An agent is a person who has been appointed to act on behalf of another person or an entity – or both, in the case of an estate agent, who acts on behalf of a client and, in a sense, for their property.

The right choice of agent can determine the outcome, with some agents making little or no effort and happy to sell to the first buyer who comes along, even when the buyer is dependent on selling, and recommend acceptance without even bothering to check their chain details, a crucial factor in the ability to proceed. Contrast that to the service level provided by a planned, pro-active agent with sellers’ interests at the heart of everything they do, and with an approach designed to attract multiple bids and achieve the best possible outcome as fast and as smoothly as possible.  Don’t be fooled by lower commission as we all know you get what you pay for. It’s the end result that matters – and the difference can be tens of thousands of pounds.

And that’s not all. With the cost of living spiralling upwards, a good estate agent can minimise the expense of selling and buying in a variety of ways by offering more.  For sellers, pre-sale advice on presenting a home for maximum effect can be invaluable. A good agent will advocate de-cluttering, freshening up interior decoration (if required) and ensuring the exterior is equally smart ahead of a photographer – note, a professional photographer as opposed to a valuer armed with a camera ready to randomly point and shoot. If a bad job is done at the start, a property is less likely to attract attention and very likely will go on to have a poor sale – or no sale, in which case the seller has wasted money and will have to start over again with a new agent expected to rescue the seller from their previous marketing. Moreover, a good agent will have invested in staff available to give you support and advice as well as arrange meetings and handle negotiations. They will also have invested in state-of-the art property matching keeping a track of your sales and targeting buyers, particularly those based hundreds of miles away who love to have a professional video walk-through and associated drone footage for an ariel perspective of the property and surroundings. This triple-whammy visual package not only maximises a home’s profile – it extends its reach and enables potential buyers in a different part of the country (or abroad) to make a confident decision without incurring the transport/fuel costs of a personal viewing.

A good agent, like a good friend, can take the stress and strain out of selling in other ways – by offering an accompanied viewing service, and extended opening hours for potential buyers to secure the information they need. Hastings Legal is the only property agent in Borders region to offer personal contact 7 days a week including evenings weekends and public holidays. A good agent will also listen to the client’s onward move plans and take on board any concerns regarding timeframes, market conditions, relocation, and in a fast-moving sale, securing suitable properties to rent/buy going forward.

There are other ways to differentiate between a reputable agent who will charge a market appropriate fee, and one who talks convincingly, makes big promises in exchange for a cut-rate fee, and once you have signed up, moves on to chase the next unsuspecting client. Look for an established, high-street office run by motivated local staff. A house sale requires a selling agent and a legal conveyancer to complete the transaction – being a solicitor/estate agent, means Hastings Legal combine these different skills in-house, which gives clients the added reassurance of a smoother and faster conclusion.

Differences between firms and service expectations are usually obvious – look at how properties are photographed, how much detail is included, how are they presented, and how long they have been on the market. Good service is talked about, so ask to see authenticated testimonials and enquire locally for word-of-mouth recommendations.

Your home is likely to be your most valuable financial asset, but it’s also a depository for precious memories perhaps spanning many years. It deserves a professional, sensitive, yet pro-active service to achieve the best result possible. Go for anything less and you risk being short changed.

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    Hastings Legal are trusted and long-established Solicitor Estate Agents in the Scottish Borders.

    •   Selling your property with a Solicitor Estate Agent means you have control of the process from start to finish.

    •   Our extensive database of purchasers who are looking to buy their dream home in this area is at your disposal.

    •   Our advertising reach is both local and national including our High Street Offices, exclusive ESPC* and  Rightmove

    •   Our Virtual Viewing Video Tours are the New Normal for a first viewing and are included for no extra charge.

    •   Professional photographs as standard

    •   We regularly achieve more than the Home Report Value for our Sellers, often at Closing Date

    See our guides: • Buying a House and • Selling your House Legal Process

    It’s never too early to call Hastings Legal, Solicitors and Estate Agents in the Scottish Borders

    * only Solicitor Estate agents can advertise in ESPC – the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre