Kathryn Lee - 8 Mar, 2019

How to choose the right real estate agent for you

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The successful sale of your home depends on your real estate agent’s expertise. If you select an agent who is inexperienced, does not understand the market or who has a poor sales strategy, then your property may sit on the market without any interest for months. To avoid this problem, you need to find the right real estate agent for you.

There are hundreds of real estate agents in an area. Many of these agents profess to offer the best service at the most affordable price and will claim to know the location well. But the reality is many of these agents won’t be right for you and your property.

How do you narrow down your real estate agent selection?

Step 1: Make an agent list

Use the Internet to familiarise yourself with local agents. Once you have a list of agent names, do a little online research to find out more about them. Many agents will have reviews and testimonials from previous clients. Based on your findings, create a shortlist of the agents best suited to you.

DO: Visit sites such as Realestate.com.au as these are another way for you to learn more about an agent.

DON’T: Rely on sites that claim to have the ‘Top 5 agents’ for your area listed, as agents pay for these services so they can be biased.

Step 2: Visit agents in action

Once you’ve created a shortlist, it’s time to evaluate the agent. The easiest way to do this is to find open inspections hosted by the agent and to then visit these.

DO: Watch and interact with the agent. Pay close attention to their behaviour, level of communication and ability to answer questions.

DON’T: Mention you’re looking to sell your home. Instead, assume the role of a buyer rather than a seller. This approach gives you the opportunity to assess how comfortable you are with the agent, and what you think of their sales capabilities from a buyer’s perspective.

Step 3: Evaluate your preferred agents

When you’ve narrowed down your agent shortlist to a handful, it’s time to contact each agent. Ask individual agents if they can visit your property to conduct a valuation.

DO: Test each agent’s local market knowledge at the valuation. Also, request the agent brings their local sales data so you can compare this to your property.

DON’T: Sign with an agent because their commission rate is lower than another agent. Instead, review your options in detail and compare all the facts.

What happens during a home valuation with the best real estate agents?

When the agents on your shortlist call around to your home to value your property, they’ll make a ‘listing presentation’, which is the agent’s sales pitch. You should view this meeting as an interview, where the agent needs to impress you to gain your work.

During this sales presentation, the agent should discuss local sales data, how they will market your property, and how you can maximise price. Most agents will also discuss the best sales method for your property and project how long your property may take to sell based on its current appeal.

DO: Ask your agent as many questions as you can. You can then base your final agent selection on how they respond.

DON’T: Feel pressured to sign-up with an agent at the meeting. Remember they’re sales experts and selling your home is a big decision, so you need time to think.

What questions should you ask during a valuation?

By asking each agent a series of questions, you’ll be able to assess your level of comfort with each agent. Some great questions to ask an agent are:

  1. Why did you get into real estate?
  2. When did you start selling homes?
  3. What do you love about real estate?
  4. How many local properties have you listed?
  5. How much did these properties sell for?
  6. What can I do to increase my sale value?
  7. How are you different from other agents?
  8. What fees do you charge, including commission and advertising?

When your agent answers these questions, evaluate their sincerity. Also, focus on their body language.

DO: Go by gut feeling during the meeting. If you feel any discomfort during the presentation, then this agent may not be right for you.

DON’T: Allow the agent to take control of the meeting. Instead, show confidence, listen to what the agent has to say and then steer the conversation towards your questions.

On the whole, take the time to contemplate your agent choices and your decision to sell. Just remember, you don’t have to make your mind up immediately. You can think about your decision, and you can discuss your options with family and friends if needed.

Choosing the right real estate agent needs to be based on fact. If you do background research, take the time to ask relevant questions, and evaluate agents, then you’ll find choosing someone to trust with the sale of your home with minimal effort.

Looking for the best agent to help sell your property? Once you’ve secured the sale, the right mortgage broker could make purchasing your next property easier. eChoice has access to hundreds of products across a panel of multiple lenders, so we can help you find a competitive mortgage.

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