Buying & Selling

Tips for choosing the right real estate agent to sell your home

Finding the right real estate agent to sell your property can be daunting. These tips can help make the experience and that final decision a whole lot easier.

Selling a home is a pretty big event, so you’ll want to do everything possible to get it right. Finding and selecting the best real estate agent for your particular property is a crucial step in the process. Here are some simple tips for making the right choice.

Unlocking the right research
The first step to finding the best real estate agent is to do your research. Make a list of agents in your area, then investigate which ones match with what you’re looking for. Do they sell more houses or apartments? Do they specialise in auctions or private sales? Are they a boutique agency or part of a national chain?
There are websites such as Local Agent Finder and Open Agent that property sellers can use to research agents. These sites give you information about each agent, including properties they’ve sold in the past and reviews from previous clients. This can be a very useful way of determining which agent is right for you.

Reputation, reputation, reputation
Checking if an agent is reputable is very important and these days it’s been made much easier thanks to the internet. Social media is a great way to get an idea of their reputation and standing in the marketplace, as well as how they compare to their competitors.
What do their previous customers say about them? Have they won any awards? What’s their auction clearance rate compared to the national average? What’s their average percentage increase on estimated sale price versus the final sold price? Get Googling as well as asking the agents themselves – if they’re ambitious and professional sales agents they’ll have the answers to these questions.

See the agent in action 
Before you decide on an agent, visit one of their open house inspections to see how they treat you as a potential buyer. How do they communicate and interact with people? Do they follow up with you after the inspection? Chances are, how they sell someone else’s property is how they will sell yours.
A good agent will find out what a buyer’s really looking for and match them to the perfect property. A not-so-good agent might just give a brochure spiel without really listening to a buyer’s needs.
If you engage a good agent, you’ll be able to trust they’re working hard to find buyers who really want your property and are prepared to pay top dollar for it.

Look for local knowledge
If you’re selling your family home, it’s more than likely you’ll know the area inside out: the good schools, the best places to shop, which cafe brews the tastiest coffee. Your agent needs to know this stuff too, so they can talk up your neighbourhood to potential buyers. Put a few questions to the agent about where they like to shop, go for coffee or send their kids to school and see how it compares to your own local knowledge. Their answers could be revealing. The greater understanding and passion they show for the area the property is in, the more likely they’ll connect with the buyers, selling the lifestyle on offer as well as the bricks and mortar.

The hard number 
Once you’re close to settling on an agent, you may want to consider having the three best contenders come in to pitch for your business. Sit down and consider their benchmarks – how will they position your house in the market? What kind of marketing and advertising do they propose? How will they handle negotiations with potential buyers? What’s their commission? Will they put furniture in your house or perhaps provide some styling expertise?
Afterwards, don’t just set and forget. Creating and using benchmarks will enable you to monitor the agent’s performance and put you in a good position to discuss anything you’re not happy with. Send a friend or family member to the open house inspections to get feedback on the agent’s performance.
Choosing a real estate agent shouldn’t be a lottery. By doing your homework and following a few simple steps, you can make sure you have the best agent working for you.