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What Does An Estate Agent Do?

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Ever wondered what it is that estate agents do to earn the large fee they charge when selling a property?

The job of a great estate agent is to make the sale of your property as smooth as possible, removing any uncertainty and negotiating the best price.

Let’s look at what you can expect from your estate agent when it comes to selling your home: they will help you promote your property, secure a sale and ensure that your transaction is completed successfully.

Table of Contents

7 things estate agents do to sell your house

If you are selling your home, your real estate agent can provide you with the following seven services:

  1. Valuing your property;
  2. Giving you advice;
  3. Advertising your home;
  4. Screening potential buyers;
  5. Conducting property viewings;
  6. Negotiating the best sale price;
  7. Managing the paperwork for the sale.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these services:

1. Value your property

The first responsibility of an estate agent is to value your property. To do this, they will use their expertise in the market, experience of selling similar properties, and data from sources such as the Land Registry to determine how much your home could be sold for.

Valuation appointments are like interviews, giving sellers a chance to observe the agent’s approach and customer service. As a result, many sellers book valuations with several estate agents before settling on one.

A great estate agent will come prepared with factual information about the local property market and be able to demonstrate their expertise in the local area, as well as their experience in selling houses nearby.

2. Give you help and advice

Once you’ve chosen to work with a particular agent, they will become an important source of guidance. A great agent will be well-versed in the sales process and have local knowledge to help you through all of the legal steps and provide answers to any questions you have.

They can let you know which type of buyers are searching in your area and what features they are looking for. Additionally, your agent can give advice on the best ways to prepare your home for sale, whether it be a simple rearrangement or investing some time in some DIY.

3. Market your home 

Marketing homes to potential buyers is the job most often associated with estate agents, and for good reason. This makes up a large chunk of their activity on any home sale.

As a minimum, your estate agent should include the following in their marketing plan: professional photos, floor plans, ads in brochures, shop windows, online property sites, and social media, attractive and effective property descriptions, and marketing directed to registered buyers in your local area.

It’s obvious how important marketing is to an estate agent’s role. You should anticipate all the marketing your estate agent does to sell your home being included as standard in their contract.

Local agents will also advertise your property through more traditional channels, such as local press and newspapers, as well as local shop windows.

4. Vet potential buyers

Marketing a property may seem like the most imperative job of an estate agent, but there is a lot of important work that goes on in the background. The financial aspect of property transactions can be risky, and it’s an estate agent’s responsibility to reduce this risk by implementing various security measures and verifying the seriousness of the buyer.

includes basic reviews of potential buyers who plan to come for viewings and following money laundering regulations. It is necessary to guarantee that all buyers are genuine to prevent issues later.

For example, the Property Ombudsman Code of Practice requires estate agents to ensure that potential buyers are financially capable of purchasing the property.

This includes investigating the source and availability of funds. If a prospective buyer states that they need a mortgage to purchase the property, the estate agent must check if they have a mortgage agreement in principle.

5. Handle viewings

Potential buyers typically want to view a property before submitting an offer. Your estate agent will be responsible for organizing these viewings and guiding buyers through the house.

They’ll provide an overview of all the main features of the property and information about the local area.

They’ll also ensure that the property remains secure during showings. If you’re unsure if you’re receiving enough viewings, we discuss how many viewings it takes to sell a house in greater detail.

An efficient agent will arrange viewings as soon as you agree to work with them.

6. Negotiate the best sale price

Hopefully, the effort your estate agent has put into valuing, marketing, and showing off your property has encouraged potential buyers to make an offer.

At this point, your estate agent will serve as a mediator, helping you negotiate the best sale price for your property, as well as rejecting offers that do not meet your requirements.

If they have accurately valued your house and set the right price, you should be able to get the best offer and sell your house for the best price in the current market.

7. Manage the admin of the sale

An estate agent’s responsibilities don’t stop when an offer is accepted. They then become the ‘chaser’, responsible for facilitating communication between conveyancers and monitoring the status of the chain, if there is one.

They may also provide certain legal documents like the Energy Performance Certificate – however, it’s usually cheaper to get one independently.

What Does An Estate Agent Do
A great estate agent will come prepared with factual information about the local property market and be able to demonstrate their expertise in the local area, as well as their experience in selling houses nearby.

What estate agents are NOT responsible for

Estate agents represent the interest of the seller.

Providing conveyancers or brokers

If you’re selling or moving house, your estate agent may be able to provide other services such as mortgage brokers and conveyancers. Make sure to shop around first, to get the best deal and the right match.

Representing the buyer

Estate agents usually charge their fees to the seller, which is why they provide a helpful service to many buyers.

However, they always act in the interests of the seller that they represent. It is the estate agent’s responsibility to give accurate and legally correct details about a property to any buyer.

Why do you need an estate agent?

Estate agents are essential for successful sales of both residential and commercial properties. With local knowledge of the market and a register of interested buyers in the area, they can accurately value your home and set a competitive asking price.

An experienced agent can make a considerable difference to your property sale.

The agent will vet potential buyers for legitimacy before they come for a viewing, taking away any security risk. They will also handle house viewings, making the whole home selling process much less stressful.

Furthermore, estate agents have an incentive to get the best price for your home as they are paid commission based on the property sale. They will work hard to ensure you get the most money possible.

How do estate agents work?

  • Estate agents are employed to market and sell properties on behalf of homeowners.
  • They assess prospective buyers, conduct viewings and assist in attaining a final selling price.
  • Normally, estate agents are paid a base annual salary and may receive commission for house sales.
  • Additionally, they may get a commission from selling in-house services such as EPC checkers or conveyancers.

Is an estate agent a well paid job?

All estate agents have a salary, with the average in the UK standing between £20,000 and £40,000.

There are some independent small estate agents who are ‘self-employed’ and run their own businesses, whereas most are salaried employees.

In addition, most agents have an extra commission scheme on top of their salary. This is usually a fraction of the estate agent fees for each sale they make.

How much do estate agents charge?

Generally, agents may charge a fee of between 1.2% and 3% of a property’s final sale price.  Some online estate agents charge a fixed fee which is usually payable upfront.

How much do estate agents charge
There are some independent small estate agents who are 'self-employed' and run their own businesses, whereas most are salaried employees.

Do You Pay an Estate Agent if You Are the Buyer?

Buyers do not need to pay estate agents, as they are acting on behalf of the seller who is responsible for the main fees.

However, estate agents may offer additional services to the buyer throughout the buying process, such as an in-house mortgage broking service, which may incur a charge.

It’s important for first-time buyers to be aware of the costs associated with buying a home, as these can add up quickly and can be easy to overlook. This includes:

  1. Mortgage broking
  2. Valuation fees
  3. Basic solicitor fees
  4. Conveyancing fees
  5. Property surveys
  6. Stamp duty
  7. Snagging
  8. Removals and moving costs
  9. Ongoing costs associated with owning a home.

Is it Worth Using a Buying Agent?

Using a buying agent may be a good idea if you want to purchase a property worth at least £500,000. Unlike estate agents, whose primary responsibility is to the seller, buying agents work in the best interests of the buyer.

They also provide more personalised house-hunting services, as they typically work with fewer clients than estate agents.

What’s more, buying agents may help you save money by utilising their industry knowledge, experience, and tactics to negotiate a better price. They also save you a lot of time and stress, which can be a huge benefit during a potentially stressful process.

Would a Private Sale Be More Appealing? Sell to us!

Whether you are selling for the first time or are worried about estate agent fees, we offer you a private sale option.

By selling for cash, you can move on to the next chapter of your life without worry or stress.

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