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I have followed advice and asked three agents to give me a valuation and quote their fees. Each agent has given a different price and a different fee. Do I go with the highest price or the lowest fee?

Setting the right asking price at the beginning is essential in getting the best sale price. Set it too high and you will deter potential buyers, your property will linger on the market and you will find the price needs to be reduced, probably below the value you could have achieved if you had priced it competitively in the first place. Buyers are savvier than ever, they have access to far more information and are able to easily find the price history of the property and how long it’s been on the market. If you are also looking for a property to buy, consider the thought processes you are going through.

Firstly they should build their proposed marketing strategy around your circumstances. Does the agent understand your situation and your motives for selling - for example do you need a quick sale and be moved by a certain date? The agent must justify the price they are suggesting. In a market where there are more buyers than sellers unfortunately some agents resort to inflating their value just to get the instruction. Can they show you comparable properties they have sold or are currently marketing?

Choosing your agent purely on the fee can ultimately cost you much more than the apparent saving you make in the fee you pay. As with most things in life reducing what you pay will affect the level of service and the amount and quality of resources you receive. You don’t want to be penny wise, pound foolish.

Look at the bigger picture – a saving of a fraction of a percentage point of the fee can result in a sale thousands of pounds lower than may have been possible - or even achieving a sale at all. 

To achieve the best price – in the timescale you need, requires your agent to put your property in front of as many potential buyers as possible. Online is an important aspect of an agent's marketing reach. Are they advertising on the main and most searched property portals? Such as Zoopla, Rightmove and Prime Location? Are they giving you an enhanced listing so that your property stands out? Is their own website clear and easy to search? Do they provide good quality photographs and wherever possible a property video (You Tube is the second most popular search engine)? Does their brand and general advertising attract potential buyers to contact them? This will all add to the number of buyers they have on their books, as will their network of offices and whether buyers and properties are actively shared between branches.

You will want your agent to filter interest in your property so they won’t waste your time arranging viewings for people that are blatently not interested or haven’t got the budget. When looking at the fee also consider if they will personally accompany all viewings as this could be vital in achieving the best price. They will be trained to identify the buying signals and encourage buyers to make an offer and to give you useful feedback so if there is a specific aspect of the property deterring buyers it can be identified and potentially rectified.

Question your agent and find out their experience and process of progressing your sale. Finding a buyer is just part of the job. One of the most important aspects of selling is ensuring the sale goes through. A good and experienced agent is best placed to help steer progress by liaising with both sides, their solicitors, surveyors and lender. They can also keep on top of any chain. In addition they will be able to spot potential problems and deal with any issues that arise.

Choosing which agent to sell your property will often come down to basic human emotions; who has the most empathy with you and who do you trust the most to do a good job for you. It will usually be based on who has given the best presentation, but be sure the promises are backed up with substance and fact. So check their website for social proof such as video testimonials from real customers.