If you’re buying a house, you are probably dealing with estate agents. The process of buying a house can be stressful and confusing, but what many people don’t realise is that an estate agent can make things easier, not just for the seller, their client, but also for the buyer. After all, if you don’t buy the house, an estate agent won’t earn commission.
So, how can you work best with an agent to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible, from first contact to key collection? We’ve divided the house buying process into stages, with tips on how to get the best out of estate agents along the way.
You may be scouring property ads on Rightmove and Zoopla, but it pays to call a number of local estate agents, and let them know you’re house-hunting. This means you’ll be added to their mailing list and alerted when suitable properties come to market – often before they are advertised online.
Make sure you give them as much information about your circumstances, budget and requirements as you can at this stage. This helps prevent anybody’s time being wasted by an agent pitching you properties that are not what you want.
When you find a property you’re interested in online, give the agent a call, rather than relying on sending a viewing request through the portal. It means your request won’t get missed, and it gives you a chance to find out more about the property during the call. It also initiates a relationship with the agent, so if that house does not work out for you, they’ll be able to help you find something else.
An estate agent should work hard to present a home’s main selling points. But they will be providing information the seller wishes to communicate, and not necessarily everything that you, the buyer, would like to know.
So, ask questions – a good estate agent will welcome them. And if they don’t know the answer, they should happily find out for you, so don’t be afraid to follow up on any unanswered queries.
Use viewings to ask more about the local area as well, especially if you are unfamiliar with it. Estate agents are local experts, and will be happy to help you understand the surrounding area, as well as the status of the local property market.
Making an offer – and beyond
An estate agent cannot tell you the details of other offers on a property. But you can ask how they arrived at the marketing price, the level of interest the property has had, and whether the seller is open to offers.
Once you have had an offer accepted, you will begin dealing with solicitors during the conveyancing process. Your estate agent will remain involved, though, and should be on hand to give you updates.
So make the most of your agents during this time, whether they have an in-house progression team or not. If you’re unclear on anything, your agent may be able to help, or push for answers from your solicitors.
Never forget, your estate agent wants your purchase to succeed as much as you do. By making the most of their expertise and support, you can help ensure the house buying process is successful.
Contact Carter & May today, to find out how we can help you buy your ideal home.