams:

As an example, we have been proud sponsors of South Farnham School for over 8 years and regularly support local schools, community events and charities across our branch network.

3. Services with Serious Impact

Before hiring an estate agent, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the range of services and levels of support they provide. The right estate agent should be able to help you in all stages of the home selling or rental processes.

On the surface, most estate agents offer a similar set of services, such as valuations, marketing and managing offers. However, not all will be skilled at successfully managing complexities of negotiations during selling or letting, organising launch days, or providing a full sales progression, minimising the risk of transactions falling through.

At Bourne we offer a start to finish service, starting with a free home valuation, through to free mortgage advice, surveys, assistance with the moving process and hand-holding sales progression.

Our unique approach means we’re great at selling and letting properties for our clients.

To give you a flavour of our fresh ideas, clients can experience our successful ‘21 day marketing plan’ and once they’ve sold, then follow our ‘Buyers and Sellers Guide’. This free step-by-step guide helps our clients to fully understand the process, from the point an offer has been agreed, right up until the exchange of contracts and completion. As a free part of our service, we continue to facilitate the sales through active sales progression, meaning we help to expedite as smooth a transaction as possible on your behalf. This includes liaising with other agents in chains, regularly speaking to multiple party solicitors and helping to resolve unexpected bumps along the way.

Both these approaches have helped thousands of happy clients to maximise their results.

“Gemma at Bourne Estate Agents Alton went above and beyond to help us progress the sale of our property. Gemma and the team at Bourne, were willing to help out wherever they could, to ensure that the sale completed. We had a considerable amount of issues with our solicitors and the contract was nearly pulled by the new developer. Gemma ensured that she did everything in her power, to complete the sale and without her support, I truly feel as though the chain would have collapsed. I cannot give her enough praise! She was the support that we needed, at such a stressful time.
Bourne in general were amazing at arranging viewings, carrying out viewings, providing updates and sourcing quality buyers. Should we move again, I would definitely be using Bourne.”

When you’re ready to choose the right estate agent to work with, you need to consider how well they communicate and deliver their services:

  • Do they have a clear and simple process outlined from the get-go?
  • Have you been impressed with their communications during the valuation process?
  • Have they been open, listened to your personal needs and offered helpful advice?
  • Have they demonstrated expertise in their local marketplace, with service standards which will fully support you through the full sales process?

4. The Proposal and Marketing Strategy

When you meet with different estate agents, you should expect them to provide you with a detailed proposal outlining their marketing strategy, which should be comprehensive and bespoke to your needs. For example, some clients prefer a low-key service, allowing time to quietly find a suitable buyer, whereas others prefer a full-scale marketing campaign to expose their property to as many buyers as possible in a quick timeframe.

When you are looking to choose the right estate agent to work with, consider the following aspects of their marketing strategy:

  • What range of advertising platforms do they use to market your home?
  • How many property portals will your property be listed on?
  • Are they proactive on social media?
  • How often do they update your property details to keep them fresh?
  • Do they recommend launch days?
  • Can they show you examples of how they have marketed similar properties in the past?

A professional estate agent will use a well-rounded marketing strategy, relevant to your personal position, which can help your home stand out to potential buyers. At Bourne, for example, we can utilise our ’21 Day Marketing Plan’, designed to reach as many suitable buyers as possible in a short amount of time.

Our clients also benefit from exposure through our wide network of branches across Surrey and Hampshire, as well as an extensive list of contacts and valued estate agents covering Greater London and the south of England. This means we can ensure our clients’ property is marketed as widely and successfully as possible.

Additionally, we are also proud to be a part of the Relocation Agent Network, which means we can help those intending to move out of our immediate catchment area, with their onward move.

We believe it is essential for our landlords to have easy access to their Property Manager and Lettings Support team, with regular updates on their properties, so they have every confidence we are taking care of their assets.

5. Do they Care about Compliance?

Lastly, before hiring an estate agent, you should ensure they uphold industry standards. You can find out more about these standards through the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

These standards cover everything from fees and commission to marketing and sales practices. Hiring an estate agent who commits to industry standards will help you feel more comfortable and confident working with them, knowing they respect you and your property, and they’ll do everything they can to ensure a smooth home selling process.

At Bourne we’re an independent company, who set ourselves extremely high standards. It’s important for our clients to know that we operate to the ‘code of conduct’ of all the main trade bodies within our industry, including the Ombudsman for Estate Agent (OEA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

Wrapping up

Choosing the right estate agent is essential, to ensure you receive a high level of service and the maximise the potential for your property sale. Professional agents have the knowledge and expertise to help you sell your home faster and for a higher price.

Before hiring an estate agent, you should familiarise yourself with the range and level of services they provide.

  • Do they have a strong reputation in their local area?
  • Can they demonstrate success in selling properties like yours?
  • Is their proposed marketing strategy comprehensive and aligned to your personal requirements?

It’s essential when you come to sell your property, you work with an estate agent who you can trust and are confident will have your best interests at heart.

At Bourne our aim is simple: We strive to ensure:

  1. Our clients should always know what to expect next
  2. Our clients should never have to ask twice
  3. Our clients know that for us nothing is too much trouble

By exceeding the expectations of you, the client, we hope you’ll be only too happy to recommend us.

When you’re ready to choose an agent to work with, book a free, no-obligation valuation and discover for yourself how choosing the right agent makes a world of difference.

‘You’ll be moved by our results’

If you have not already spoken to our amazing team or you want to see if we cover your area please contact us here: Our Branches

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