November 15, 2018
How to choose the right estate agent to sell your home
So you’ve boxed up a whole load of clutter, you’ve fixed that annoying dripping tap and buffed and polished your home. Well done! Now comes what for some sellers feels like a really challenging task: choosing your estate agent.
Most sellers invite three estate agents to give them an expert valuation, and discuss marketing approach. This does have the added advantage of giving you a balanced view of your home’s potential value, as well as to discover the various agency fees and range of services.
But how do you choose which three estate agents should be on your shortlist, and what criteria should you use to decide which agent will be the right one for you?
Broadly speaking, there are three main types of estate agents: the ‘DIY’ or online estate agent, the corporate, nationwide agent and the local independent estate agent, like Kirkwoods. There are pros and cons of each, and asking the right questions in your agent ‘interviews’ will help you make sense of your options.
Questions to ask prospective estate agents
Here are some pointers to help you prioritise your selection criteria, and sort the wheat from the chaff:
“What’s your commission?” – As with many things in life, the cheapest option isn’t always the best way. You may find that choosing an estate agent with a higher commission rate may mean that they are more driven to complete the sale. Whilst some may be prepared to discount their rate, this could also mean that they are underselling your property. After all, you will be putting your trust in them to negotiate on your behalf with a buyer, so you need to know they won’t crumble at the first sign of pressure!
So how do you decide? Our advice would be to choose someone that you can trust and that has a range of support they can offer you: commission rates are only one part of the process.
“What happens if something goes wrong with my sale?” – if something unexpected happens with your home sale, you need to know that you can take the issue up the chain, to the most senior person available. Ask who that would be, and how you can contact them. Do they take any additional proactive steps to help your sale go through? I have been known known to visit the council and chase them for paperwork for my clients when their house sale hit a complicated patch.
“What marketing do you use?” – the photography and online marketing created by the agent for your property all need to be of the highest quality, so they stand out when compared with the competition, and successfully target the right type of buyer for your home. Take a look at their social media profiles: are they doing any additional marketing to help sell your house. It’s not just a case of displaying details in an estate agent window or putting something online. You could also ask if they offer any support or advice on preparing your home for a photographer’s visit.
“Is your fee payable if you don’t sell my house?” – make sure you’re entering into a no-sale, no-fee agreement, so if you don’t sell, you don’t pay. If you do decide to take your home off the market, there may be some incidental out-of-pocket expenses your agent will ask you to reimburse, so make sure you get these listed and in writing.
You may have the answers to your questions, but how do you choose the right estate agent and make sure they will be on your side, from beginning to end? Here are our five tips to help you choose the right agent for you and your plans:
5 tips to help you choose the Estate Agent that fits with you and your home
You will probably have a rough idea of what your home is worth. We suggest you choose an estate agent with a track record. One who regularly sells homes of the same kind of value and type, who can show you some case studies of similar homes they’ve sold, and who can think of several potential buyers who might be interested in viewing your home.
If securing the lowest possible fee is of the highest priority to you, you may be better using a DIY estate agent. They typically charge a low upfront cost, starting at around £850. Be wary of unexpected add-ons, like your for-sale board and floor plan, and be prepared to do your own viewings and deal with any complications along the chain. You might secure a sale with a low commission, but you could find it daunting if you need to problem solve with other buyers in the chain or need to chase their solicitors and estate agents. This can be time consuming and complicated: having an expert working on your behalf can relieve a lot of additional pressure and stress whilst protecting your best interests and ensuring the best sale price for you. You may find that it is better to pay an estate agent who has a higher rate of commission if it gives you the peace of mind that this will be included in their service to you.
Scroll through Rightmove and click on the homes that really stand out – be it photography, written description, anything that catches your eye (in a positive way). Make a note of the agent. This is what buyers do subconsciously, so by thinking like a buyer, you’ll be drawn to the agent with the best property marketing.
Every agent in the country claims to offer ‘good service’! Selling your home can sometimes be a difficult time and you need to know your agent will remain onside. Choose an agent who listens to you and understands the concerns that you have. A good estate agent won’t have hundreds of homes for sale; they know they need to give all their clients the best possible experience, so you don’t just feel like a number. Have a look at testimonials on their website and on social media. What have their previous clients said about working with them?
What do your instincts tell you? Your estate agent needs to be completely on your side. They need to display enthusiasm for your home, and a belief that they can sell it for the price you want. If you trust them, and genuinely like them, you’re starting the relationship in the best possible way.
If you’re selling your home – or thinking of it, we’d love to have a chat with you. You can pop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01628 509 500 or 07981 314 921.
I’m an award-winning local estate agent and pride myself on going the extra mile for my clients and I’m often receiving lovely thank you cards, gifts and testimonials: you can see some of these on my website.
I often share tips about selling your home on the Kirkwood Personal Estate Agent Facebook Page and lots of other useful information about buying a home in Maidenhead. Click here to see the Kirkwood Facebook Page.
August 16, 2018
When the Cranbook Drive Estate was first built in Maidenhead in late 1970s and early 1980s by Sterling Homes, my mother Iris Kirkwood worked in the show home and then became the main estate agent for Cranbrook Drive Estate and I have continued her expertise and knowledge with Kirkwood Personal Estate Agents.
I’ve lived here on the estate for 30 years and truly feel that it’s a fantastic place to call home. I’ve helped many families build their lives here so I thought I would share a few of the reasons I think it’s a great place to live.
1. The Cranbrook Drive Estate is a home for life: The estate has a variety of style of housing: from 2 bedroom maisonettes to 4 bedroom and detached homes: many of my clients move within the estate as their family grows.
2. All of the houses have parking and/or garages, which is quite rare for Maidenhead.
3. It is a safe and family friendly environment and there are handy shortcuts around the estate to encourage you to walk to local areas.
4. The houses are well built to traditional standards and can easily be extended (subject to planning permission)
5. Cranbrook Drive is just on the edge of acres of beautiful National Trust lands for country walks with your dog and exploring with the kids.
7. Furze Platt Community Sports Centre is just down the road. It has a group fitness studio, 4 court sports hall, 3G all weather pitch, tennis courts, outdoor and cricket nets.
8. We are 10 minutes’ walk to a Tesco Express and Palmieri’s Gourmet Italian Café.
Palmieris serve freshly made pasta, fantastic English breakfasts and even do delicious ‘tray-away’ meals that feed up to 8 adults.
9. There is a fantastic local park at Oaken Grove with a children’s play area, sports equipment, tennis courts, a bowling green and the Sir Nicholas Winton Memorial Garden.
10. The estate is on the doorstep to city life with future Crossrail giving you easy access to London and Canary Wharf. The route map for Crossrail shows how easy it will be to get one train from Maidenhead straight into the centre of London and Canary Wharf.
11. Nearby motorway connections M4/ M40/M25 and Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton are within easy reach.
12. The Cranbrook Estate is within catchment for an excellent choice of local infant, juniors and senior schools and local grammar schools.
Interested to find out more? I currently have a mix of properties available on the estate which you can see over on the Kirkwood Facebook page.
Give me a call to arrange a personal viewing or to find out more. (Suzy Kirkwood: 07981 314 921) or send an email to email@example.com.
August 8, 2018
“We are thrilled and relived that everything has gone through successfully. The plan came together so well in the end. Laurie and I are extremely grateful for your expertise and persistence so that we can begin the next phase in our lives.
We hope your business continues to flourish and we will look on your website from time to time to see what is selling in the Cranbrook Drive area.”
Laurie and Carmel, Maidenhead
July 8, 2018
“Hi Suzy, just to say a massive THANK YOU for all your hard work and the successful sale of our property.
You showed great professionalism and an amiable character that buyers warmed to. We found that your intimate knowledge of our property and the area was something which was lacking from other agents, the difference was clear when we watched you talk to potential customers viewing our house. You were simply fantastic – professional and efficient and above all kept us calm and reassured throughout the whole process.
It’s been a pleasure dealing with you and we wish you well in your business for many years to come.
Best wishes to you and many thanks again for your hard work. We would certainly recommend you to anyone looking for a reliable and knowledgeable Estate Agent.”
Kam and Family, Maidenhead
June 8, 2018
“Suzy is an independent estate agent who personally handles all enquiries and viewings and has been a pleasure to deal with. She is very knowledgable of the housing market in the Maidenhead area, a great communicator, enthusiastic and helpful. She achieved a good price for our property in a difficult market. I thoroughly recommend her.”
Richard Martin, Maidenhead
September 20, 2016
Past clients on how Kirkwood’s help to sell!
April 12, 2016
”Although Suzy Kirkwood was the vendors estate agent, we found that she kept us fully informed with many updates and has been extremely helpful on completion. Such a customer friendly person who made us feel most welcome on the estate.”
Mr and Mrs Horner, Cranbrook Drive estate
April 11, 2016
Since the start of the year we’ve had a lot of media coverage over Brexit and as we draw closer to June, the coverage will only increase. Unfortunately, a lot of the messaging about Brexit gets lost in translation as we only seem to hear which public figures support which campaign. Like a lot of others in the UK, you might be a bit lost on how Brexit might affect you, so in this blog, we’re going to look at how it might affect your mortgage. (more…)
March 10, 2016
When you sell your car, you wouldn’t invite people over to view a dirty car would you? No! You would give it a clean and spruce it up ready for sale. So we think you should apply this thought to selling your home. After all your home is your greatest asset so surely you want the best price you can for it?
March 8, 2016
Suzi sold their 3 bed end terrace within a week for £472,000
“There is simply no estate agent that comes close to matching Suzy for customer service. Nothing seems too much to ask. She finds exactly the right propects and drives the process from start to finish and beyond. Talk to the competition and mention her name and you will see them frown. They all know they cannot compete. Put your trust in Suzy and you won’t be disappointed.”
March 8, 2016
Sold his father’s 4 bed detached house in Westfield Road, Maidenhead £950,000 in Dec 2015
“Without doubt the best estate agent I have ever used. Where most agents simply see a property, Suzy sees a project. Where others look for problems, she looks for potential. Her local knowledge is great and her personal service unbelievable – she was constantly on the case, chivvying solicitors, checking on prospects and keeping me informed. Worth her fee? Every penny of it, and then some!”
March 7, 2016
Suzy had a great time at the Annual Dinner Dance at organised by Maidenhead Chamber of Commerce on Saturday 5th March. She even managed to get a photo taken with our very own MP for Maidenhead, Theresa May Home Secretary.
Theresa was extremely confident that Maidenhead will have a great future with Crossrail – “The Elizabeth Line” injecting fresh life into the town together with the regeneration of the town with new shops and housing.
This Charity evening also raised a fantastic £850 for Susan Brett Community supporting the homeless and needy in Maidenhead.
Is now the time to buy in this up and coming town? Contact Suzy Kirkwood to register your interest today!
March 7, 2016
Iris Egginton (was Kirkwood) now aged 87 and Suzy Kirkwood were together yesterday celebrating Mothering Sunday at White Waltham Flying Club along with other members of the Kirkwood family.
Iris, the founder of then named, Iris Kirkwood Home Consultants in the 1980’s is pleased to still consulting in the ‘background’ of this well established personal estate agents, specialising in the Cranbrook Drive and Cliveden View areas of Furze Platt.
Iris motto is still what she endorsed in the 1980’s “to broadly adopt a unique approach to the whole concept of house-hunting and selling with an exceptionally high level of personal service and attention to every details to help clients move with less stress”.
Suzy now Director of Kirkwood Personal Estate Agents, today only takes on a few properties at one time so she can offer a dedicated service which is often remarked on the testimonials she receives.
If you are thinking of moving this Spring or later in the year, please contact Suzy for a free market appraisal, Call today on 079813 14921 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
January 14, 2016
From 1st April 2016 the process of buying a second home could be a little more costly. This is due to the government’s plans to introduce an additional 3% on the stamp duty tax for second homes and buy-to-let properties.
The scheme is a reaction to the significant price rises in and around London during past five years. The government’s aim is to stifle buy-to-let demand, reducing saturation in the market, leading to a slower growth of prices in London and commuter hotspots, such as Maidenhead.
From the perspective of individuals looking to sell their property in 2016, this legislation could be bad news. While the investment market will not suddenly cease to exist, the barriers to entry are being increased. A reduced level of demand, combined with a higher supply (as fewer homes are being snapped up as investments) will only lead to one thing: a lower potential sold price.
However, the legislation does also present an opportunity. If you intend to sell your property in 2016, moving this transaction forward to the first quarter of the year gives you the chance to achieve the best possible sold price. To help you along the way Kirkwoods are offering FREE EPCs to any properties placed on the market before 1st March 2016.
To request a free market appraisal please contact us today.
September 7, 2015
September 1, 2015
Suzy was recommended to me with the words ‘there’s not much Suzy doesn’t know about selling houses’ – and having now bought and sold through Kirkwood I would say that Suzy knows EVERYTHING about selling houses.
Suzy is as professional as she is experienced, reliable, straightforward, honest, realistic and personable and full of helpful tips and practical advice. She was an absolute pleasure to deal with throughout the entire process, really standing out from her peers and the best representative for her profession we have met. Whether you want to buy or sell, we would definitely recommend you get in touch with Suzy.
Francesca and Florin
August 1, 2015
I found the service I received the most comprehensive, proactive that I have ever had from an estate agent. Suzy took the “hassle” out of selling my property.
August 1, 2015
We purchased our bungalow 18 months ago and we have just finished various building projects. We are very happy with the results but it was not easy to keep control of the various builders, plumbers etc. We, my wife and I, came to the conclusion that by far the most efficient person we dealt with during this period was Suzy Kirkwood, the estate agent of the people we were purchasing from. She was not even acting for us but she made certain that everything possible was done by everybody, on both sides, to ensure that the sale and purchase went ahead to plan, at most difficult task. I admire Suzy’s energy and determination and would have no doubt in recommending that her company be used in the sale of a property.
August 1, 2015
I am writing to thank you most sincerely, for your expert service in bringing everything to a successful and speedy conclusion. Throughout the whole process, your willing, friendly, professional approach gave us confidence that the desired outcome would be achieved. We will be very happy to enlist your services if and when we decide to move and we will take every opportunity to recommend you to others.
November 1, 2014
I found Suzy to be most professional, very helpful and an excellent all round service. She kept on top of the sale process, pushing it forward all the time. I would recommend her service to anyone selling their property.
November 1, 2014
I don’t think Suzy should refer to herself as an estate agent, Suzy is far more than that, more of a ‘house selling concierge’. You get comprehensive advice, amazing service, and frequent updates. Suzy is able to offer this as she limits the number of clients she takes on at one time so is able to offer a more personal service. Suzy knows the business and her experience is invaluable. I have no doubts that we got the best price for our house possible and in the quickest time. I don’t just recommend Suzy – I never want to use anyone else. Take care and thanks for all your help with the house.
July 1, 2014
If Kirkwood Personal Estate Agents were a restaurant they would have 5 Michelin Stars – the service provided is truly amazing.
House selling and purchasing is one of the most stressful times in our lives and, from personal experience, I can confirm that Suzy and her team always go that ‘extra mile’ to ensure satisfaction for all parties concerned. Suzy Kirkwood is professional, practical and full of sound advice gleaned from many years’ experience. From the moment you meet with her you will feel at ease and know that you are in ‘safe hands’. Additionally (and refreshingly), she is always at hand to offer tips and advise and keep you updated on the process. No ‘bamboozling’ or cavalier attitude and lack of contact as can be the experience with some multi-chain agencies. She facilitated a successful sale on my behalf and certainly exceeded my expectations in all respects.
Whether you are a vendor or a purchaser, I cannot recommend Suzy Kirkwood and the service she provides highly enough. You will not be disappointed.
February 1, 2014
You have acted “above and beyond the call of duty in providing a valuation for us to extend the lease.”
We bought the property through you several years ago and have never failed to be impressed by your professionalism and commitment.
We would have no hesitation in recommending your agency.
August 1, 2013
I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for all your hard work and support that you gave us during the sale of our house. Your personal service is heads above anything else offered by other agents – Rachael and I really appreciate your friendly and caring approach.
Jonathan Heighway, Heighway Associates Chartered Architects
June 1, 2013
Just wanted to say thank you for the excellent job you did handling the sale of our property. Your suggestions for showing the house at its best were perceptive and appreciated. We liked the fact that you had a list of potential buyers and that you knew exactly what they were looking for in a house, so didn’t waste your buyers or our time by showing them something that was not suitable. We were also very impressed by the way you constantly followed up and kept us informed of the progress of the sale.
Mr and Mrs D Jones
June 1, 2013
Through experience Judith and I strongly recommend the very comprehensive service you have provided to us as a personal Estate Agent.
It is the WOW factor from know how in being successful in putting the property on the market with the seller(s) point of view in mind, whilst still looking after and accommodating the buyer, to arranging open days and knowing where, when and how to present the property, following things through from start to finish and keeping all contacts and options open you really do provide an excellent service consistently.
We know this from our experience and from the experience of many local neighbours and other acquaintances we know.
You really do take the chore on board for your clients.
Mr and Mrs M Leighton
June 1, 2013
It is my pleasure to recommend Suzy at Kirkwood Estate Agents. Suzy is the most flexible, helpful, patient and knowledgeable estate agent I have come across. She helped and supported me and my husband at every step of purchase of our first home. Being first time buyers, we had lot of queries/apprehensions, but Suzy was always available to resolve our queries and guide us through the process. Suzy’s wonderful support has made our purchase experience very smooth and stress-free. I would definitely use her again and recommend her to everyone.
Mrs M Potdukhe
June 1, 2013
Kirkwood Personal Estate Agents are proud to announce a partnership with the Maidenhead Rugby Touch League 2013. This continues Kirkwood’s desire to contribute to the well-being of local residents.
Touch rugby or touch, as it is known, is a minimal contact sport that is played worldwide by men, women and children of all ages. The game emphasizes running, agility and ball handling skills such as passing and catching.
Although played to a wider extent on a social level, there are now burgeoning commercial leagues in England, Scotland, South Africa and New Zealand. There are also regular school competitions and development clinics spreading the touch gospel to everyone.
It is this combination of keeping fit, team-building and socialising that caused Kirkwood Personal Estate Agents to sponsor the Maidenhead Rugby Touch League in 2013. Hopefully, with the help of Kirkwood’s, the league can continue to grow and have a positive effect on the local community.
May 20, 2013
On the 19th May, the ‘Taste of Summer’ charity auction was held at Sanctum on the Green in aid of Vivi’s Venture. Vivi’s Venture is a charity which was setup to help Vivi Gregory-Osborne overcome the effects of cerebral palsy. Kirkwood Personal Estate Agents were delighted to be invited so that they could try to help to make a difference to this brave young lady’s life.
Georgina Kirkwood, daughter of Suzy Kirkwood, with Vivi
Vivi’s Venture was originally setup to raise funds so that Vivi can receive a SDR procedure. This operation was carried out successfully in October 2012. However, Vivi still requires support for post-operative equipment, physio and rehab and 20 years of follow up to enable her to achieve her dream of pain free walking.
Kirkwood Personal Estate Agents were delighted to be able to make a contribution to the charity auction by placing the winning bid for a ‘Cooking Experience’ with up-and-coming chef Luke Thomas, Head Chef at the Sanctum on the Green.
May 1, 2013
Suzy Kirkwood was able to sell both my mother’s and our own property both quickly and with a minimum of fuss. She provided a genuine ‘personal’ service which ranged from professional home-staging to dynamic and effective marketing using good photographic images and thoughtfully designed copy.
Most importantly she was proactive in her dealings with buyers and solicitors and kept us regularly informed of progress during all stages of the sales process. Suzy Kirkwood stands head and shoulders above the ordinary high street estate agency.
Mr and Mrs B Thomas
May 1, 2013
We have had the absolute pleasure in using the services provided by Suzy, in selling our house.
After using some of the high street agencies, who treated us as just another house on the block – with very little contact or customer care, we were absolutely thrilled with the service Suzy provided.
She was without doubt the most persistent agent who kept in regular contact with us – updating us on every minute detail and reassuring us along the way. Our house presented some quite tricky situations which Suzy took in her stride, handled professionally and always made us feel as if she ‘had our backs’. Her advice and carefully considered comments were always welcomed, and even the finishing touches of pot plants – to brighten the front steps (provided by Suzy) demonstrated her commitment and attention to detail.
I would not hesitate in recommending Suzy to any person wishing to sell their house – in fact we have already recommended her services to friends – and will in the foreseeable future not even think about using any other estate agent.
Suzy is most truly a remarkable woman with the interests and concerns of her clients taken to heart. Suzy goes the extra mile and offers the personal touch lacking in so many estate agents.
January 1, 2013
We are very grateful to you for all your hard work in helping us to sell our house so quickly. Wishing you lots of luck for the future, you deserve it.
– Mr and Mrs A Westwater
September 1, 2011
As an Independent Estate Agent, Suzy Kirkwood brings a new form of marketing and selling to the market place. I found Suzy to be professional, conscientious, friendly, diligent and incredibly hardworking. She personally accompanied every visit to my property and kept me informed on feedback and ensures you get the best possible price for your property through her close attention to detail and eye for presentation.
Although I’ve currently decided not to sell my house, I will not hesitate to contact her in the future and will certainly recommend her to anyone wishing to sell their house.
Thank you Suzy for all your hand work and efforts.
– A Livesey
May 1, 2011
My husband and I were very impressed by the time and trouble which you took to show us round a house in Maidenhead last week. Everything was explained well and all questions answered clearly. We did not feel rushed and it was in refreshing contrast to the services which some other agents have given.
We were disappointed that our offer was not accepted but we certainly will use your truly personal service if we need to in the future.
We strongly recommend you.
– Matthew and Heather Tan
April 1, 2011
Our flat was on the market for nearly two years with three different estate agents and no success before we were recommended to contact Iris Kirkwood Estate Agents. Suzy took us on, produced some amazing marketing materials both online and in the local paper and after two very successful open days she finalised a sale.
Suzy was professional at all times and kept in constant contact right through to completion date. I would highly recommend Iris Kirkwood Estate Agents and Suzy to anyone trying to sell their property, the personal and friendly service makes the whole process a joy.
– Mrs A Billson