You’re ready to put your home on the market. The first thing you need to do is set up meetings with some local estate agents to get appraisals and decide who you want to market your property.
But what makes a good estate agent and how should you pick the right one for you?
Ludvic Laskowski is considered to be one of the most respected and knowledgeable estate agents in Cornwall. His 40-year experience spans almost all areas of the county, all styles of residential property, new developments and commercial/business premises. His ethos has always been one of kindness, compassion and consideration to all vendors and purchasers alike, an approach which overarches the workings of the company.
Who better to quiz about selecting an agent…
What makes a good estate agent?
“An agent not only needs to be professional, knowledgeable, proactive, with an established track record in the area, and a good reputation, they must also exhibit much more sublime skills. By that I mean they must have the ability to obtain the trust and respect of all prospective purchasers. I believe agents must be able to create a genuine rapport with buyers and sellers and treat everyone equally, irrespective of circumstances and price range. Basically, appoint a firm whose mantra is ‘deal with everyone in the way you would want to be dealt with yourself’.”
Where should you begin in looking for an estate agent?
“Visit the agent personally, see how they operate, what their office is like and meet the team. After all, it will be them who handle the delicate process of selling your most valuable asset. There’s no substitute for local knowledge, where an agent can talk authoritatively, about several comparable transactions. More distant, thinly-spread firms can rarely provide this level of detail and won’t have the buyer knowledge – not all buyers simply watch the portals.”
What questions should you ask them?
“Find out what their track record is in the area, understand the similar properties that they have recently been involved with and how they would manage the marketing and negotiations. Are they skilled communicators and honest, hardworking and highly responsible people? Remember, the best agent may not be the one who gives the highest valuation or offers the lowest fee.”
Should you list your property with more than one agent?
“This has becoming increasingly unnecessary as the internet provides far-reaching coverage which could previously perhaps only be achieved by two complementary firms, especially if your property was situated mid-way between two towns. It is important however to ensure the terms of the estate agent are not prohibitive and, after a given period, normally three months, you are able to dis-instruct them if you are unhappy with the service provided.”
Speaking of the internet, what about online agents?
“Such firms are designed to charge you money upfront and simply post online – that’s it. They have no incentive to sell your home, let alone achieve the best possible price for it. Online agents are known for not providing the levels of support required to ensure a property is correctly marketed, the right prospective purchaser is selected, and support is given when the sale is in the hands of solicitors. Good agents are there to provide a professional service, navigate complex negotiations and achieve the best possible prices for their clients, not just to post a few photos and a brief description online and then forget the instruction exists.”
What are the most important things to consider when choosing an estate agent and why?
“I would be looking for a team large enough to ensure that all viewings are accompanied, that owners are not encouraged to take the first offer, and a firm that offers constant support, advice and recommendations throughout the legal process, once a buyer has been found. Also, put careful thought in the selection of your estate agent in respect of your onward move as, frequently, the local firm will be able to assist you even more greatly than a firm not active in the market place you wish to purchase in. This has become particularly pertinent over the last 12-18 months with a limited choice of available properties to purchase.”
In your opinion, why are Laskowski and company the best agent to choose?
“We have a substantial presence in Cornwall – and a team of experienced staff with approaching 150 years’ worth of combined experience in many sectors of the property market, including experts in geographical areas stretching to the Lizard and Truro. Large investment has gone into our new state-of-the-art website, we have very popular social media channels and an enviable client base which we have built on for years.”