COMMON TYPES OF CONTRACTS
Sole Agency - The estate agent in the contract is the only one allowed to sell your home during the period stipulated.
Multi-Agency – Multiple estate agents in the contract are allowed to sell your home during the period stipulated. You’ll pay whoever introduces the buyer.
TIP: Multi-Agency is decreasing in popularity. You no longer get the benefit of having access to multiple buyers lists as to applicants registering directly with the portals, rather than individual estate agents. I found this method to be detrimental as buyers can play one agent off against another, to get themselves the best deal.
TERMS TO CONSIDER
Length of Contract - Most estate agents include a tie-in period. Don’t sign if it’s any longer than 4 weeks.
% Fee or Fixed Fee – A % fee could mean that your agent is more inclined to negotiate a higher price for you, as their fee will also increase. However, you may prefer a fixed fee to help you to budget.
Upfront Marketing Fees – This will depend on the type of agent you instruct.
Notice Period – How much notice do you need to give to end the contract. This shouldn’t be more than 7 days.
THE SMALL PRINT
Be sure it is clear whether or not VAT is included in the fee.
Check the contract for penalties for ending the contract early.
Ensure you have not been signed up to any in-house services (such as conveyancing, energy performance certificates) you have not agreed to and check that no services have been handwritten onto your contract