If you are looking to buy or sell a home then you will probably want to work with an estate agent. While it is possible to shop around and to go through the whole process yourself, working with an estate agent makes life a lot easier because they can handle dealing with members of the public, and they have a large collection of contacts so they will be able to connect buyers and sellers far more efficiently than the average individual.
If you’re a seller, then working with estate agents online means that you won’t need to answer endless calls from people who claim they want to come to view the property, but who are really time wasters. If you’re a buyer, then you will be able to tell the property agent that you want a 3 bedroom house of X, XXX sq ft, and that you would like it to be in a certain area. They’ll be able to help you find that property far more efficiently than you would be able to hunt one out yourself. Never underestimate the power of connections!
When you look for estate agents online, you’ll find that there’s a huge range of choices out there. Some are smaller, local companies and some are big chains that have offices all over the country. They all have knowledge of the market though and they all have a lot of expertise to share. They can help you to negotiate the best deal whether as a buyer or a seller. They know what the market rate is for a given type of property, and they’ll do their best to find a property within your budget, or help you to secure a quick sale. If you don’t like dealing with “tyre kickers” when it comes to selling your home, the having someone to field calls and answer questions, and to do the difficult task of turning down lowball offers, will help to take a lot of the stress out of moving.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to moving – the practical issues and the actual act of moving is one part of it, and the financial is another. Broken chains and slow-moving banks can be a thorn in the side of any would-be mover. Using estate agents online can shield you from many of these challenges, since you will be connected with comparatively pre-qualified people, and there will be more focus on who and what you are dealing with.
Some people even discuss issues with estate agents before they are ready to sell a property. Take, for example, updating a house. It is possible to over-invest in your home. If you have a house in a comparatively low-value property area, and you upgrade to the latest triple glazing, landscape both gardens, install a pond at the front and a pool at the back, get the latest heating and air conditioning, and a conservatory – you have a mansion in an area where most people are living in small semi-detached cottages. Very few buyers who are willing to spend that much money would want to live in that kind of area. Other things such as local amenities, crime rate, public transport links, etc, all impact the price of a property. Essentially, your postcode is wrong for the property that you live in – and you’ll struggle to recoup the value of all of those investments when you come to move.
Now, if you’re not planning on moving in the next decade then you may not be too concerned about whether that £10,000 extension really adds enough value to your house to make it worth it. If you are debating a move in the next few years, though, it is well worth discussing your plans with an expert so that you don’t waste money and end up out of pocket massively when you decide to buy a different home.
As a buyer, you will have a Wishlist – things that you need and things that you would like the house to have. Some of those things you can figure out just by looking at property listings and maps. Some may need you to visit the area a couple of times to figure out. Some are best learned by talking to the real estate company that you are working with.
You can check league tables to work out how good a school is. You can look at local listings to find out where the nearest doctor’s surgery is, and even get ratings from the NHS to see if the surgery is a popular one. There are websites that will show you bus timetables so you can work out how easy it is to commute to work, and driving distances are simple to check too. Some things can’t be worked out via Google, though. That’s where viewing the area comes in, and that’s where talking to a real estate specialist will also help you. It is the job of the realtor to sell, and that means they’re not going to say “hmm, that’s a rough area” – but they will most likely steer you to a given area based on your demographics – the properties they would recommend to a young professional will be rather different to the ones they would suggest to a family or a retiring couple. Take advantage of that knowledge.