Can I Change Estate Agents?

When you list your property with an estate agent, you’re always confident that it will sell quickly. You’ve been promised the world and given a price to market your property higher than you expected, all of this to get you on the agency books.

You’ve instructed your agent to give an extra push and get you more viewings, but months have passed, and you’ve had no feedback and little interest.  Sadly, this happens often, but not all estate agents are the same, and many will go above and beyond to market and sell your property.

You’re thinking about switching estate agents or even using a multi-agency approach. Read on if you are dissatisfied with your estate agent and you’re confused about the process of switching estate agents?


Do I have to pay a double commission if I cancel my contract?

estate agentA frequent concern is if you will owe commission to your new estate agent and your previous one when a sale is finalised. You should always check your contract; the estate agent from whom you pulled your property may attempt to recoup some of the advertising costs they incurred. Additionally, estate agents frequently include a “ready, willing, and able purchaser” clause in your contract, which means you may owe them commission if the property sells within a specified period, even if they are not the ones selling.

First, check your contract with your estate agent; it will specify whether and when you can terminate it. Most estate agents will be OK with this as long as you have given them a 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 and ensure there isn’t a cross over, so check for that.


Can I have more than one estate agent?

You certainly can instruct more than one estate agent if previously stated in any contract, but check this first as you may have unknowingly signed an agreement granting the current agent exclusivity to market and sell your property.

If you chat to your estate agent honestly and openly, they may agree to let you use another estate agent rather than losing your business entirely. Even if you are contractually obligated to use a single estate agent, it is always worthwhile to have the conversation.


Can I cancel my contract?

Again, this depends on the initial contract you signed, but in a nutshell, you have no legal obligation to accept an offer on your home, so it would be somewhat counter-productive for the agent to keep you on their books if you no longer want to sell.

However, if you consider other sale options, there may be a cooling-off period, which is usually around 14 days. If you sell through another method during this time, the estate agent may be able to charge you a commission, regardless of whether they assisted with the sale or not.


Checklist: How to spot if your estate agent isn’t performing:

Here are some questions – if you answer yes to any or all of them, you can be pretty sure your estate agent is underperforming, and it’s time to switch:

  • Are you fed tons of excuses?

Some excuses include: “With so much uncertainty in the air, the market has become really sluggish”; and “It’s the wrong time to sell.” Things should pick up in a few months”; and so on. These excuses may be valid at times, but you mustn’t simply accept and nod at everything they say.

  • Have you been advised to drop your asking price?

This is usually an agent’s first choice for a solution to your problem, and it’s infuriating, especially since they were the ones who advised on the asking price in the first place. This tactic is also not the best solution.

  • Finding it difficult to get hold of them?

If they are constantly ‘out of the office’ or do not answer their phone, you know something is wrong. If it seems they’re avoiding you, they most likely are.

  • The number of viewings dried up?

Every week, you should aim for multiple viewings. If this isn’t happening, then something needs to change.


Alternative sale options

If you’re considering changing estate agents, you should be aware of other options too. Your estate agent may be working extremely hard to sell your home, but it’s just not moving for different reasons. Some properties are simply unsuitable for the open market, and you may want to consider alternatives. Here are a few of your options:

  1. Property Auction: Some properties lend themselves well to auctions because they attract a different type of buyer. It takes about 6-10 weeks to prepare your property for auction, and they typically charge about 2.5 per cent of the sale price.
  2. Private Sale: This isn’t for everyone, but why not sell your house on your own? Use your personal connections, social media, and any online portals you can find to advertise your property. There are numerous Facebook groups in which you can participate. It requires a lot more effort on your part, but there are no commission fees to pay.
  3. Sell house fast service: Last but not least, we recommend that you select a company like ours. We can purchase your house in the record time of seven days, giving you a hassle-free way to sell quickly. In as little as twenty-four hours, you can receive a no-obligation offer.


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