By Nick Eley, chairman of the N&DAEA and a partner at Watsons in Norwich
It is almost a year since I took over as Chairman of the Norwich & District Association of Estate Agents with one of the objectives being to grow the membership, not least because of those firms who did not survive the dip in our economy and decided to close their business reducing our number. I am delighted to welcome 6 new members; Bedfords in Burnham Market, Barn Masters in Norwich, Parsons & Company, Dereham & Reepham, Homeworks Taverham & Thorpe Marriott, Property Ladder, Norwich and Warners of Wymondham. Having recently opened up membership to the county it is pleasing to see 3 good quality, long established county estate agents recognising the benefits of membership and giving further choice for buyers and sellers. This raises the issue of how you choose your estate agent? I am bound to say just choose a member of the Norwich & District – problem solved! But of course the real world is not like this. It is always interesting to know why home owners use a particular agent – recommendation, I know your name, I have seen your boards about, you have the property I want to buy; your firm has been around along time. I acted for a client who could not make up their mind which agent they preferred so chose my firm because their name was Watson! Any seller should ideally arrange 2/3 market appraisals carefully selecting an agent who sells their type of property. This will probably include a variety of agents unless your home occupies a more specialist sector of the market. All agents are definitely not the same, do your homework – get recommendations from family, friends & neighbours; how does the agent sell themselves, what professional bodies do they belong to, what do their sale details look like, what investment do they make to market your home and finally don’t get sucked into a long contract period (if they don’t perform you are stuck) or offering the highest asking price and lowest fee, this probably won’t equate to a quality, professional service and the agent negotiating the best possible price.
Nick Eley is on 01603 619916.