Whether it’s your family home or an investment property, making the decision to sell your house – your most valuable asset – is an overwhelming decision. What comes next is just as tough. Naturally, finding the right real estate agent to enlist can be daunting.
Stress less, we have a few simple tips to help you find the right real estate agent for you.
- Research at least 3 agents to appraise your property and make sure you stick with your decision to meet all 3 agents before signing any agreements.
2. Before you can decide whether a local agent is the best agent, understand that what you see isn’t always what you get, perception is everything! The agent who drops the most flyers, has plenty of “home open this way” signs out on the weekend or takes over your newsfeed isn’t necessarily the ‘best’ agent. Base your research around the history of the agents you are considering. You need to look at average days on market, sales prices and sales volume in addition to verified customer reviews. Realestate.com.au, reiwa.com.au and ratemyagent.com.au are great sources for accurate information and reviews.
3. As your list begins to get smaller, it’s time to head out and about on the weekend! Attend home opens being held by the agents you are considering meeting with and assess their interactions with you and other prospective buyers. How an agent treats you in someone else’s open home is exactly how they are going to treat the potential buyers in yours (don’t mention you are there to scope the agent out)! You are looking for an agent who is energetic, engaging and educated about the property in question. The agent playing candy crush in the kitchen who casually slips you a brochure or the agent who quite literally follows you around and makes you feel uncomfortable is definitely not the agent for you.
4. During the initial appraisal meeting, these are the things you want to assess or discuss:
-Did the agent spend more time talking about themselves or finding out about your needs and your plans for the future?
-Did the agent propose an actual selling strategy or simply tell you what they believe your home is worth? In order to get the best possible price in the shortest possible time frame, there needs to be a detailed plan. Putting the property on the internet and placing a signboard out the front is not a plan.
-Did the agent propose a marketing strategy designed to proactively target your buyer demographic and get your property in front of the right people? E.g targeted social media posts, advertising overseas (where necessary), targeting investors or young families within a school catchment.
-Ask for some marketing examples from previous property campaigns to see how it appeals to you and if you would be proud to see your home presented in a similar light.
-Even if the agent is not a local agent, did the agent demonstrate knowledge of the area, local attractions and market trends?
-Did the agent provide you with case studies of past scenarios similar to your own?
-Make sure you find out if the agent is part of a team (e.g do they have a PA, sales cadet or buyers agent) and if so, find out who it is you will be dealing with primarily and who will be conducting your home opens. There is nothing wrong with being part of a team however, the last thing you want is to find an agent you love only to realise you are constantly dealing with someone else over the most important issues.
5. After the appraisals, weigh up all of the above in conjunction with how the agent made you feel. It may sound silly but this person is about to become a large part of your life for at least 3 months and you need to feel comfortable and confident.
6. The money! We can’t stress this enough – the agent who appraised your house for the highest figure or quoted the lowest fee should not necessarily be the agent you enlist. Educate yourself on the local market, look at recent comparable sales (try not to focus on what houses are currently listed for, a “for sale” price can be very different to a “sold” price) and quite often, you get what you pay for! An agent with a higher fee who has demonstrated the ability to work in your best interests and get you the best possible sale price could actually see you walk away with more money in your back pocket than the cheapest agent.
By doing your research and weighing up all of the information presented to you, you’ll be in good stead to make the best possible decision.