Q. I’m selling a property for the first time, are you able to give me a few guidelines as to finding and appointing a suitable Estate Agent?

A. Finding the right Agent to sell your property is obviously paramount, as you are about to embark on selling what’s likely to be your biggest asset, and this of course requires someone with both experience and knowledge in the field. Unfortunately like most industries there are both good and bad agents around and if you were to believe the majority then agents are generally preconceived as people not to be trusted, so how do you go about finding the right one? Firstly, try to see if any of your local friends can recommend someone, they will know first hand who was good and who was not. If that’s not a possibility then search the local press to see who advertises and what type of stock they have for sale? What sort of presence do they have in the area, it’s important to be with the type of agent that is suitable for your property too? Make sure they are accredited members of both the NAEA and ARLA and belong to one of the two redress schemes currently approved by the OFT, which has been a requirement of agents since 1 October 2008. Once you have narrowed down the choice then invite them to your home to carry out a free valuation. During the appraisal discuss their advertising programme, what fees they will charge – most importantly though, do you feel you could get on with them? Remember you will be in constant contact with your agent for several months during the marketing period through to finding a buyer and then eventually exchange and completion, so you need to be comfortable with them and feel that you can trust them implicitly before handing over the keys.