As you might imagine, conveyancers work with all the estate agents around their offices, and so will know who perform well, and who do not.
The quality of estate agents does vary, and quite dramatically. To be fair, the same is true with conveyancers, and indeed most ‘service’ providers. Some estate agents are part of the local community, others more national, ‘HQ target’ driven.
If you are tempted to choose an estate agent on price, you could lose thousands off your eventual sale price, as without a suitable reward/incentive, what motivates an estate agent to negotiate a buyer to increase their offer?
Instead, your conveyancer should be able to offer their informed experience of each estate agent, based on a range of factors such as:
- conveyancing firms are frequently appointed as executors under wills, and they will be responsible for selling property. Conveyancers will experience the quality of estate agents first hand.
- customer feedback about the estate agents which the conveyancer hears from their same selling client
- working knowledge of the personalities of estate agent staff during the legal side of things; how they conduct themselves generally as estate agents, and how they interact specifically with the conveyancer
- how involved the estate agent office typically becomes with the conveyancing process - which can be invaluable, thus making their commission rate far better value for money. Many estate agents cease involvement upon a buyer being found, or some just ask for updates from the conveyancers, but offer no help/assistance in return. Securing one who finds a buyer and then assists the lawyers keep the chain moving along is priceless.
- the conveyancer themselves may have used a particular estate agent personally, whether as a seller or buyer, and so know first hand their service on offer
- your conveyancer will know which estate agents might:
- tie you up into selling with them for a minimum period of time (most have no tie-ins so you are free to change quickly if they under perform)
- charge you up front for things, where most do not
- deliberately overvalue your property to falsely attract your business, but then end up selling for far less in the end
- overcharge their commission, or inflate the price of an EPC
- put off your buyers by hard selling their 'out of county' conveyancers, or narrowly selected mortgages, surveys etc which are not in fact wanted and cause potential buyers to walk away
Asking your conveyancer in the same town is very valuable, and you may be surprised who they do not recommended - avoiding you in costly wrong choices.