Is sole or multiple agency better to sell your home?

Published: 10/07/2019

We're often asked by homeowners whether they should use one or more agents when selling their property, and to give them reasons why. Obviously every estate agent would prefer to be the sole agent, but not necessarily for the reasons you may think. And regardless of what we might like, what is the best advice for you?

Does multiple agency really scare buyers off?
This is sometimes used as a reason to convince homeowners that listing their property with more than one agent will lose them buyers. While we are not aware of any hard evidence for this, we can certainly say that buyers do notice when a property for sale in Berkhamsted or Tring is on the market with two or three agents. And usually their awareness comes with negative assumptions or questions about the desperation of the sellers or the saleability of the property. So there are definitely negative connotations before someone even sets foot inside your home, and we'd usually recommend generating excitement rather than trepidation when looking for a buyer.

But does any of that really matter?
In any market, looking like you're in a strong position will always get you more money. Looking weak or desperate, regardless of whether you are, will most likely not work in your favour. So that could mean lower offers, no offers, being at the bottom of people's wish lists, fewer viewings and a generally less than brilliant experience. So yes, it matters.

Doesn't competition between agents mean a quicker sale?
There's no evidence for that either. In fact, creating a situation where one estate agent is trying to get their offer accepted before a competitor comes in with a better one is absolutely not in your interests. Rather than setting different companies against each other, it's far better to select the best one to work together with. And this where competition between agents is beneficial to you - pick the one with the most brilliant marketing and service standards.  

If multiple agency isn't as good, why does it cost more?
Estate agents charge less for sole agency to persuade you that multiple agency isn't the best move. There is a myth that estate agents want sole agency properties so they don't have to work, but remember – the agent doesn’t get paid unless they sell your home! In short, if we did nothing, we'd never earn any money! Sole agency allows us to spend the time to get things right, from the initial marketing through viewings and negotiating offers. Forsaking thoroughness for speed isn't usually considered winning advice.

So how do you know which estate agent to choose?
What you should be looking for is brilliant marketing and customer care - areas where the agent clearly puts their time, effort and money. Beautiful photos, accurate floor plans, well-written descriptions, concrete promises over keeping in touch with feedback and strategy. Which agent is going to present your property best and look after you most? That's the one to pick.

In short, the better your property is presented to the market, the better it will sell. What your estate agent needs to be able to do is take the time to get every aspect of the marketing right to let your property shine. By doing so, they can generate the highest level of interest to get the best buyer and price for you. Sole agency allows them to do all that, and more.

Looking to sell a property in or around Berkhamsted or Tring? We would be delighted to hear from you:

Tring office: 01442 820420
Berkhamsted office: 01442 863000