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Complete Guide to Estate Agents

Ever thinking of selling your house or simply wanting to know how to become an estate agent? You will need to equip yourself with knowledge of what estate agents do and how they run their businesses. So, what is an estate agent? An estate agent is an independent party that helps in the buying, leasing and selling of properties, on behalf of their clients, charging a fee or commission for the services they provide. They may also negotiate all deals and market the property through their own expert channels.

What an estate agent does

To put it simply, selling a property can be time consuming and complicated. A good estate agent will preside over the whole process, advising the client on pricing and negotiations. Estate agents often liaise with building societies, mortgage companies, surveyors, solicitors and banks during the transaction process. If you are looking out for an estate agent for your home, then you should compare estate agent fees, as they may vary, depending on the location and size of the sale. Typical agent commissions in the UK vary between 1.5 - 2.5 percent of the value of the property sale.

How to find and choose an estate agent

How can you make sure you're getting a top estate agent and not one who is brand new to the industry? The answer is to ask lots of questions. Estate agents are required by law to answer all questions honestly, so take advantage of your opportunity to get to the truth.

Here are some questions that can help you determine your agent's qualifications:

  • How long have you been an estate agent? You want to hear them say that they've been in the business full time for more than five years. Selling houses is a tricky business and it takes time to learn all the complexities. Also, it's important that they experienced the housing crash of 2008. If they made it through that period, they likely have some level of competency.
  • How many homes have you sold in my area? Of course, being an estate agent for a long time doesn't automatically mean they're qualified. You also want someone who is specifically experienced in your area. That will help them better market your home and find the right buyers.
  • Do you have any certifications? Estate agents can earn various certifications over time that help demonstrate their knowledge and experience in certain areas. The best agents will have these certifications. If your agent does not, that could be a red flag.
  • How long have you been with your firm? Beware of the agent who bounces around from firm to firm. That could be a sign that the agent is a journeyman who can't seem to stick anywhere. One or two moves is okay, any more than that means you should ask more questions.

Working as an estate agent

If you are looking to become an estate agent, you should have excellent verbal and written skills, with the ability to deal with people from different backgrounds. You should also have good business acumen be able to negotiate and sell, to meet your targets. While estate agents are paid a salary, their commissions are much more lucrative - so, the more you sell, the more you earn. If you have an interest in property and the housing market, then becoming an estate agent might be a good career choice.

Estate agent qualifications do not necessarily entail a degree, but it is recommended. A postgraduate qualification is not necessary, as professional exams may be taken once you enter into the role and gain a little experience. There are many estate agents who are present in the market. This is evident from the numerous estate agent signs you will come across when driving through the country, but it has the potential to be a lucrative career field, because of the sheer volume and value of property sales that take place in the UK. In fact, estate agents are known to draw very lucrative paychecks at the end of the month.

Alternatives to estate agents

Of course, you could skip the entire process of hiring an estate agent and sell your home to us here at Fast Sale Today. We pay cash for homes and close within 28 days. Very often, our sellers walk away with more cash than they would have had they used an agent. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.


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