Important questions to ask your agent if you’re serious about moving

If you’re serious about moving and ready to embark on your property journey, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re as prepared as possible by talking to your agent about the process first.

A good agent will hold your hand through the key steps to ensure you’re comfortable, but everyone’s needs and understanding of what’s involved in moving home are different. We’ve compiled a list of useful questions as a starting point for you to add to, or take away from as you see fit…

How much is my home worth? 

When it comes to finding out what your home’s worth, there are lots of ways to get an estimate of its value before you finally begin your property journey, but an agent is always best placed to give you the most accurate valuation of your home whether it be its sale or rental value.

After valuing your home, when setting your property’s listing price, it’s also a good idea to ask your agent what their pricing strategy is to make sure you’re aligned. Pricing realistically is important in any market, but will your property be marketed at “offers in excess” of a certain price and will a price reduction be on the cards if your home hasn’t sold within a set timeframe. Have you got a lowest price in mind that you’d be prepared to accept if a reduction is necessary?

Having these conversations at the very start of the process will keep you and your agent on the same page and mean that as the process evolves, you’ll be able to have an open dialogue and adapt strategy accordingly.

What does the wider market and economy mean for my move?

Lots of factors, including changes in the economy, can impact the housing market. Many external factors can change fast so it’s important to remember your agent is an expert in their field and well-equipped to advise and guide you through different market conditions.

Choosing an agent who’s right for you and that you can trust is incredibly valuable if things get tricky, or you find yourself facing unexpected challenges. It’s essential you feel confident that they’ll always act with your best interests in mind and that their ultimate goal is to support you and your move.

Do you have any comparables and have you recently sold any properties similar to mine?

Comparable properties are ones that are similar to yours, this could be because of their size, location or style and are great ways of looking at where your home may sit in your local market in terms of value, making comparables a great way of understanding suitable pricing targets.

Asking your agent about local comparables will help give you an insight into their past experience and how best to market your property. This will also help you establish a rough timeframe you might expect when it comes to getting viewings and offers in depending on the market.

Remember to also tap into your agent’s general area knowledge too. Many know their local areas inside out and how their markets work. Make the most of having this knowledge just a phone call away, especially if your agent is also helping you with your onward move.

Who is involved in a chain?

This is a particularly good question to ask if you’re a first-time buyer or mover. Every move is different, but there are lots of parts to a chain which can either be simple or complicated depending on circumstances. Asking your agent to give you some context to help you become as familiar as possible with what the process may entail will help you keep a realistic view up until you’re ready to complete.

What’s the plan for marketing?

With all the technology we have to hand there are lots of ways to market a property and its likely your agent will have a strategy of their own. It’s important you ask them about their approach and give feedback to find a strategy that you’re both comfortable with.

For example, which of the portals will your home be listed on? When listing your property with OnTheMarket, will your property be Only With Us for a specified period of time to appeal to the most serious property seekers looking for an edge in their property search?

As well as photography, will there be a video tour to accompany your property’s listing and will your agent be able to accommodate both physical and virtual viewings? Having an understanding of these options will help you prepare for what’s to come and shouldn’t be overlooked. Maintaining an open and ongoing dialogue with your agent will also be key when adapting the marketing approach along the way if needed to make sure you’re happy with and aware of the process as time goes on.

How should I prepare my home for photography and viewings?

The pictures used for the listing of your property will be the first opportunity to create a good impression with prospective buyers, so ensuring they’re as appealing as possible is vital for generating interest.

Whether your agent will be taking the photography themselves or using an external photographer, they’ll be able to help you prepare for the photos to be taken ahead of time. If you’re not sure if whether there’s anything you can do to get your home in the best shape, they’ll be a useful helping hand and can point out the little things that can make a big difference when it comes to picture day. We’ve also created a list of things to consider, from decluttering to tending to the garden, to support you with this too.

What is your fee and what type of contract do you use? 

Talking fees is important as they can vary between agents. Once your agent’s fee has been agreed, make sure you cover when you’d be expected to pay it and when it would be due so there’s a clear understanding and you can plan ahead for it.

As well as different fee structures, there are a few types of contracts agents can use too so making sure you ask your agent to go through theirs with you will mean you’re well-informed and on the same page.

Can you recommend any trusted solicitors and surveyors?

At different stages of your moving process you’ll eventually need a solicitor and surveyor on board to keep things ticking along. To make sure the process runs efficiently, ask your agent if they have any affiliations with professionals in these fields if you don’t have your own trusted contacts already. If your agent can recommend a reliable professional they’ve worked with before, you can be confident they’ll know each other’s processes which will make communication a lot smoother.

Find an agent in your local area today to get started on your property journey.

Content provided by OnTheMarket.com is for information purposes only. Independent and professional advice should be taken before buying, selling, letting or renting property, or buying financial products.