How to Pick a Letting Agent
Thinking of letting out your home, or looking for a new letting agent to manage your property in Swansea? Here are the key things you need to ask/check before signing up with your new agent.
1. Are they licensed with Rent Smart Wales?
Agents who are licensed must have client money protection and professional indemnity insurance, and they must be a member of the Property Ombudsman. These safeguards protect you as their client, and are actually a legal requirement in Wales. Search the Rent Smart Wales database of agents here.
2. Do they have a dedicated lettings team?
Whilst it can be convenient if an agent can offer a diverse range of services, a dedicated team will have a clear and specialist focus on lettings - and they aren't likely to be distracted by chasing sales commissions!
It goes without saying that they should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the private rented sector, and be able to give advice on any issues with regard to your property, as well as offer pointers on what you may need to do to the property to achieve the best rental price.
3. Are they transparent about their terms and fees?
It's a legal requirement for agents to list their fees on their website and in their offices, but are they willing to explain what services those fees cover?
4. Do they know your local area well?
A local agent should know the area and be able to use that knowledge to their advantage when marketing. They should also be able to let you know what kind of tenants they find looking for that style of property in that area.
5. How do they vet potential tenants, and do they work with a reputable tenant referencing company?
Whilst there's no guarantee every tenancy will go smoothly, you want to be sure the agent cares about finding a tenant who is right for the property, and that they will undergo comprehensive referencing.
6. Do you feel you can trust them?
If you have the time, it's a good idea to go down to their office and meet the agent face to face. If you're not able to, it's definitely worth scheduling a good chat over the phone with them. This will give you a feel for the way they work and whether they are approachable, professional, and honest.
If you're visiting their office, you'll also get to see how they keep their own house, so to speak. If its smart, modern and well-kept, it's likely they will have the same expectation of the properties they manage and the tenants who live in them! You can trust they'll treat them like their own.
7. What do they think your property is worth?
A high valuation of your property is very flattering, but can the agent support their estimation? Have they run comparable reports, and have they let any similiar properties for that price in the area?
If you'd like to get in touch for a chat, or to book a free 45-minute property consultation, you can give the McCartan team in the office a call on 01792 430100, or click here to drop us an email.