When it comes to selling your biggest financial investment, it is critical that you work in partnership with someone you can trust.
But with so many real estate agents to choose from, what’s the best way to sort ‘the wheat from the chaff’ so to speak?
What experience do they have?
If an agent is going to promote your home, and its location, to potential buyers, your agent needs to have an in-depth understanding of what buyers look for and what makes your home, in particular, a desirable place to purchase.
Once you’ve established this point, find out how long the real estate agent has been working in real estate. Experience in the local marketplace is critical for them to have a solid understanding of what types of properties sell fastest, what features are highly sought after, who’s buying and how the current market is performing.
Check them out online
With so much information available on the internet, it’s in your power to do thorough research on a wide variety of agents in your local area.
Start with their profile, their website if they have one and then move on to things like social media. Don’t forget to have a read of each real estate agents reviews and testimonials from previous clients, as this will give you a lot of insight into the approach they will take with your home sale.
From here you could draw up a shortlist of two or three agents to meet in person.
Don’t be afraid to ask some tough questions
This certainly isn’t the time to feel shy or nervous about being direct and to the point. Selling your home is a big transaction, and it’s extremely important that you know as much as you can about your potential real estate agent before you engage their services.
Some questions you should ask include:
- What has the property market been like in my local area over the past 12 months?
- Have you recently sold a property comparable to mine?
- What changes do you think we need to make to our home to make sure it achieves a good price?
- What do you think is the best way to sell my property – and why?
- What will my marketing campaign entail?
- What are your sales fees?
- Are you a member of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland?
- How long have you been a real estate agent?
- How many properties have you sold?
- How do you approach sales negotiations?
- Should we sell by private treaty or auction?
- Should we buy first or sell first?
- What makes you a successful agent?
Communication is key – what’s the agents style?
Most agents have multiple listings on the go at any one time, so find out how regularly they will be in contact with you and for what purpose.
Ask if you can get in touch after hours (if it is something urgent), or how often they will be available for face-to-face meetings (if that is your preference). You need to be on the same page as your agent from the get-go, otherwise, you’ll feel frustrated down the track.
What’s included in the sales fees?
This is definitely one aspect you need to get clear. What does the real estate agent’s fee include? Is it commission only? Who pays for marketing the property?
You may be interested to know that I offer free advertising and marketing for every one of my listings. For a lot of agents, this is an extra cost on top of their fee.
Remember – you’re not always comparing apples with apples
While there are thousands of people who have the role of ‘real estate agent’ it doesn’t mean we all work the same way. You need to understand what’s most important to you throughout your house or apartment sale. Is it a quick sale, above average sales price, or a long settlement period. Discuss your objectives and goals with your prospective real estate agents. Engaging the services of an experienced agent who is a skilled negotiator can make achieving a higher sales price and your specific objectives a reality.
So as a start, please feel free to check out what past clients have said about selling with me. See how I compare, and if I may be the right agent to help you sell your home.