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Two Important Questions to Ask Before You Sign with an Estate Agent

Two Important Questions to Ask Before You Sign with an Estate Agent

In this three-minute read, we look at how to gauge
if an agent is giving you an honest property valuation.

first question a seller always asks an estate agent is: “How much can you sell
my property for?”. The second is: “What is your fee?”.

focus on price and fees makes perfect sense; understandably every seller in Kent
wants to get the best possible property deal.

before you jump in and choose an agent based solely on these two things, ask
two more questions to determine if an agent is telling you the truth or a load
of porkies.

you sign a contract, ask:

  • If there is a tie-in clause in the contract?
    If so, how long is it?
  • If you can terminate the agreement if you’re
    unhappy with the service?

many sellers skip these questions, and it’s not until things go awry that they
realise they’re locked into an unfavourable deal.


agents don’t do tie-ins at all, while others will ask that you commit to
allowing them a minimum period, usually a few weeks, to market the property.

agents go so far as to lock you in for 24 weeks (with a 28-day notice period on
top of that).

up to you to decide what length of tie-in is reasonable – but make sure you
understand from the outset what you’re getting into.

a property

also worth questioning why an agent wants a 24-week tie-in. If they
genuinely believe in their pricing strategy, why do they need nearly half a
year to shift the property?

of course, they’ve deliberately overvalued your home to secure your custom.
They know that eventually you’ll have to drop the price, but they don’t care –
they’ve got you cornered.

whole thing is a ploy to get your business. It wastes time and can jeopardise
your next purchase, especially if you’re in a chain.


be wary of long notice periods. Some contracts not only commit you to an
extended tie-in but require that you serve notice if you want to terminate.

you get to the end of a long tie-in, and think ‘hallelujah, I’m ditching these
cowboys’ only to discover you’re still locked in.

the longer the tie-in and notice period, the worse the service because the
agent knows you can’t go elsewhere.


  • Always do your research before choosing an
  • Never sign a contract you haven’t read.
  • Remember, you can negotiate tie-in periods.
    They’re not set in stone, even if an agent tells you otherwise.
  • Go with a local agent with a reputation for
    excellent service and delivering on their promises.

From all of us here at CWB Property, thanks
for reading.