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Common Problems When Using An Estate Agent To Sell Your House

Many homeowners assume the only way to sell a property is by marketing it with an estate agent. However, there are alternative routes to sale,…


Many homeowners assume the only way to sell a property is by marketing it with an estate agent. However, there are alternative routes to sale, and you may want to explore these if you experience any or all of the following common problems when using an estate agent to sell your house.

  1. They Over-Value Your Home

Some estate agents will value your property above its actual market value in a bid to wow you and get your business. As a result, you will struggle to get viewings, let alone offers.

Setting a high asking price then reducing it will delay the sales process. A recent study by Rightmove found that homes that are priced “right” from day one sell on average 26 days quicker than properties given a high asking price which then has to be reduced. Don’t just go with the estate agent that offers the highest valuation. Do your own research into how much properties similar to yours are selling for locally to gauge how realistic your estate agents’ valuations are.

  1. Their Communication Is Poor

There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for news of viewings and offers only to be met by a wall of silence. Your estate agent should be easy to contact during standard office hours and efficient to respond to any messages or update requests you send. 

If you’re not happy with the service provided, shop around and take your business elsewhere. There are hundreds of online, high street and hybrid estate agents to choose from. 

  1. They Encourage A Bidding War

The higher the sale price you achieve for your home, the more commission the estate agent gets. As a result, they may encourage competition between buyers and instigate a bidding war.

While this can help bump up the final sale price — good news for you and the estate agent — it may also put some buyers off. And remember, the best offer is not necessarily the highest one. A chain-free, cash buyer might be forced to withdraw from the bidding because they can’t match an offer from someone who is in a chain and needs to secure a mortgage. This may mean you lose someone in a very strong buying position. 

  1. They Pressure You To Use Their Mortgage Services

Many estate agencies partner with specific mortgage lenders. The estate agent receives a commission for every customer they refer successfully. 

As a result, some agents will pressure you to use their affiliated lender, even if this is not the best option for you.

  1. They Lack Experience In Selling Your Type Of Property

Some estate agents specialise in a particular type of property. Even if they don’t advertise this fact, every agent probably has some homes that they have more experience selling than others. 

Does your property fall outside of their field of expertise? If so, they may not be the most efficient agency to use if you want to sell your house fast.

  1. They Try To Sell You Additional Advertising

If your house is proving hard to sell, your estate agent might try to convince you that investing in additional advertising is the way to go. This may be worth exploring, but in general, it’s your estate agent’s job to market your property for the commission you have agreed to pay them when it sells. 

Estate agent fees currently stand at an average rate of 1.18% for a sole agency agreement on a “no sale no fee” basis. That amounts to £3,194 for a property that sells for £270,703, the average house price in the UK. And some agencies charge a much higher rate. These fees should cover all the advertising necessary to sell your house.

  1. They Aren’t Proactive Enough

A house won’t sell itself. You hire an estate agent to manage all aspects of selling your property, from valuation and marketing to hosting viewings and negotiating the final sale price.

If your estate agent isn’t motivated or is juggling too many clients, they probably won’t be as proactive as they need to be to book viewings and get offers. 

Using an estate agent to sell your property is not the only option. You can also sell privately, at auction or via a cash house buying company. Is your estate agent delivering the service you expect for the commission they will earn from your house sale? If not, shop around for another agent or consider alternative routes to sale.

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