What Do Estate Agents Actually Do?

Are estate agents essential to sell your house, or could you do it yourself? Make an informed decision with this guide on what estate agents really do.

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We all have a rough idea of what estate agents do, and if you’re an avid fan of house-buying programmes, you’ll probably be pretty clued up on how to buy a house.  But what do estate agents really do to help sell your house, and are they even needed at all?

Setting a Price

Estate agents will estimate the worth of your property based on their knowledge of other properties sold in the area. It is important at this stage to get more than one opinion from a few estate agents to ensure you set the best asking price for your house. Estate agents will offer this service for free before you enter into a contract – offering their expertise so you’ll choose to sell your house with them

Points to consider: Be sceptical at this stage. Is the price right? A low pricing could indicate an agent is looking for a quick sale. Priced too highly and it could be a ploy to get you into a contract, but never intended as a realistic figure.

To avoid these doubts, do a bit of your own property research and ensure you go with a trust worthy agency.

Marketing your Home

An estate agent will gather information about your house, such as  taking photos, room measurements and writing up a property description. Once you’re happy with it your estate agent will display your house publically to prospective buyers.

Two persons are having conversation

A high street agent will display your house in their shop window as well as local press and their portfolio of property websites. While online estate agents will also advertise your house on property websites they are affiliated with, such as Rightmove, Zoopla, Property finder and many more, as well as in local and national newspapers.   The most important part here is getting the maximum exposure for your house, and as 90% of buyers search for their next house online this is the most important outlet.

Points to consider: The most important part here is getting the maximum exposure for your house, and as 90% of buyers search for their next house online this is the most important outlet.

Closely followed by this is having a well-known and trusted estate agent. You want prospective buyers to feel confident buying your house through them, so they must be reputable.


All high street and online estate agents will arrange viewings on your behalf once buyers get in contact. Unlike high street estate agents though, online ones will not conduct viewings for you. However, if you are more flexible with time, showing people round your house yourself shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.

Points to consider: At this stage prospective buyers are interested. They have seen your house advertised, its description fits their wants and needs and the price isn’t too bad either. It appears that the viewing is the only thing standing in the way of them buying your house!

The more buyer-friendly your house is, the better the viewings will go. You shouldn’t be apologising for the mess when you should be talking up the new conservatory.

Keep clutter to a minimum and a lick of white paint here and there may be necessary to cover up some more subjective décor choices. It is all about allowing prospective buyers to visualise how they could turn your house into their home.

Clinching the deal

Your estate agent will keep you posted on all offers made on the house. Often estate agents will perform any necessary checks on buyers making an offer to ensure they are in a good position to buy. After all, high street estate agents want the sale to go through without a hitch just as much as you do!

couple signing a contract while smiling

They will negotiate with buyers on your behalf until you accept an offer and will stick around until the sale has gone through.

Points to consider: Accept the best offer. This includes price and the reliability of the buyer to deliver. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the real deal because you were blinded by an attractive but possibly non-existent offer.

Selling a house for the right price is a lengthy process. It requires a lot of time and expertise. This is why we employ estate agents to do it for us. However the traditional estate agent is changing and many have moved online and significantly dropped their prices. So consider carefully what extra services a high street estate agent is offering compared to those online, and whether their fees are worth their service.

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