Tips for choosing the right real estate agent to sell your home
Finding the right real estate agent to sell your property can be daunting. These helpful tips can make the experience a whole lot easier.
Do some research
The key to finding the right real estate agent is doing a bit of research. Start by making a short list of agents in your area. Then, investigate which ones might match what you’re looking for – for instance, do they sell more houses or apartments? Do they specialise in auctions or private sales? Are they a boutique agency or part of a national chain?
There are websites such as Local Agent Finder and Open Agent that property sellers can use to research real estate agents. Using these sites allows you to view information about the real estate agent including properties they have sold in the past and reviews from previous clients. This can be a very useful way of determining which agent is right for you.
Reputation, reputation, reputation
Let’s face it – Australians generally don’t trust real estate agents. A Roy Morgan Research survey found we rated them 28th out of 30 professions on trustworthiness – just above ad people and car salesmen. So ask friends, family and neighbours about their experiences with agents – they’ll tell you the good, the bad and the ugly, without the gloss.
Take the agent for a spin
Before you talk to an agent, visit an open for inspection they’re running to see how they treat you as a potential buyer. Chances are, how they sell someone else’s property is how they will sell yours.
A good agent will try to find out what a buyer is really looking for, rather than just trying to sell them whatever is on the books. A not-so-good agent might just give a brochure spiel about the property without really listening to a buyer’s needs. When you have a good agent working for you, you’ll be able to trust that they’ll find buyers who really want your property and are prepared to pay top dollar to get it.
Look for local knowledge
If you’re selling your family home, it’s more than likely you’ll know the area: the good schools, the best places to shop, which cafe brews the tastiest coffee. Your agent needs to know this stuff too, so they can talk up your neighbourhood to potential buyers. Ask the agent: Where would you go for coffee? Which school would you send your kids to? Where would you do your grocery shopping? Compare what they say with your own local knowledge – their answers could be telling.
Once you’ve settled on an agent, sit down and set some benchmarks: How will they position your house in the market? What kind of marketing and advertising do they propose? How will they handle negotiations with potential buyers?
Creating and using benchmarks will allow you to monitor how they are performing. You’ll also be in a good position to discuss any part of the campaign that you aren’t happy with before it’s too late. And if you have any doubts, you could always send a friend or family member to the open for inspections to get some first-hand feedback on the agent’s performance.
Choosing a real estate agent doesn’t have to be a lottery. By following a few simple steps, you can get the best agent working for you to sell your property.