Who is the best estate agent in Central London?
A common question we get asked by applicants, landlords and vendors is who is the best estate agent in Central London?
Let’s face it moving to a new house is not something most of us do very often and when the time comes it can be quite daunting. Now more so than ever there is so many choices for a vendor as to how to sell their property and so many potential hurdles to overcome to achieve a successful sale.
So, who should you turn to? Often it varies on five main factors or a combination of:
- The Agents Commission
- The Property Valuation
- The Size of the Estate Agency
- Local Knowledge
- Your Gut Feeling
All these factors will influence who is the best estate agent in Central London.
The Agents Commission
If this is what matters most to you, we suggest you use Purplebricks. They charge low fees and have a strong online presence. Questions have been raised internationally about the validity of their customer reviews and they were banned the industry review site allagents.co.uk for a period of time. Make sure you check the small print as there are charges within it and make sure you do the viewings not only to save money but, so you can monitor their performance. There are obvious disadvantages to the lack of a local presence meaning you don’t get easy face to face interaction and this does hold a bearing on there up to date market knowledge which can lead to overvaluing or undervaluing depending on the market conditions.
Your Property Valuation
Almost everyone believes their own home is worth more than it is, after all its your home, personalised to your own style and holds a sentimental value to you. Many would be vendors are disappointed by honest appraisal substantiated by comparable and market knowledge. If getting the highest valuation is important to you Foxtons will in most cases provide you with a much higher valuation than the competitors.
Foxtons have a large network of branches in London, an award-winning website, excellent online and print marketing coverage as well as a fleet of cars to further advertise their brand. All of this comes at a price with high non-negotiable fees and a long sole agency contract (this means even if you sold your home to a friend they would still be due a fee). In a rising market the foxtons style of agency can work; Prices over recent years in Central London have risen at unsustainable levels meaning that if you leave it on the market long enough the market may catch up to their level but at what cost to you in terms of mortgage payments, service charges, loss of rent or opportunities missed for your next move. Their approach has not changed despite the moving market conditions and this is reflected in their profits warnings and falling share price.
It is worth noting that the wider market always speaks and very rarely do properties sell for more than they are truly worth in any market. If you opt for this kind of agency you may well end up paying a larger fee incurring additional costs as a result of time on the market or switching agents.
The Size of the Estate Agent
Countrywide have a 4000 plus branch network across the country this will enable your property to reach a very wide network nationally. Their presence in Central London is not as strong as in the regions and they do not advertise on www.onthemarket.com.
This leaves you with Global corporates such as Knight Frank and CBRE. Both are huge companies with international presence and trusted by several large developers globally. It is well worth considering these companies but bear in mind developers often incentivise the agents to push the new build properties and as such if your property is not brand new or you have negotiated the fee it may have a bearing on how incentivised the individual agents are to push your property.
It is worth noting that individual branches have a certain commission to hit meaning although they have the capabilities to advertise properties in branches outside the immediate vicinity, often they like to keep the instruction in-house in order to meet their competitive targets.
The best examples of this are local independent experts that have been trading in the area for several years and have a track record of selling properties like yours. In most cases you will also see that the levels of staff retention at these firms is better than the others mentioned in this article.
With time and experience these agents will be able them to give you an accurate valuation because they have up to date market knowledge within the firm and do not just rely on statistics of past sales than can be manipulated.
Often these agents will rely on review sites like Trust Pilot or more specialised industry sites like allAgents.co.uk to sell their brand for them in terms of positive experiences from their clients. Within Central London reliable agents include LDG, Frank Harris, Horne and Harvey, Tavistock Bow and Greater London Properties (GLP).
Your Gut Feeling
This simply relates to how you feel about the individual who attends the valuation. You should ask yourself the following questions;
Is the person likeable?
Would you buy from them?
Can they answer your questions competently?
Do you feel that they will be able to get the property maximum exposure and offer you a level of service right through to completion with as little stress to you as possible?
How long have they been at the company?
How long have they been working in the area?
How involved will they be with the sale if you instruct them?
Can you speak to them easily with regards to marketing and progression?
At this juncture it is worth checking how involved the person carrying out the valuation will be with viewings, progressing the sale and feedback to you.
Hopefully this gives you a better understanding on who is the best estate agent in Central London for you. Choosing the right agent and adopting the right strategy can be crucial in achieving your goals in relation to not only a successful sale but to do so in the least stressful fashion.
If you would like more information feel free to speak to our team at Greater London Properties, give us a call on 0207 113 1066.