Nov 22, 2021
Essentially, an estate agent's role involves facilitating the sales of properties. Whether they work for a seller or a buyer, the estate agent has a responsibility to offer informed and honest guidance that aligns with the needs of their clients.
Every property sale differs, which means the exact responsibilities involved naturally vary. However, there are a few primary professional activities that ring true for all types of estate agents, regardless of whether it involves commercial or residential property.
Here is a guide on the responsibilities that can be used as a type of checklist for any person interested in hiring the services on offer by an estate agent (or those already working with one).
This list of itemised duties provided by an estate agent in Hove can even help seasoned owners of properties to understand what they can expect from prospective estate agents.
When Selling Properties
Set A Value For Your Property
The estate agent that you hire should have in-depth experience in the property market in your local area. This allows them to offer realistic market appraisals that ensure you will receive the right price or offer for your home.
The estate agent that you plan to use must back up the valuation with records of sales in the last 12 months.
Market Your Property
Whether this involves online listings, mailing lists, or newspaper ads, your agent must provide an efficient and effective marketing strategy. This usually involves photographing your home, preparing flyers, erecting a "For Sale" sign, creating virtual tours, etc.
Before you hire a local estate agent, it’s important you discuss the different marketing choices to make sure you’re following the ideal strategy that matches up to your property and ultimate goal.
A good idea would be to look for the agents that have sold and have listed other properties that share a similar value and type to yours in the area. The list of accumulated registered applicants that may be interested in your home and the experience of the agent will increase the odds of selling your home at the right price.
Another important duty of an estate agent involves arranging and conducting a viewing of your home as soon as a potential buyer shows interest. To do these tasks efficiently, the agent has a responsibility to learn about your property so that they find it easy to answer the questions that prospective buyers might ask.
Estate agents must be proactive when it comes to showing homes to as large a number of potential buyers as possible.
Homes are only worth the price a person is prepared to pay and that is why it’s essential to obtain feedback from prospective buyers on how the home compares to any other similar properties currently for sale in the local area.
It’s also quite common for buyers to buy a home that they didn’t think they were interested in. This highlights the importance of how estate agents should be encouraging buyers to look further than just the properties that they think they are interested in.
Vet Potential Buyers
Another important responsibility of your estate agent involves making sure that a potential buyer is serious. Under the Property Ombudsman Code of Practice, an estate agent is required to take the necessary steps to make sure a buyer has the funds available to actually purchase a property.
Have they already arranged an in-principle agreement from a mortgage provider? Do they have the cash to pay upfront, and if they do, where are these funds sourced from? All these questions should be asked by your estate agent. At the same time, under the Code mentioned above, they are required to present you with every and any offer that is made on the property.
Manage The Admin Of Your Sale
This is regarded as one of the most important duties of an estate agent. They should have experience in helping to negotiate offers, execute purchase contracts with viable buyers and work on behalf of the seller when managing transaction processes.
This also includes processing, explaining, and delivering the linked documentation. Since these final stages involve an immense deal of legal jargon and paperwork, your agent must keep you up to date with any new developments up to as well as including closing.
When Buying Properties
Help Find The Right Property
Your estate agent should fully understand what you want when you start looking for properties. This becomes easier when you have an exact idea of your perfect home but, even when you’re not sure, your agent should have the skills to ask the right questions to help you identify your exact preferences.
As soon as your estate agent has located a few suitable homes, they have a duty to schedule appointments so that you can view them. (It is important to know that the best estate agents will take the time to visit the shortlisted properties beforehand to make sure there are no hidden surprises).
Arranging viewing usually involves liaising with the estate agent overseeing the property or the owner of the property to arrange a time and a date. You could attend a viewing without your agent, but it is suggested to attend with your agent since they have the experience and knowledge to ask any technical questions you might have.
Produce A Buying Offer
When you decide on a home that you would like to buy, your agent should be able to assist you to craft your offer and a purchase agreement.
Based on market insights and previous experience, an estate agent can give you advice on a reasonable offer that the property owner should accept.
Manage The Admin Of Your Purchase
After negotiation processes with the seller's agent (or the actual seller) to arrive at a reasonable purchase agreement, the agent then has a responsibility to oversee the admin that is involved in your transaction process.
This usually includes coordinating inspections, repair negotiations, and reports, and to keep the buyer informed throughout the entire process, up to taking possession of their new home.
How To Deal With A Bad Estate Agent
If you are starting to feel that your agent has failed to provide the services that you need, you should raise these issues with the agent. If you can't resolve the complaint directly with the agent you can then choose to take your complaint to the Property Redress Scheme or The Property Ombudsman. Find out from the estate agent which of these schemes they are partnered with.
How To Find The Right Estate Agent
Before you choose an estate agent, stay away from agents that offer a low fee or promise they can achieve the best prices. Rather base your final decision on facts.
Which of the agents talk about asking prices where they can justify according to recent sales they have closed. Which of the estate agents are prepared to lower their fee "for you"?
This may be an indication of their negotiation skills. You need to ask yourself if you could rely on this person to defend the price you have offered and work in your interest.