Friday 5 April 2013 8.41am
This is always a bit tricky. I have bought and sold a few properties and the experience from agent to agent varies enormously. I would not be so concerned with the location of the agent any more as most people register with agents and/or use the internet these days. I used Stirling Ackroyd most recently to sell and I must say I was pretty impressed by them. I have also bought from Foxtons, which was fine, but would never sell with them (for a whole of host of reasons that I will avoid spelling out for threat of legal action). I would avoid Urban Moves for similar reasons though Stirling Ackroyd were very helpful, as were Daniel Cobb (but a very small outfit with limited stock). Field & Sons on Borough High Street
were the most useless of all (comical actually) when buying. The woman I dealt with knew nothing, forgot keys, got lost etc etc. Very funny but did mean that anyone trying to sell with her as their agent was in for a long wait ...
My best advice would be:
(1)Look at which agent is selling other similar properties (there is a good chance their client list will be better suited to your property)
(2)Ensure you know which people will actually be showing your home to buyers (Stirling Ackroyd introduced me to the two people and I talked them round the place). Make sure you are happy with these people: if not, walk away. They are often 'wide boys' or 'posh girls', neither of which stay long in the business or are much good at it IMHO. I prefer the 'career agent' though I think that is quite a rarity in London.
(3) Check the agents opening times and availability for viewings thoroughly. It is astonishing how many of them only work Mon-Fri 9-5, which ain't great for selling a house when most people will want to view at the weekend.
(4) Negotiate on rates, they are desperate for business at the moment. I have always managed to play them off against each other and get the rates reduced (though have often then not gone with the cheapest).
(5) Remember that they invariably work on commission with short-term targets and so often a sale is a sale, regardless of whether it is the best deal for the client.