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A sample of similar properties marketed for sale locally over the past 6 months.

A sample of properties within 1 mile of the postcode entered that have sold recently.

How to find the best performing local estate agent

If you’re thinking about selling your home, the first port of call is finding the best performing estate agent in your area.

The best local estate agents will be able to value your home accurately and help you set the right asking price, tell you how to maximise the sale price you can achieve, sell in a timely manner, and be knowledgeable about local market conditions. They’ll know what prospective local buyers are looking for and will have a proven track-record of successful sales in your area.

So speaking to estate agents early in the process, even if you aren’t planning on selling for a while, is a smart move.

Find local estate agents and compare how they perform

But how do you choose the best local estate agent? It may be a few years since your last move, so going to the previous estate agent you have used might not deliver the same good service you received a few years back. As with most things, it’s best to shop around and compare a few agents.

You can find and compare the performance of your local estate agents by using our estateagent4me tool.

With the latest performance data from over 18,000 estate agents across thousands of different websites we provide accurate data about how each agent performs, so you can find the best estate agent in your area.

Our find an estate agent tool allows you to compare:

  • How quickly an estate agent sells homes like yours
  • How successful they are at achieving asking price
  • How much they charge
  • Which estate agent sold the most properties and has the biggest market share

The results are instant, free and impartial and can be ranked so you can easily:

  • Compare which agent was most successful overall
  • Compare which agent achieved the asking price most often
  • Compare the fees they charge
  • Compare how long it takes local estate agents to sell

To find the best local estate agents near you, simply enter your address details so we can find local estate agents selling houses like yours. The results will list local estate agents so you can compare how they perform in terms of achieving a successful sale, achieving the sale price and the average time taken to sell.

The next step is using your results to draw up a shortlist of estate agents to approach. Unlike other estate agent finder tools, you can compare the data yourself and contact the agents you want to speak to.

Next step: estate agent valuations

Armed with comparison data about how the estate agents perform invite three or so to visit your property to give a valuation and tell you about their service.

All estate agents offer a free valuation. It’s their opportunity to meet you face to face and win your business.

This is their opportunity to give you a valuation so you can set the asking price when they come to marketing your home. The best estate agents will be able to back up the valuation they give you with evidence of properties like yours locally that have recently sold at that price.

Don’t necessarily opt for the estate agent that gives you the highest property valuation. They may be doing this to flatter you into signing up with them.

Also ask them to give you their view about whether there are any home improvements that need doing to optimise your sale price before listing it.

Find the best estate agent to work with

The best estate agent will fill you with confidence by demonstrating she/he knows the local market and has done some research before the valuation. They should also show interest and excitement at the prospect of marketing your home.

It’s important you get on with your estate agent, as you will be working together for the next few weeks.

In a recent HomeOwners Alliance survey into what’s important when choosing an estate agent, we asked consumers what they look for when selecting an agent to sell their house and, conversely, what would put them off.

Pushiness, poor time-keeping and lack of local knowledge all featured highly in the turn off list. Some 48% of homeowners said that aggressive sales tactics were a major turn off, with a similar number (47%) agreeing that poor punctuality was likely to be a major stumbling block.

Homeowners said they would be more likely to appoint an estate agent with a good phone manner (93%) and ability to build a rapport (87%).

Questions to ask when choosing an estate agent

In choosing the best estate agent to sell your house, as well as their advice on setting the asking price, it’s important to ask:

  • How will you market my property? Nearly everyone visits a property portal when they search for a property. So your home needs to be on the main ones: Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket
  • Will you conduct viewings? Understand how this will work and when the best time for viewings are – weekends or evenings? Ask if you need to be there and whether they will accompany all viewings
  • Will you provide a for sale board?
  • How will you feedback to prospective buyers and how will they keep you informed of progress? You don’t want to be on the phone chasing them so tell them what level of communication you expect
  • What are your contract terms? Ask them to go through the contract talking you through each paragraph and the implications. Avoid long tie in periods above 12 weeks. Make sure you understand any future liability for commission if you decide to switch from them and sell through another agent
  • Are you a member of The Property Ombudsman? All estate agents need to be the member of a redress scheme and the property ombudsman is the main one

Compare and negotiate estate agent fees

According to Zoopla’s State of the Property Nation report 2018, 56% of home sellers said transparency about what fees estate agents charge is the most important factor when it comes to selling a house.

Our estateagent4me comparison tool lists how much local estate agents charge so you can see which estate agent comes out best.

According to our Estate Agent Choices research, we were surprised to find that only 1 in 4 people negotiated the commission fee the estate agent charged. But published commission fees aren’t set in stone and you should be looking to pay around 1% for a sole agency contract. If the advertised fee is more than that, ask the estate agent what they can do to reduce their fee.

And remember, estate agent fees normally exclude VAT, which is currently 20%. Make sure you do the calculation and include VAT so you know your total amount you’ll have to pay your estate agent.

Online estate agents are another alternative

Online estate agents are also worth considering when you are looking for the right estate agent to sell your property.

Online estate agents tend to offer lower fees and a different model of service. They operate online rather than having high street branches, and as a result they can charge lower fees. Purplebricks and YOPA are just two of the online estate agents you may have heard of.

It’s worth looking at their packages and how they work. Their fees are particularly attractive allowing you to market your home on the main property portals from a few hundred pounds.

Unlike high street agents, online estate agents often require you to pay up front. So even though they often work out more expensive, their pay on completion packages may reassure you that your money won’t be wasted if, for whatever reason, you fail to sell with them.

Online estate agents are also increasingly offering a hybrid model, with the best bits from high street and online estate agents. Most notably, most online estate agents now offer to conduct viewings for an extra charge. So it is worth looking at the packages they offer and thinking about online estate agents when choosing the best estate agent to sell your home.