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SELECTING A REAL ESTATE AGENT: TIPS AND TRICKS

By Emma Smith

Over 110,000 people work in the real estate services industry in Australia, IBISWorld data shows. That’s why when picking a real estate agent to sell your home, you’ve got a rather imposing task on your hands.

Don’t just pick the seller down the road because it’s easy.

Choose wisely and you may get a better price for your property, or enjoy a more stress-free sale. Choose poorly and there’s no telling what could happen. Be careful and you won’t have to find out.

HERE’S WHAT A REAL ESTATE AGENT SHOULD DO FOR YOU

Every real estate agent is different and does their job in a unique way. Find a good one and they’ll go above and beyond to create a successful sale, providing an amazing service. However, there are certain bare minimums which any real estate agent should offer. These include:

  • Help setting your home’s sale price and offering information about recent sales in the area.
  • Advising and helping with the marketing and advertising of your property.
  • Implementation of that marketing and advertising strategy.
  • Attracting and screening potential buyers.
  • Helping you decide on the best method of sale for your home.
  • Regular contact: including information about how the sales campaign is tracking.
  • Negotiation services between you and the buyer.

If you’re with an agent who isn’t providing all the above services it may be time to look elsewhere. Keep in mind, picking your real estate agent may be one of the most important steps of your property’s sale so you should be very careful when selecting.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A REAL ESTATE AGENT

When searching for an agent put some thought into your choice and you’ll get a better end result.

Don’t just pick the selling agent down the road because it’s easy, do your research and look for qualities that indicate the agent is good at what they do.

The most important quality to look for is relevant experience. The key word here is relevant – a decade selling property on the other side of the country, or overseas doesn’t necessarily indicate that they’ll be able to get the job done for your home. On the other hand, an agent with a track record of achieving results in your area most likely will.

Next, when you meet with the agent consider the way they talk and interact with you. An honest, open dialogue is essential and if your agent doesn’t speak frankly with you from day one there’s a good chance your property’s sale will suffer. Your agent should also have extensive knowledge of the market and recent sales in your area. Watching the way they convey this information to you is a good way to judge their communication skills.

It’s also important to consider who the agent works with. If they act alone, or with a small agency they may not have the resources or the database to get you the best result. Look for an person who works for a well known agency, with a solid reputation and a large support staff behind the scenes.

Always ask for references from past clients before committing.

Last of all you needn’t take your real estate agent for their word. Always ask for references from past clients before committing as these will tell you as much, or more, than meeting the agent in person will.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT BEFORE HIRING

Selling your home is a gigantic step, and when you choose a real estate agent, you’re putting your future in their hands.

For that reason no one will blame you for being thorough to make sure you’ve picked the right person for the job. Here are a few ideal questions to ask your agent before committing:

  • Is the agent trustworthy? Will they give an honest opinion of the value of my home, or will they inflate their suggested price just to get the listing?
  • How will my home be marketed?
  • What advice will they provide to ensure that home is well-presented before opens?
  • How often will they be in contact with me?
  • Do they provide a personal understanding of my situation?
  • Where do the buyers come from?
  • What examples of their negotiation skills do they have?
  • What documentation do they provide during the appraisal and sales campaign?
  • How much will they charge me and why?
  • Does the agency provide their clients with ongoing custoner service including industry information?
  • What is your list/sell ratio

If you ask the relevant questions and take a little care when selecting your agent, you could receive a higher sale price or enjoy a less stressful sale. For that reason it’s well worth taking your time and making sure you’ve made the right choice. Your stress levels and bank account will thank you for it later.


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