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How do you choose the right estate agent?

Once you have made up you mind to move, the next step is to find out how much your home is worth and to choose an estate agent to market your property.

Although we would like you to choose us every time, we realise that is not always going to be the case. Your property is your biggest asset so choosing the right estate agent is vital. There are some fundamental ground rules you should follow before you decide and a little research before you invite agents around is vital.

With over 90% of home hunters staring their search online this is the best place to start. Try Google to find their website; is it easy to find? If it's not towards the top of page one then home hunters like you will probably struggle to find their website. Once on their website look at how they list properties. Are their photo's good and clear? Do they promote the property in the best light? Do they have floor plans and useful information on the local area?

Develop a list of questions, do they advertise on all the leading property portals, do they advertise in the local papers and more importantly do they accompany all viewings? Ask friends who have moved recently about how they found estate agents who they dealt with.

Once you are ready invite three Estate Agents around. You are likely going to be dealing with you estate agents for at least three months so you need to get on well with them and trust them. A good agent will ask about you, why are you selling? What are you looking to do? Remember its not just about how we market or how high we value the house? Make sure the Estate Agent demonstrates his ability to handle chains and qualify potential buyers. Very importantly make sure they can support the valuation they have given you with comparables properties SOLD! Opting for the agent with the highest value is tempting, but you could end up on the market for months and months without a sale and forced into constantly dropping your price.

Finally have they offered advice on how to prepare your home? And how long are they going to want you to sign into a contract? If you don't ask don't be surprised to find some underhand agents signing you in for 26 weeks without discussing it with you!

A good agent, working on your behalf can save you a huge amount of heartache and stress - so choose wisely