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Talking to estate agents & selling house for first time- your tips please!

(9 Posts)
notamumyetbutoneday Wed 28-Oct-09 10:31:49

We have (finally) decided to put our house on the market as it seems we can (hopefully) get a mortgage with a 10% deposit.

We are going to the estate agents on saturday to discuss putting ours on the market. We haven't sold a house before so i was just wondering if anyone had any advice about the sort of things we should be looking for in an estate agent and the kind of questions we should be asking?

I read some advice on moneysupermarket but it was from 2007 so Im not sure how valid it is today in light of all the changes in the housing market.

Any advice at all appreciated- especially if anyone can explain what on earth a HIPS is and what the point of it is?!


somewhathorrified Wed 28-Oct-09 10:53:03

I'd say go with your gut on choosing an estate agent. Look at it as if you were a viewer being shown around your property with them, are they slimy, funny, informative, enthusiastic? If you like them then others will. If they value your house significantly higher than any of the others, stay away, it shows they are full of empty promises.

Don't ask me about HiP's as far as I can trell they are just a money making scheme with no real point as a survey should give the same info!

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Wed 28-Oct-09 15:30:51

Get valuations from more than one estate agent, and see which you think are most realistic and seem to have best knowledge of your area - you want an achievable price not necessarily the highest, as it might not sell for that. Also think about which agencies have most For Sale and esp. Sold boards near you; and you can ask them how many houses they have sold recently near you.

Ask about their fees and see whether you can negotiate on them.

Check their contract, including things like how long you have to stay with them before you can change (if they are getting nowhere), and what's included (e.g. do you have to pay extra for newspaper ads etc).

The HIP is basically a collection of info about your house, but not particularly helpful imo - your agent can arrange one for you or you can pick a provider yourself, which may be cheaper. Main thing is that your house is not allowed to be marketed until it has one - or at least until the first part of it is completed, strictly speaking - so kick this off soon if you are in a hurry to get on the market.


HouseHunting Wed 28-Oct-09 21:06:35

Ask your friends for recommendations too. And with regard to HIPS we got ours through the EA for £400 but I know others on here have got theirs online for a lot less. Good luck

elvislives Wed 28-Oct-09 21:43:52

Be aware that with the HIPs it can now take up to 2 weeks before your house will actually be "on the market" after you've signed up with the EA. We didn't realise this and wished we'd acted a bit quicker.

notamumyetbutoneday Thu 29-Oct-09 08:39:53

Thank you everyone. Thats so true Elvis - we've only just become aware of the delay HIPS can cause which is why we are trying to act quickly now- it seems odd to be putting the house on the market just before Christmas but we want to get the ball rolling asap.

Househunting I've since loads of online companies offering HIPS online but I suppose Im wary of using a company I wouldnt actually meet IYSWIM, especially in something we have no experience of! Do you know of anyone who used an online company and was happy with the service?Might depend on what our EA says they will charge- if it seeems reasonable I expect thats what we would do.

notamumyetbutoneday Thu 29-Oct-09 08:41:19

Mynameis thats a really good tip about checking what advertisign is included witgh their service. I will be armed with a list of questions on saturday!

badgermonkey Thu 29-Oct-09 08:46:53

Remember you want different things from an EA who is selling your house to the one you bought from. Nice and friendly is fine, but we chose one who was clearly quite a driven saleswoman. A nightmare to buy from, but she sold our house, and quick. Check out existing particulars of houses on their books - do they have nice brochures, are the photos clear, are they well-written? Our EA had a magic camera with a super wide-angle lens that made all the rooms look twice the size. Kind of deceptive, but it got people in to look round our (very small) house, and once they were through the door they could see it did have real charm. Worse photos would have turned them off straight away.

We have a weekly local newspaper, and all the EAs used to advertise in there every week. Now all but one have dropped to once a fortnight, so that's worth checking, too.

Fizzylemonade Thu 29-Oct-09 11:01:07

We used online only company, sell your house for £400 upfront payment (you can pay a bit and defer rest until sold but in long run will cost you slightly more)

They do photos, floorplans and virtual tour, are just like a normal estate agent except no office to go into.

They can do a HIP and do it on the same day they come round to take photos of your house and measure up so mine went on 48 hours after they came round.

Think HIP was less than £300. They have been fantastic. Have a look on their website. They take loads of photos of your house so when someone walks through the door they already know pretty much what every room looks like.

Good luck.

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