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Estate Agents – What’s really under the bonnet?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

When you’re looking for your next new car, it may look sleek on the forecourt but what’s it like under the bonnet? The same principle applies to finding an estate agent to sell your house.

There are many adverts on the television suggesting how you can sell your house commission free! The promise is to save you thousands, but is it too good to be true?

Before you decide to market your property, as with anything it is best to shop around and see what each agent, and the type of service they offer, is best suited to you and your lifestyle.

What does an estate agent do? Take some photos and upload the property to Right Move and wait for it to sell? Not at all! Having a reliable agent you can trust can be the difference between actually just staying on the market and getting to the point of completion.

Of course the agent will find the buyer for you, but that is a very small part of the process, key of course, but a good agent will also:

  • Arrange the energy performance certificate – a mandatory document if you are selling;
  • Check the identity of the prospective buyer and that they can actually proceed – do they have the money or has their current property sold – can they obtain a mortgage? This can save valuable time in filtering out non-genuine buyers;
  • Provide details of the buyer to your conveyancer to enable them to issue draft contracts to the buyer’s conveyancer;
  • They will “sales progress” – this in simple terms mean they will chase the transaction frequently for example the status of the buyer’s mortgage offer, whether your conveyancer has issued contracts, if searches have been applied for, chasing up any outstanding documentation from the parties;
  • They can provide access to the property for inspections and valuations;
  • They can liaise with the seller and buyer and their respective conveyancers and even enquire of progress further up or down the chain to keep the matter proceeding smoothly;
  • They will assist the buyer and seller with resolving issues surrounding completion dates;
  • They may also assist the parties where requirements for specialist reports are necessary and any negotiation of the purchase price where things come to light during the transaction;
  • On completion they will be there to receive the keys from the seller and hand them over to the buyer.

These are just a few things that a good agent can and will do for you.

They should be an integral part of the team comprising of client, conveyancer and estate agent to keep matters moving in a calm and efficient manner, so make sure you choose wisely and ask questions before you commit as to what their role will entail. Whilst the amount of commission is important, working with an agent that will go the extra mile, knows the local area and your property and forms a good relationship with you, can be the difference between actually achieving the end goal in the least stressful and shortest time possible.

Your conveyancer will work with estate agents every day so don’t be afraid to approach them to ask who they would recommend. If you need any help and advice, contact one our experts in the Residential Conveyancing team.

Jenny Woodruff


Jenny Woodruff


Jenny is a Partner and head of the Residential Conveyancing Team. She has extensive knowledge of the conveyancing process, including: dealing with freehold and leasehold sales & purchases; new build purchases; remortgages; transfers of equity; shared ownership; help to buy transactions & general property advice.