How to pick a real estate agent

Contrary to popular belief, a survey done by RP Data in 2015 found that 68% of people were happy with the real estate agent they used to sell their property, and would recommend that agent to family or friends. Whilst this may surprise many of us, it still suggests that almost 1 in 3 people who sell a house are not satisfied with the outcome. Here are the top reasons why people are not happy with their agent and what you can do to prevent this happening to you.

1. Communication: How to make sure your agent is a good communicator.

a) They explain their process for selling your house properly.
b) They are good at using all 3 communication methods, which are:

  • Speaking: using emotional words that will engage not just you but your buyers as well.
  • Listening: ensuring that they have understood you, and
  • Sight: they must be visually alert, can read body language well and can adjust their style accordingly.

c) They demonstrate that the process is not just about them. A great agent will introduce their team and show you how the mix of all people involved will be working towards the same goal.
d) Expect that they want you to communicate as well. It is important that you let your agent know when you feel frustrated, unsure of what to do next when you expect them to give advice, or when you feel that the communication is not working.
e) Finally, once they have presented to you the reasons why to pick them, you should get the feeling that you really understand the journey you are going on and feel that they will lead you well.

2. Commitment – Do you feel like they are 100% focused on you?

Does the agent genuinely listen to you? Do you feel like they are actively trying to learn who you are? Do they remain committed to keeping in touch with you after the first connection?

You want an experienced and busy agent as these agents will typically have a larger pool of potential buyers, however if they are too busy, they will not be available when you need them the most (particularly during negotiation time).

Be careful when picking an agent purely because they seem to be the best. Sometimes the agents that are number 2 or 3 in an area will do a better overall job as they are hungrier for your business and will show greater patience and commitment to the task at hand.

3. Teamwork – Who will they be working with?

It is important that your agent explains all the different parties and how they fit together to ensure the best result. Some examples are their office support team, the conveyancer you use, finance person (if required), or even building and pest professionals. All of these parties can denote the difference between a successful sale and one that you want to forget.

4. Marketing & Advertising – How will they attract buyers?

Your agent’s job is to ensure the largest net is cast to attract the greatest number of buyers. As the vendor, you have to give permission for your agent to do this and often this will mean spending money. There is a separation between paying your agent to work for you and giving him permission to market your property effectively. Make sure this is discussed in all presentations.

5. Negotiation skills – Do they stand firm on price?

There is a difference between asking your agent whether they will negotiate on their fees, and asking them to be the cheapest agent that you see. Good agents will stand firm on their pricing strategies as hard as they can, and this is what you want because when it is your property they are negotiating, you want them to do the same for you. If you pick your agent on price, you are not putting any faith into the exercise and this is a dangerous place to find yourself in.

Looking for a good agent? Let us know as we might know someone reputable in your area. Contact us here.

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