How to Figure Out the Number of Estate Agents I Should Use

Couples With House Keys

Selling your home can be an arduous process and almost immediately, you’ll want to enlist the help of an estate agent. Some how-to guides, though, will tell you to enlist the help of multiple estate agents so your property gets better exposure. If you’re like many, though, that leaves you with one key question “How many estate agents should I use?” This guide can help you make an informed decision.

Three Good Options

As you try to find the answer to the question “How many estate agents should I use,” you’re going to come across the idea that you really just have three solid options? You can sign a sole agency agreement where you agree to use just one estate agent. You can sign a joint sole agency agreement, which binds you to the idea of using two individual agents. You can also sign a multiple agency agreement in which you suggest you will use a number of different agents to sell your home.

Knowing which one is best is difficult. In general, the rule of thumb is that the more agents you have working for you, the more buyers you’ll actually reach, and that could mean higher overall offers on your property. The problem with that approach, though, is that the more estate agents you bring into the picture, the higher percentage of your sale price you’ll end up paying estate agent fees. Deciding which agreement to sign depends a bit on your property and what’s going on with the market in your area.

Using a Sole Agent

Choosing to sign a sole agency agreement means that you sign with just one estate agent. They’ll get all of the commission from a sale, and this is a process that may actually save you money. Usually, a sole agent will work on a commission rate that is less than 2%. Many people shy away from working with a sole agent, though, because they’re worried about not getting enough exposure. These days, though, it is still possible to get a higher level of exposure, even with just one agent on your side. Because so many agents are using services like Rightmove and Zoopla, your home could still be seen by thousands of viewers, which is a huge plus for many. Keep in mind, though, it is still possible that it will take longer to sell your house if you have just one agent. If you’re in a hurry, this is not the way to go, particularly if the property market in your area is fairly weak and you’re not sure you’ll be able to sell it. If, on the other hand, the market is fairly hot and there are lots of buyers, you can certainly use a sole agent.

Should you choose to sign with a sole agent, remember that you cannot work with any other agents for the length of your contract or you will find yourself in breach of contract and have to pay additional fees? As a result, you may only want to appoint a sole agent for a shorter length of time – like six weeks – so you don’t feel trapped by the contract if your property begins to languish on the market. At that point, you can choose to renegotiate the possibilities.

Signing with Two Agents

Many who ask “How many estate agents should I use?” choose to sign a joint sole agency agreement, and in this scenario, you choose two agents. They work together to decide on what a shared commission might look like. This doesn’t, however, make sense in every scenario. It likely only makes sense if you want both the benefit of a national agent and a local agent. For example, maybe you want a national agent who specialises in vacation properties because your home has a phenomenal location. You may choose this type of agreement because a national agent will help you connect with buyers all over the UK while a local agent will reach out specifically to buyers in your area.

This type of agreement may work well because it allows you to cover a variety of markets. It does, however, involve higher fees – usually more than two percent, and it only makes sense in some cases. If, for example, you’re listing with two local agents, who’re both covering the same market, it doesn’t make a lot of sense as one agent may try to get a free ride from the other one. Should you choose to go forward with this kind of agreement, make sure you sign it for a fairly short length of time, so you can stick to it? As with a sole agreement, if you use a third agent to sell your home, you will be in breach of the contract and have to pay additional fees.

Appointing More than Two Agents

Signing a multiple-agent agreement happens when you have at least three agents acting on your behalf at the same time. In this scenario, essentially you’re listing your home with absolutely everyone. In this type of agreement, usually, the only agent who gets the commission fee is the one who actually gets the sale, so the process might be a bit crazy at times.

You will pay higher fees with this kind of agreement, usually as much as three percent, and you have to deal with several agents who all want to sell the property (at any price) just so they can get the commission fee. Viewing schedules can also become a bit intrusive because there is more than one agent working on your behalf.

If the market is fairly hot in your area, this agreement makes the least sense, as you’re likely to get plenty of buyers. If, though, the market is questionable and you need to move your house as fast as possible, this may be the best way to go forward.

Are There Other Options?

If the answer to “How many estate agents should I use?” seems a bit confusing, that’s because IT IS! Not every home sale works the same way, thus not everyone is going to need the same kind of agent. In fact, you may not need a traditional estate agent at all. Online estate agents are becoming an increasingly popular way to sell a home. Online agents handle thousands of home sales across the UK each year, and they typically charge a lower fee than their traditional offline counterparts. Usually, this is a fixed fee, too, so you won’t have to worry about how much it will change if your home sells for a higher or lower overall price. Online agents give you everything you need to sell your home. They handle the floor plan, they make sure the photos are taken and look great, and they list your home on sites like Rightmove and Zoopla. Most of them will even arrange showings for you (though they don’t actually conduct the showings, you do that part). Many go as far as offering some help when it comes to dealing with the offers on your home and gives you an online all-access pass so you can see how many people are looking at your home online.

Typically you’ll pay less than £1,000 with one of these services, and many even offer a package with the idea that if you don’t sell your home, you won’t have to pay any fees at all. There are also hybrid schemes available today which means you get some of the benefits of a traditional estate agent without the extra fees.

The main benefit of this kind of agent is the fact that you can save quite a bit of money in fees over the course of the sales process. It also puts you in control of the sales process as a whole. You manage absolutely everything on your timeline without the hassle of an agent breathing down your neck continuously. The drawbacks, though, are clear. It’s harder to accurately value your home with a set-up like this one, and you may actually end up paying higher fees than you expected if you don’t read your contract carefully. Additionally, if you’re trying to move through all of this, the time commitment required when you work with an online agent is far higher than when you work with an estate agent, so that can be a fairly serious drawback for some people.

Should you choose to go with this kind of agent, you’ll want to compare plans and packages. Read reviews carefully, then talk to others who have used this kind of service before to be sure you’re getting a good deal.

Naturally, you don’t have to list your home with an estate agent at all. You can sell your home privately as well. A private home sale is just one that doesn’t use the help of an estate agent, and it can save you thousands in estate agent fees. That said, it’s not completely free, as you’ll still likely have to pay for marketing costs among other things. You may also end up with a lower-than-average sales price because you simply don’t have the ability to reach as many buyers. Should you choose to handle your home sale in this manner, you’ll need to begin by preparing your home for sale. You’ll want to do some inside cleaning and decluttering, then work on your home’s kerb appeal. From there, decide on how much to ask for your home. When you work with an estate agent, they typically help you value your home, but if you choose a private sale, you’ll need to take advantage of various online tools and maybe even the services of a professional valuator to come up with a solid number for your home. Once you’re done with those two pieces, you need to begin to prepare your marketing materials. Book a professional real estate photographer to come in, then create leaflets and maybe even an online space advertising your home. You can use leaflets in your local supermarket or newspapers to connect with possible buyers. If you’ve made a website to advertise your home, be sure to list the web address on the leaflet.

Once you have potential buyers, you’ll need to arrange viewings. This can be a little tricky, as this is the one impression viewers will get of your property, so spend some time learning how to do this right. First, make sure your home is as clean as possible during any viewing. You want to make a good impression on buyers. Be sure you turn on all the lights in your space and open the drapes. More light is attractive to potential buyers. Open the windows for about fifteen minutes if you can before a potential buyer comes through to help get some fresh air into your property. As you show the home, pay close attention to the things buyers want to see most like a beautiful back garden, a spacious entryway, or something similar. Offer historical details, and answer any questions they have. The goal is to create a relaxed atmosphere where they can truly get a sense of the home. After you’ve shown them everything, retreat to a quiet space or even outside so the potential buyers can go back and revisit features they love or discuss the property without you present. This can help them make decisions, something they’re not likely to do if you’re hovering over them.

The next step is to start accepting offers and negotiate a price. You need to know exactly how much you’re willing to accept, as some buyers may not offer you the selling price itself. If you have to turn down an offer, do so, but be friendly about it. They may still come back with another offer.

When you hear an offer you like, send a buyer written confirmation, then contact a conveyancing solicitor to help you finish the sale of your property. They’ll handle all of the legal paperwork required in the UK, and you can walk away with a check by the end of the process.

Still not sure that’s the way to go? You have one final option. Work with a “Cash for Homes” company. These are investment companies across the UK that buy homes to either renovate and resell or to use as rental properties. This process begins when you take a closer look at their website to see if they might be buying homes in your area. Usually, you just have to enter your postcode. If they are buying homes in your area, you will typically get a preliminary offer within a day or two, then they later visit your home to have it professionally valuated and formalise the offer. You’re under no obligation until the offer is formalised, and you’re typically not on the hook for any valuation fees. If you’re happy with the number they give you – usually about 75% of the fair market value price – you begin proceedings with your conveyancing solicitor at their cost. Within just a few weeks, you can exchange contracts and complete the sale of your home.

This is a fairly quick process, but you don’t always get exactly what your home is worth. The bonus of these kinds of sales, though, is that they are typically as-is sales, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning or repairs before you sell the property, and unless something major is uncovered during the home survey, you won’t have to worry about making changes to your home at all. It’s the best possible option if you need to sell your home as quickly as possible.

So, How Many Estate Agents Should I Use?

The answer to this question genuinely depends on your situation. You can choose not to use an estate agent at all. You could choose to use an online agent. You could choose to use as many agents as you like. Think hard about the fees involved. Consider how quickly you need to get your home off the market. Think, too, about how much time you have to deal with selling your house and how much help you might need in that process. Then choose the perfect number of estate agents to meet your needs.

We are proud members of...

  • NAPB
  • RICS
  • The Property Ombudsman
  • Trading Standards

We are proud to be the most regulated property buyer operating in the ‘Quick House Sale’ industry. We are an active member of the NAPB (National Association Of Property Buyers) and are RICS regulated, which means you can have every confidence of selling your home with us quickly & easily.