Eckersley White Estate Agents in Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent

When the time comes to sell your home, how do you choose which estate agent to appoint? You have a tremendous choice of agencies and on the surface most appear to do more or less the same thing. But there is far more to moving than simply finding a buyer and it is critical that, when the time comes, you choose the right agent for you, your property and your situation.

A good starting point is to find an agent who clearly understands the stresses involved in moving and who accepts that you are likely to want to sell your home with minimal stress and for the most attractive figure the current market will pay within a convenient timescale.

Many agents make unrealistic claims and rash promises, so here are some guidelines which we hope will help you choose the right agent to sell your home.

Local Expertise
Buyers overwhelmingly prefer to work with local experts, who they regard as "in the know" so choose a well established local agent.

Valuation
Beware! It is well known that some agents deliberately overvalue in order to impress you and secure your instruction, so don't fall into the trap of simply choosing the agent with the highest valuation. An inflated price attracts the wrong buyers to your property, and the right buyers never see it, resulting in the property going stale on the market. This often leads to the property falling below its true market value.

The issue of correct valuation is paramount. It is critical that you appoint an agent who not only has a track record of successful sales in the area (not just properties on the market) but also has a thorough working knowledge of current buyer activity, and who can interpret prevailing market trends to your advantage.

Communication
Too many agencies only communicate good news and that's easy! Good agents are in frequent contact with their clients and have the experience and honesty to advise you if anything needs to be done to improve your chances of an impressive sale.

Enthusiasm
If an agent is not enthusiastic about your property - don't instruct them. A positive approach to selling your home is essential if buyers are to be inspired into buying your home.

The Directors
Choose an agent that is owned and run by property professionals who are interested in your sale, rather than by people who are simply employed to build an empire.

Floorplans
Good estate agents provide floorplans on their particulars. They are far more helpful and accurate than the flowery description some agents still use, and buyers find them invaluable. Floorplans improve the quality of viewings because they weed out clearly unsuitable purchasers and can motivate those who might otherwise not have viewed your property.

Virtual Tours
We choose to use virtual tours of our clients' property on our website. We do not believe that anyone will buy your property unless they actually step inside and have a look for themselves, but virtual tours can increase viewings.

Advertising
Make sure you choose an agent that advertises properties similar to yours in the local media. Chances are that they will already have a large pool of buyers who have enquired about similar homes to yours.

SMS Text Messaging
Be sure to appoint an agent who employs the latest technology to ensure that their buyers are offered your property first. One of the reasons for our high viewing rate is that within minutes of a property becoming fully available, details are sent as a text message or email to all suitable buyers.

Internet
The internet is a valuable tool in estate agency but don't be impressed by any "hit" claims. All web-enabled agents are exposed to many buyers, but how well do they qualify those buyers when it comes to discussing your home? It is very easy for a "buyer" to register a passing interest. It takes a well trained agent to identify those buyers who have a serious and pressing need to move. Find out how easy it is for buyers to use an agents' property search facility by visiting their website yourself. Is it impressive, state of the art, and does it provide useful buying and selling advice?

Property Portals
80% of buyers use the internet when looking for a property so you need to be sure that your property can be found and promoted quickly and easily. An agent might have a great website and that's fine, but do they subscribe to the most effective property portals, because this is how buyers are directed to your property when they search using the search engines such as Google, Ask Jeeves, Excite or Yahoo. Three of the UK's market leading sites are Rightmove.co.uk, Primelocation.co.uk, Propertyfinder.com and Property Live. Good agents list their clients' property on one of these, but very few list on all. If you want maximum coverage leading to more prospective buyers and therefore the chance to achieve the best possible price for your home, then you really should use an agent who subscribes to ALL of these major portals.

Lettings
When you are choosing a selling agent, do make sure you choose one who also handles lettings. Letting agents have long term buy-to-let property investors permanently on their books who buy regularly. They know the agents, and they make quick decisions and reliable offers. They prefer to buy through an agency that does lettings because it is easy for them to let out their new investment. Also many tenants also register to buy. Good letting agents build strong relationships with their tenants and are in a good position to help them buy one of their own selling clients' properties.

It also means that, should you decide to let your property out instead of selling it, the same agent can handle both - whichever comes along first.

After-Sales Liaison
Some agents think the sale is done when a buyer is found, and some sales negotiators are incentivised to arrange sales but not necessarily to see them through to completion. Many a sale has been lost due to poor follow-up or inadequate liaison with surveyors or solicitors. About 35% of sales arranged in England and Wales fall through (although far fewer than this in our case). So choose an agent that provides a proactive sales progression service that employs people who are trained to spot potential difficulties long before they arise, and who spend time working towards a successful outcome.'

Search our database of properties for sale in Gosport, Alverstoke, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hill Head and Stubbington.

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