How to Choose the Right Type of Estate Agent

We’ve put together a short guide on how to find the right estate agent. You’ll find a list of different kinds of estate agents, with an explanation of how each one is different.

8th February, 2023

Updated 11/10/2023

When it comes to choosing an estate agent, you’ll find there are many kinds to choose from. It can be confusing with so many to sift through.

We’ve put together a short guide on how to find the right estate agent. You’ll find a list of different kinds of estate agents, with an explanation of how each one is different. After reading this guide, you’ll find it easier to choose the right estate agent for your situation.


List of Different Kinds of Estate Agents

1. DIY/Online Only

Technology has brought huge changes to the real estate market. The way you search for properties has changed, and the way estate agents work has also had to change to meet modern demands. For instance, online property portals such as Zoopla have made it unnecessary to visit a high street estate agent to discuss your property requirements.

Today, you can search for the right property online by typing in the search parameters and pressing a button. This has brought about online/DIY estate agents, who offer a more cost-effective service.

If you choose an online/DIY estate agent, be prepared to carry out certain tasks on your own. These can include taking your own photos, conducting viewings, negotiating offers, and more.

This type of service requires a seller who’s confident and comfortable doing all this work on their own behalf while also having direct contact with the buyer. This can be helpful to move the legal process along faster; however, it can also be more time-consuming for you.


2. Large Corporate Firms

Large corporate firms are usually chain real estate firms that have estate agents. These are large, established brands that offer multiple branches; some even have international branches. Estate agents with large corporate firms usually have a high street presence and work within normal business hours.

Some customers are more comfortable with these estate agents. They view these companies and estate agents as trustworthy, tried, and tested. The companies have been around for years, too. All of this can make a customer more comfortable.

Corporate firms usually have a larger team, and their service may be a little less personal. They usually have high overheads (an office on the high street is expensive). For these reasons, their estate agents need to sell a high number of properties to pay the bills.

These firms also have established procedures and processes that can sometimes make their sales strategy more of a “one size fits all” affair rather than taking a customised approach.

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3. Small Independents

Next on our list of different types of estate agents, we have the small independents. These are your local “village” agents. They’ve been around for years and usually run established businesses, some of which may be established family businesses.

For many locations, these are the agents most customers choose. Small independent agents usually have a high street presence and operate within normal business hours.

These businesses may have a smaller team; however, their services are usually more customised and personal. But they also need to sell many properties to fund their business and pay overhead on their high street offices.


4. Personal Estate Agents & Property Finders

Personal estate agents & property finders are usually one man that has set up their own business. These are usually highly experienced estate agents that may have come from corporate or independent real estate agencies. However, they’ve now started their own businesses.

These estate agents usually don’t have a presence on the high street, and they may work on the road, out in the local community. You may find them working at a local coffee shop, which is quite acceptable. In addition, these agents may offer their services outside of normal business hours.

Some customers prefer to have the security of a large team so they know their house sale is taken care of, even when their agent takes time off. However, personal estate agents & property finders do have support staff that provides that crucial support for their customers.

These agents usually work with a small number of customers and help them with the sales process. In addition, the agents may also help customers find their next home and oversee the entire transaction.

Because these estate agents work on a smaller scale, they offer a more personalised service, with marketing tailored to you and your property.


5. Property Cash Buyers

The final type of estate agent on our list is property cash buyers. These estate agents work for customers who want to sell their homes for cash. Property cash buyers work with their customers to offer a more cost-effective and fast sale of their property.

These estate agents are different from other types of estate agents. They provide a transparent, flexible solution for homeowners who want or need an alternative approach to traditional property sales methods.

Some property cash buyers can keep the sales process simple with only a few steps. These steps can include the following:

  1. Fill out a form and request a callback. One of the agent’s team gets in touch, and they provide a cash offer over the phone and in writing.
  2. If the customer accepts the offer, the property cash buyer does a basic legal check as their customer fills out some paperwork. The agent then instructs a solicitor (this may be included in the fee). Then a valuation company visits the customer’s property (this cost may also be covered).
  3. When everything is found to be in order and correct, the agent checks with the customer. If they still want to make a cash sale to this company, the contracts are exchanged and the cash is put in the customer’s bank account.

This is a simplified process, but it’s not much harder than this to use a property cash buyer. It’s possible to sell your home without paying anything!

Summing It Up

There are several types of estate agents to choose from when you’d like to sell your home. Each agent comes with their own pros and cons; however, one of the easiest to use and the best deal may come from the property cash buyer.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How do I find the best estate agent for my needs? To find the best estate agent, start by identifying your specific needs and preferences. Then, research agents in your area, read reviews, and ask for recommendations from friends or family.

2. Are online estate agents as effective as traditional ones? Online estate agents can be effective, especially if you’re comfortable with technology and a more hands-on approach. However, they may not provide the same level of personal service as traditional agents.

3. What questions should I ask potential estate agents? Ask about their experience, local knowledge, fees, and how they plan to market your property or find your dream home. Don’t hesitate to ask for references.

4. Can I negotiate an estate agent’s fees? Yes, many estate agents are open to fee negotiations. It’s worth discussing their pricing and any discounts they may offer.

5. What is the role of a specialist estate agent? Specialist estate agents focus on specific property types or niches, bringing in-depth knowledge and expertise in those areas. They can be valuable for unique real estate needs.

6. How can I ensure a successful real estate transaction with my chosen estate agent? Clear and open communication is key. Stay involved in the process, ask questions, and make sure your agent understands your goals and preferences.

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