How To Choose Your Real Estate Agent
There are a lot of real estate agents out there.
So how do you choose the one that’s right for you? We explore the 9 factors you should always take into account.
What are they like in action?
One of the best ways to find out whether a real estate agent is right for you is to watch them in action. So, if you’re interested in an agent, turn up at open homes they’re showing to see how they present, what they tell buyers about a property and how they conduct themselves after the showing. For instance, do they follow up with you? What do they tell you? How personable are they? And how determined are they to find the right buyer for the place?
Do you get along with them?
Selling your home or investment property is an important task and one that usually takes around a month or more, especially if you’re going to auction. Over that time, you’ll be seeing a lot of your real estate agent and you’ll be working closely with them and their team. For this reason, it usually helps if you get along with your agent, find it easy to communicate with them, and respect their professionalism. If you don’t, you won’t just have an unhappy few weeks ahead of you, you may not get the best result.
Do they listen?
A good real estate agent is also a good communicator. And the most important ingredient in being a communicator is being able to listen to what someone is telling them before they respond. So, ask yourself, does your agent let you talk? And, if they do, how are they at addressing your concerns? If they’re good at communicating with you, chances are they’re also going to be good at communicating with potential buyers.
Do they know your local area?
Property values don’t simply change from suburb to suburb, they can change from street to street, apartment block to apartment block and even from one side of a building to the other if aspect or views are involved. A good real estate agent knows the local area like the back of their hand. They can tell you why one property will attract more than another, what features people will pay for and won’t, and who’s likely to buy your home. Without this kind of local knowledge, a real estate agent may price your property too high or, worse still, may undersell your home.
Are they connected?
Buyers come from so many places. A lot come through advertising, whether that’s through an online ad on a property portal, traditional print or signage, or even Facebook or other social media. However, often the person willing to move quickest and pay the best price will come from a real estate agent’s own database of qualified buyers. That means it’s important that your real estate agent doesn’t simply advertise your property to the public, but that they also have large network of relationships with potential buyers, who they can contact privately.
Do they get results?
Usually the best real estate agents will have sold a lot of property in your local area, including some properties that are similar – if not entirely identical – to yours. More importantly, they will have also sold these for good prices, and will have done so recently. Not only does these show that they’ll know what they’re doing, it also means they may have tapped into a network of potential buyers who missed out on the last sale. A good agent will also be a tough and skilled negotiator, so test them out by negotiating their commission structure or rate.
Do they give good advice?
Good real estate agents give holistic advice about when to sell and how to sell. They know who’s likely to buy your property, what’s likely to appeal most to them and what type of sales process is likely to work best. They also know the state of the current market, including what other properties are listed, how yours is different and what you need to do to find the right buyer.
Do you trust them?
Given that you’re entrusting such an important asset to your real estate agent, perhaps the most important thing is that you trust them. One of the best ways to know that is to ask yourself whether they’re telling you simply what you want to hear, or whether they’re telling you the truth. For instance, an agent you can trust won’t inflate the valuation of your home, just to get the listing. They also won’t simply say ‘yes’ to everything you ask them, but rather they’ll use their experience and judgement to point you in the right direction. In other words, they’ll have an opinion of their own.
What do other sellers say?
Check with other sellers what they would say about the agent they used. What were they pleased with? Did they have any concerns? Would they use the same agent again? A good agent will have many testimonials from a variety of sellers. They may provide these in a list to prospective clients or you can search online and check review sites.
There are many real estate agents out there and different people will be most comfortable with different agents. By keeping these 9 factors in mind, you should be able to find the right one for you.