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A Good Estate Agent..... What to look out for

In a market that is declining, and where buyers are scarce, asking-prices are often beaten down by zealous bargain hunters, this is especially so of the typical properties in an area of which there are many. So making sure you have the right agent and making your property more desirable and competitive will really benefit you.Choose your estate agent wisely, any agent can sell in a booming market but you will need a really good agent to get you the best price in a declining market, choose a knowledgeable agent who really knows the area and has been around during previous difficult times. Be smart and don’t simply be swayed by the agent who comes in with the highest valuation, often the real cowboys do this just to get your property on their books. Then once tied in to a contract, they will waste your time slowly bringing the price down to where they should have valued it at previously. Get 3 - 4 valuations to ascertain a realistic price, and remember wasted time on the market at a price that is too high could loose you much more in the long run and especially in a declining market. You need someone you can trust to give you honest objective advice. Be very wary of long sole agency tie-ins and where possible keep them low, I recommend 4 weeks maximum or less and if possible avoid them altogether. Always read your contract thoroughly and make sure you understand it before signing. Did you know? That you are legally able to market and sell your property privately alongside your sole agent; for more information and legal advice you can visit online private sales companies such as www.houseladder.com You can check out the price properties have sold for recently in your area for free on www.mypropertyspy.co.uk be careful not to over price your property if you need to sell urgently, as this could be your downfall in a sliding market. If you purchased your property some years ago and have not remortgaged to the hilt then you should be able to sustain a price drop and still come out on top with a decent profit. Remember; if you are buying again you will also benefit from the lower prices available at the moment so it’s not all doom and gloom. Maximising your property’s appeal will help soften the blow and ensure you get optimum results in a difficult market climate. Tips to help you select a good estate agent•If you feel that your property could benefit from some updating: Beware of estate agents that recommend you sell it as it is. (This is often done because they can then sell it a reduced rate to a developer who may well give them a small brown envelope of extra cash for their help; and it stands to reason that the developer will make the profit you could have made)•Look for a demonstrated understanding and knowledge of the market in your local area.•Quiz your selected agents about buyer preferences and the likely type of buyers for you property.•Look for useful suggestions on how to sell quickly or push the value of your property up.•Track Record - look for other houses using them and how many have 'sold' signs up.•Professionalism – How well do they present themselves? Do they leave you with a valuation package? Do they show you relative comparables of properties they have recently sold?•Do not sign lengthy tie in contracts that stop you from selling with another agent if you are unhappy with their services (if they are as good as they say they are they should not need these and you should not need to change agent)

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