When it comes to selling your central London home, whether in Hyde Park, Marble Arch, Knightsbridge or elsewhere, your aim is likely to be finding the right buyer for a smooth sale, in as short a time as possible while achieving your optimum selling price.
The way you use estate agents can affect this. If you’re wondering whether it's possible to use more than one estate agent, the short answer is yes. However, there are many other factors you should consider. For anyone thinking of using more than one estate agent, we look at the different types of agency agreement to help you sell in the best way for you.
What do sole, joint and multiple estate agent agreements mean?
When you appoint an estate agent to sell your house you will need to sign an agency agreement. This essentially outlines the rights and responsibilities of both the seller and the agent. You pay the agent a fee - usually a percentage commission - and in return they handle the selling of your home. Agency agreements come in three main types; sole agency, joint agency, and multiple agency.
A sole agency agreement is where only one agent works to sell the house and, in return, receives all the commission. This is an exclusive contract that typically lasts for two to five months. If, by the end of the contract, your house hasn’t sold you have the option to either continue the agreement, take on an additional agent, or change agency altogether.
A joint agency agreement is where you use two different agencies to sell your home. You might decide to do this if you are looking for agents with different expertise in order to reach a larger market. For example, you may use a local agency with knowledge about your area as well as a national agency that focuses on luxury properties. Before deciding on a joint agreement, it's important to know exactly what benefits each agency will bring to selling your home. Joint agency agreements typically come with higher fees, so you need to be sure the extra investment is worth it.
A multiple agency agreement is generally used to sell a house very quickly. You can use as many agencies as you want and can make new contracts at any stage. Only the agency that sells the house gets the commission. This makes it a competitive way of selling your house as each agency is working against the others to seal the deal. However, multiple agency agreements also attract the highest fees.
What are the pros and cons of using more than one agent to sell your house?
Pros of sole agency agreements
- Sole agency agreements have the lowest fees out of all the options at around 1.5% + VAT on average in London.
- For a sought-after property in a desirable area, using a sole agency is beneficial as the house is likely to attract buyers regardless.
- They are easier for you to organise and manage as you only need to deal with one company when it comes to viewings, photographs etc.
- Property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla already share your home with a wider range of potential buyers, so you may not need the extra exposure additional agents bring.
Cons of sole agency agreements
- Even with access to the online portals, you will still be exposed to a smaller market than if you use multiple agencies.
- If you change your mind about your estate agent, you may be stuck with them for a minimum period, so it's important to think about the length of your contract carefully before you sign up.
- You may end up with lower offers.
Pros of multiple agency agreements
- They widen the market of potential buyers - particularly when it comes to agents’ buyer lists in the luxury central London market.
- You can access a range of skills from each agency, for example one may have a high-profile clientele, one may be better at marketing.
- They often result in quicker sales.
- The competitive nature of these arrangements often means agencies work harder to secure a deal.
- They can sometimes result in higher offers.
Cons of using multiple agency agreements
- They come with the highest fees at around 2 to 3% + VAT.
- The agents are keen to make a deal and can push you to agree to offers you aren’t happy with.
- Having multiple listings of a property can come across as desperate and put off potential buyers
Which option is best for me?
Before you decide whether to use more than one agent to sell your home, think about your priorities for the sale. For example, if it’s necessary that your property is sold fast, then using multiple agencies might be the solution. However, if you are selling in a desirable area, it can be better to use one agency and wait for the best offer to come through. A good option, if you are unsure which agreement is best for you, is to make a sole agency agreement but only for a short period of time. This means you can gauge the popularity of your house and familiarise yourself with the current market, while having the opportunity to change agreements by the end of the contract.
Top tips for working with a sole agent
If you are going with one agent, choose wisely – get at least three valuations and ask plenty of questions to assess their success at selling your type of property in your area. Look for personal recommendations and at reviews too.
Our tips for building are successful working relationship are:
- Be clear about your expectations and priorities when selling, are you looking for a quick sale, a smooth process with a cash buyer or are you happy to hold out for the best offer?
- Read the contract carefully before you sign, if something doesn’t look right – ask.
- Make sure everything you are expecting is included and that the tie in period works for you.
- Be ready to act at every stage, getting a conveyancer in place and responding to queries quickly.
- Be flexible about viewings and listen to their suggestions based on feedback.
If you’re concerned about something, talk to your agent and resolve the issue as soon as possible.
If you’re wondering which estate agent to choose to sell your central London property, Plaza Estates can help. With experience and knowledge of the local market we’d be happy to give you a valuation and talk about the different agreements we offer.