As buyers we often think that we know the market climate and best property sales methods simply because we have bought property or because we spend some time in the property market. However, the truth remains that the time-tested way to achieve successful property sales is to work with an experienced real estate expert, someone who lives and breathes property on a daily basis.
The challenge, however, often comes when trying to find the right person. How should you go about finding a real estate agent that is right for you and your property?
The answer is to research your agent like you research your property: shop around, evaluate relative advantages, and make a decision.
Presence in the Local Market
Keep an eye out for the number of ads you see online or in your newspaper from the agencies that you are considering. If the agent you are going to list with does not have a strong market profile in your particular area, then this does not bode well for increasing the visibility of your property. This research can be done in person as well simply by taking note of the ‘For Sale’ signs you see from particular agencies around your suburb.
It is also worth asking your agent about how long they have lived and worked in the area to find out how well they know the property trends and attractions of your suburb.
Check out Open Houses
Attend open houses and notice how the agent conducts themselves, their etiquette, communication, signage, how well they represent the property, and what they say about the sellers. Ask them about the price and see what they say, especially if it is an auction listing. You will definitely want to pick an agent that works for the seller, not one that just wants to get a quick sale.
Credentials and Recognitions
Have your potential agents won any awards or been recognised for sales achievements? Are they members of the local, state, or national real estate institutes or other professional bodies? Does the agency website offer information about the licencing and authorisation of their agents?
Interview at least three Agents
Ask your top three candidates about their local sales and listing numbers, buyer demand, how many listings they have, and what the size of their buyer data base is. Pay attention to how genuine they are and whether they seem truly interested in your property.
Things to Remember
> Try not to decide solely on the basis of the commission rate they charge
> Do not necessarily list with the one that gives you the highest appraisal
> The most pushy one is usually not the best choice
> Do your own research, avoid relying solely on your friends’ experiences
> If they do not usually handle properties like yours they may not be the best choice.
Once you have narrowed it down
If you feel comfortable with your chosen agent and feel that they are genuine and trustworthy then chances are you have found someone you will work well with. Try not do make your decision based solely on the commission rate they charge, nor the appraisal that they give you. It is also worth remembering that the most pushy agent is usually not the best choice.
Once you have listed your property with the agent, trust them to implement the best strategy for your sale, so give them the co-operation and scope to do what they do best.