There are a number of decisions you need to make when selling your home, but one of the most important considerations when deciding to list your property is who is going to sell it for you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling the family home, your first apartment or an investment property. Choosing the right real estate agent is key to getting the best result possible for your property.
Not all shop assistants, car salesmen or restaurant waiters are the same, and that is certainly true for real estate agents. When selecting an agent, we believe the difference between employing a good agent versus a great agent can have a great impact on the sale price of your property. So how do you identify a great agent for you and your property?
Here is a list of questions to ask an agent to help you identify the best agent to sell your property.
How much is my property worth?
This is the number one question on a vendors mind. Doing your own research is valuable so you have a clear idea of what similar properties are selling for in your area. Be conscious of agents that give you an inflated price just to secure your business.
How would you market my home?
Get your potential agent to explain how they would market your property. A good marketing plan should include a mix of digital, print and database marketing. A comprehensive plan underpins the success of the sales campaign so it is important this is comprehensive.
What sales method would you use to sell my home?
The two most common ways to sell a property is via auction or private treaty/private sale. The third, less popular method is tender / expression of interest. Finding out which method the sales agent would recommend and their reasons for choosing it, is a good idea.
Do you host all open for inspections?
The answer to this should be yes. This is where the agent meets potential buyers and has an opportunity to create a rapport and generate excitement around the property.
An agent can also garner information from people inspecting the property on what they feel are the pros and cons. Armed with these details it is possible that you can make a few quick improvements, where possible.
Can you share some recent references?
Ask for references or testimonials from their past clients, it’s just like selecting the best candidate for any job. You may even be able to contact their previous clients to discuss their experience.
What properties have you recently sold in the area?
Armed with this information you can look into previous sales, the price they achieved and how long it was on the market. This can help you understand the type of property they sell and their success rate.
What makes you different from your competition?
Giving the agent the opportunity to explain how their experience in the business sets them apart from the rest is important.
You also need a good negotiator with an affable personality. Ask for an example where they have successfully handled a tricky negotiation and what the outcome was.
You need to trust your instincts. If you feel you can communicate well, are relaxed, share values and feel like you can put your trust in an agent then you’re off to a good start.
Many property owners, only buy and sell a property a few times in their lifetime and as it is likely to be their most valuable asset, finding and choosing the best real estate agent is imperative.
In fact, we believe the difference between employing a good agent versus a great agent is about 5%-10% on the sale price and that’s a lot of money.
BUT HOW DO YOU FIND A GREAT AGENT?
There are some key criteria to look when researching for real estate agents to help sell your property.
Online research to find a local real estate agent
As with everything in property, research is key. A good place to start your research is online. Most high performing agents have a strong digital presence which can give you an understanding of who they are and their achievements.
Find agents working in your suburb and head to their website and social media pages and read about:
- Their property sales track record and unique service offering
- The type of property they specialise in
- Their client testimonials
- Their community involvement and groups they support
- Social media presence, comments and reviews
- Any Google or agent review sites such as Rate My Agent
See how they perform when presenting homes to market?
Whilst gathering information online is a good starting point, seeing an agent in action at an open for inspection or private appointment is an excellent way to assess their ‘on the job’ skills. This is a critical element of a successful sale.
At the inspection, watch and interact with the agent and take a note of the following:
- Do they display integrity and transparency?
- How knowledgeable are they on the property?
- Did they actively promote the property’s best features?
- How well were they presented?
- How efficient was their follow up after the open home?
Do they have strong local market knowledge?
Finding an agent with a deep understanding of the local market, who understands the unique property cycle of the area and can sell the benefits of the location, can make a difference come sale time. It is worth considering the following points:
- Can they provide a local market report and discuss with insight the local property trends, what’s selling, what’s sold and for how much?
- How much do they think your property is worth?
- How long do they think it will take to sell your property?
- What method of sale would they use to sell your property? The two most common ways to sell a property is via auction or private treaty/private sale. The third, less popular method is tender / expression of interest. Finding out which method the sales agent would recommend and their reasons for choosing it, is a good idea.
- Do they have a strong database of active local buyers?
Do you feel comfortable with the agent?
Selling a property can be a stressful and challenging process, however having an agent who you feel comfortable working with is important to help make the process as stress free as possible.
- Are they friendly, approachable, transparent and likeable?
- Are they attentive and listen to your needs?
- What feels right to you, do you feel they will engage with prospective buyers and encourage them to act?
Have you reviewed their sales result and what they are selling in the area?
A great agent should be able to demonstrate a history of strong results in your suburb. Look at your short-listed agent’s sales history and understand:
- Key metrics, such as days on market or auction clearance rates
- Have they sold similar properties in your area? Armed with this information you can look into previous sales, the price they achieved and how long it was on the market. This can help you understand the type of property they sell and their success rate.
- How much did they sell for?
- Do they have a strong buyer database for property’s like yours?
- What are the agent’s current listings, are they similar to yours? This can be beneficial as contacts on their buyer database may also be interested in your property
- What makes you different from your competition? Giving the agent the opportunity to explain how their experience in the business sets them apart from the rest is important.
What marketing & sales strategy would they use to promote your property?
Any great real estate agent should come armed with a comprehensive strategy to sell your home. This would include points on presentation and areas you could enhance before the open homes. Marketing – how and where they would want to promote your property and how they plan on negotiating the sale. When talking to your short-listed agents, ask them:
- Who they believe your target market is and how can you position your property to appeal to them?
- What features of your property should you highlight and / or fix
- How do they plan on promoting your property?
- What digital platforms will they use such as realestate.com.au, domain, allhomes.com.au etc and why?
- Do they recommend print advertising?
- How they intend on promoting your property to their existing database of buyers?
- Approximately how much will you be expected to invest in marketing and advertising?
- How they plan on negotiating the deal, will they push for pre-auction offers?
- How they plan on using social media to promote your property?
- Are they strong communicators as this is important when dealing with potential buyers?
With over 20 years of experience selling properties, many for record prices, and with a reputation of consistently outperforming our competitors on overall client experience, our team of high performing agents would love to talk to you about your property and share our local insights.