With so many estate agents in Bishop’s Stortford, it can be hard to know what to look for in an agent let alone in their contract.
Although contracts sound scary and full of pitfalls, if you know what to look out for you can make sure that you ‘re happy signing a contract and that you instruct the best Bishop’s Stortford based estate agent for you!
So what do you need to be wary of in estate agency contract?
- Percentage rates and VAT– on lots of estate agent contracts, particularly in Bishops Stortford, you may just see the percentage fee you will be required to pay, now while this may well be correct not all agents include VAT within the percentage that they quote you.
- Tie-ins and notice periods– most agents will have a tie-in period of between 6 to 8 weeks to give them a chance to sell your property before you consider changing agents, however some agencies have been known to have tie-in periods for between 12 and 20 weeks so make sure you read the fine print. Also remember to check the notice period your agency has stipulated because if you are unhappy and wish to change agents you may have to give them a certain period of notice, for example, 2 to 4 weeks.
- Types of contract- Make sure you really know what you’re signing up for when it comes to your agency contract. There are 4 different kinds:
- Sole Selling Rights- This means that the agents in question are the only ones allowed to sell your home for you within the given tie-in period AND you have to pay them even if you find your own buyer. Not ideal.
- Sole Agency – This is usually the best option for you and your agent, it’s exactly the same as a sole selling rights contract except you don’t have to pay the agent if you find your own buyer from another source.
- Multi-agency- Again, much the same as the above but you can use as many agents as you like and only pay the one that manages to sell your property for you. Be cautious though as some agents charge higher fees to be in a multi-agency contract and being seen several times listed with different agents on Rightmove can be a disadvantage.
- Ready, willing and able purchaser– Avoid this one at all costs! This sort of contract means that you have to pay the agent for finding you a buyer even if you decide not to sell or take your property off of the market for a while!
- Future Liability- Be careful to read the contract carefully for this. Future liability means that if you stop listing with an agent but then sell your property through someone else a few months later, the original agent can get in touch and demand pay if they “introduced” you to the buyer first. This can happen at any time, even years after you terminated your original contract.
There certainly are a few pitfalls with estate agency contracts, but if you pick the right agent and know what you need to be wary of and you read the documents carefully you should be well on your way to a successful sale.
What to read next? ‘Is now the right time to sell your home?’