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How to choose the best real estate agent

Choosing the right real estate agent for your property can save you time, money, and make the process of selling far less stressful.

So what should you be looking for when searching for the perfect agent? Here are our tips:

Do some homework first

Before you approach any agents it’s in your best interests to have done some homework - not only on the agents themselves but also on the local property market. 

A recent report from CoreLogic RP Data found that a significant number of vendors said the one thing they would do differently the next time they sold a property was to undertake more research or ask their agent more questions. These vendors said that undertaking their own research was the best way to help them feel confident that their agent was performing properly and being truthful.

Remember it’s individual

The “right” agent will vary depending on what you are selling and what your expectations are. It will also depend on which agent you click with. But there are essential criteria you’ll want to make sure are ticked off no matter who you choose: 

  • Choose an agent who is licensed, has a good reputation and runs on the board with similar property types (eg: family homes, commercial premises, selling whole apartment blocks).
  • Does the agent have local knowledge, experience and good contacts in your area?
  • Is the agent a member of the Real Estate Institute (REI) or a relevant professional organisation in your state or territory? 
  • Investigate the sales record of the agent in question - not just listings, but actual sales and sales prices they’ve achieved.

Compare several agents

It pays to shop around to get the best deal in anything you’re buying or selling so you’ll want to compare a few agents when selling what is probably your biggest asset. 

Things you should be looking to compare include:

  • The market value an agent puts on your property.
  • The agent’s commission and fee structures. 
  • The marketing and advertising strategy and budget they suggest.
  • The best type of agreement between you and the agency selling your home.

These key items can vary between agents so it can save you time and money to do thorough comparisons.

Interview the agents 

After you’ve done your homework and have a shortlist of agents, nothing beats a face-to-face meeting to get a sense of which agent is right for you. 

Surprisingly the report from CoreLogic RP Data found that 38% of sellers interviewed only one agent before deciding who to use. 28% interviewed two agents, and only 35% interviewed three or more agents before making this big financial decision.

Watch your agent sell other properties

If you’re torn when deciding between agents or want to get a better idea of how they run a sales campaign go and visit other properties they have listed for sale. Attending open homes, seeing how the properties are presented, and how the agent behaves “on the job” or at an auction can be a good way to get a sense of whether they’re right for you. 

And backing this up is the same report from CoreLogic RP Data, which found that 58% of vendors were influenced over which agent to choose after seeing them successfully sell a local property. 36% were influenced by a friend’s recommendation, with newspaper advertising, other listings and signboards also playing a part. Only 3% were swayed by social media.  

There’s no doubt you want to trust your instincts when choosing an agent but doing your research and making thorough comparisons before choosing a real estate agent can save you time, headaches and achieve a better sale price for your property in the end.

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