Which estate agent should I choose?

Angela Ellis

There are a variety of measures to help you choose your selling agent. I’ve put together some questions for you to think about outside of your gut instinct when discussing your moving plans with the valuer. Some of these questions are easy to answer and others will need input from the agents themselves. The most questions fall under the ‘Marketing your home’ for good reason…

Pricing your home.

Do they have a local branch?
Local knowledge is invaluable when pricing and marketing your home. Not only will the agent know the area and what comparable properties have sold for, they’ll also be familiar with unique selling points in the area for potential buyers such as transport links, nearest shops and school catchments.

Marketing your home.

What advertising do they do locally? 
You’ll see a vast difference in the marketing exposure from one agent to the other. Some agents, like us, will invest in different media to ensure our brand reaches the local community in a variety of ways. The more advertising an agency does, the more potential buyers they're likely to attract as a result. We want to be the first brand you think of when it comes to buying, selling, letting or renting.

Have they used professional photography? 
Look at the agent’s adverts and property details, taking particular note of the quality of the photographs. We have our own professional photographer, who has a licence to offer drone photography. See some examples here.
Have you seen their boards around? 
‘FOR SALE’ boards will give you a good indicator of who your neighbours are choosing to sell through but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve chosen the leading agent or a quality one. If there’s a board up at a neighbour you know well, ask how it’s going. It’s worth noting that a ‘FOR SALE’ board that’s been up a while isn’t necessarily an indicator that the agent isn’t producing results (although it might be!), it could be that the property has been priced too high or that the owner won’t accept an offer below asking price.
Do they accompany viewings? 
The agents that offer cheap fees, such as online agents, are usually doing a lot less for that money. One of the first things that ‘falls off’ the marketing package is accompanied viewings. That and a dedicated person to progress your sale effectively. Aside from being a safety issue for you as a vendor showing strangers around your home, there are a huge number of benefits to a property professional doing that part of the marketing for you. We accompany viewings (and have dedicated sales progressors).

Agent credentials.

Are they members of a credited ombudsman scheme? 
We’re members of the Property Ombudsman (TPO). This independent body gives you, the consumer, the right of redress against any business that have failed to adhere to a strict Code of Conduct. The code considers every element of the process from valuation through to the move in. In the event of an issue, this body will look at their case if they're not satisfied by the agents' own response to a complaint. An accredited agent is different to an award–winning agent where, in the vast majority of awards, they pay an entry fee to be considered a winner.

What are their reviews like?
Try and use an independent review party like Google rather than a membership site. Sort by newest so you can be sure that the reviews you’re reading are currently relevant. It’s worth looking out for indicators on how responsive an agent was during the sale. The longest and most challenging part of any selling journey is after the sale is agreed to completion and that’s where the difference is service/fees is really apparent.

Feel free to read our reviews ; links below. They’re split across the 4 branches. You’ll see that our Watford branch has the most reviews. That’s because it’s home to our Head Office, Sales Progression team, Property Management team plus our New Homes team – and it’s our oldest branch. Stats are accurate as at 6th July  2024. 

Imagine Watford branch 
754 reviews and an average of 4.7

Imagine Bushey branch 
259 reviews and an average of 4.7

Imagine Hemel Hempstead branch 
264 reviews and an average of 4.9

Imagine WD25 branch 
142 reviews and an average of 4.8

Ready to book a valuer for your free market appraisal? Choose your date by clicking here.