Can I Change Estate Agents?

Written by Mathew McCorry

If you read my property blog now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you and I will make you read it.

When you first put your property on with an estate agent you’ll have full confidence that it’s going to sell quickly, you might have been promised the world, and even been given a figure to market your property at that’s a little higher than you expected, just to get you on the books. We’ve written a little bit about estate agent tricks and how you can avoid them, but that’s of little help if you’ve already signed up with them.

If the months are passing by and you’ve had little interest in your property, you’ve constantly been pushing the estate agent to try and give your property an extra push and get you more viewings, but very little is happening. Unfortunately this happens a lot, not all estate agents are the same though, and some go the extra mile to get your property sold.

You might be considering changing estate agent or getting a multiple agency approach. If you’re not happy with your estate agent then you may be wondering what you can do from a contractual basis, so can you change estate agents?

First and foremost is to check your contract with your estate agent, it will be in the fine print as to whether and when you can break away from them. This will be fine within most estate agents as long as you have given them chance to sell the property, there may also be a 14 day cooling off period, allowing them to chase up any final leads to try and get the sale & ensure there isn’t a cross over, so check for that.

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Do I have to pay estate agent fees If I pull out?

A common question is whether you will owe two sets of commission when you sell, to your new estate agent and your previous one. Again, you have to check your contract, the estate agent you’ve pulled your property away from may look to recoup some of the costs they have incurred from an advertising perspective. It’s also normal for estate agents to contain a “ready, willing and able purchaser” clause in your contract, which means that you may owe them commission if it sells within a certain time, even if they aren’t the ones selling.

Essentially, what we are saying is that it really depends on the contract you sign with the estate agent, it’s very important that you read the contract prior to signing it to check you aren’t tied in should you need to change estate agents or sell through an alternative method.

Can you have two estate agents?

Again, it’s another question of what is in your contract. You can instruct more than one estate agent, but it depends on the type of agency agreement that you have, as you may have signed a contract that gives the agent exclusivity.

Although this might be the case, if you talk to your estate agent honestly and openly they may agree to allow you to have another estate agent rather than lose your business altogether. It’s always worth having the conversation even if you are contractually bound to having a single estate agent.

Whether you want to have two estate agents if a different question all together. Having your listing twice on popular property portals with two different estate agents one after an other might indicate that you are desperate to sell, therefore generating much lower offers from perspective buyers.

On the other hand however, you’re opening your property up to have alternative photos and be sent to a new database of perspective buyers that the estate agency has hopefully built up, it also allows you to trigger Rightmove alerts again which can spike interest.

Can you just cancel your contract?

Sorry to keep repeating this, but again it depends on your contract! If you want to just cancel and walk away from estate agents all together you can usually do so, you have no legal obligation to accept an offer on your home, so it would be counter productive for estate agents to keep you on their books if you are no longer wanting to sell.

That being said, if you’re looking at alternative sale options there may be a certain cooling off period which is usually around 14 days. If you sell during this period through another option, then the estate agency may be able to charge you a commission, regardless as to whether they helped with the sale or not.

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Alternative sales options

Now if you’re thinking of changing estate agents then you might want to consider your alternative options. It may be the case that your estate agency are working really hard to sell your property, it just isn’t shifting. Some properties just simply aren’t suited to the open market, and you may want to explore an alternative sale option to achieve a sale, here are a few of your options:

  • Property auction: Some properties are well suited to auctions as they attract a different kind of buyer. It takes roughly 6-10 weeks to get your property auction ready and they typically charge around 2.5% of the sale price. If you want to find out more, you can do so on our selling a house through auction page.
  • Part exchanging: If you’re looking into buying a new build property then you might have been offered a part exchange option. This is when the company buy your house off you, as long as you purchase one of their new builds. The company will offer you a figure below market value for your property as they need to sell it on, but it’s a fast option to get rid of your home if you have your heart set on a new build.
  • Selling privately: This isn’t for everyone, but you could just sell your house yourself? Use your own connections, social media and any online portals you can to advertise your property and try get a sale. There are loads of Facebook groups out there you can get involved in. It requires a lot more work from your end, but obviously there are no commission fees to pay.
  • Using an online estate agent: It’s 2020, a new age of estate agents have been taking the headlines, those without brick and mortar shops, there are several benefits to selling online as opposed to a traditional estate agents, we’ve written all about it on our selling my house online page.
  • Sell house fast service: Last but not least is choosing a company like ourselves. We can buy your house in as little as 7 days, offering a hassle free approach to selling your home quickly. We do offer lower than market value, but this is often off set by the fees you would have to pay estate agents, the utility bills and council tax you would have to pay over the duration of a traditional sale. You can get a no obligation offer in as little as 24 hours.

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