Ask any friends, family or colleagues who have recently moved and look for the “for sale” and “sold” signs in your area as an indication of which companies are successful there. Read online reviews, too, for a taste of the feedback they’re getting.
Look for experience
Check how long the agency has been in the game. A company with experience of selling property in your area is often the better choice over a new kid on the block. They’ll know the market well.
Estate agents have to be members of The Property Ombudsman or The Surveyors Ombudsman Scheme. Many will also be members of trade bodies which means they have to comply with a code of conduct and could indicate a higher standard of professionalism. Details should be on their websites.
Get three valuations or more
The ideal agent will be personable, honest and fair. Beware the agent who gives a high valuation but fails to get a buyer. Do some research and see what prices the local estate agents are getting for properties like yours.
You’ve shortlisted a few companies, now pop in as a potential buyer looking for a property just like yours. Watch how they work. Would you be happy if the house they described was yours? Would you buy from them?
Ask about viewings
Some estate agents can be pretty aggressive when it comes to viewings. Make sure you choose an agency who listen to your needs and aren’t going to be turning up when it’s not convenient. That can become very stressful very quickly.