Choosing The Right Agent

Congratulations! You have decided to sell. So where to from here? You are likely to have some questions about the process. After all, if the market is not changing the industry is! The first thing you need to do is choose an agent, which is often one of the toughest decisions. Here are a few tips to help you pick the right agent for you. 1. Go with your gut. The vast majority of the time you will know whether or not the person you are interviewing is telling you the truth. One of the biggest pit falls you can put yourself in is going with someone that is telling you something that just sounds too good to be true. Because it most likely is! This can be a costly mistake at the end of your transaction. Trying to save a fraction of a percentage on agents fees can cost you thousands on your sale price. Be mindful that the agent you choose has a very valuable asset in their hands. Be wary of giving your property to the best liar. 2. Is the agent backing up what they are telling you with facts and documentation? Although the market is constantly changing, agents have access to valuable information to guide their assessment of your property. This information should be discussed with you in depth so that you are both on the same page. If the agent does not have good comparable data, is there a sound and logical reason? For example, do you have an incredibly unique property, a one of a kind so to speak. 3. Do they have a winning game plan? A good agent will be able to tell you step by step how they aim to achieve the best possible results for you in the current market that will suit your needs. A professional agent will also not hesitate to tell you what they believe is best for the successful outcome of your property, even if you do not agree with it. Please keep in mind, regardless of how many homes you have sold over the years, a successful real estate agent is experiencing the market every day and is therefore very up to date with its changes. 4. What support does your agent have? Although you are likely to choose an agent based on the individual, it is important to know that the company behind them has a sound reputation and strong ethical support system behind the scenes. Admin staff, Marketing, Personal Assistants and Directors all play an integral part of every real estate transaction. 5. How does the agent interact with buyers? Do your homework! Get out there and be a buyer! Does the agent you are about to interview ask for photo ID at their open homes? Do they ask qualifying questions? If so, are they prompting you to make an offer on the property? Would YOU deal with them as a buyer? Do you feel they are working to get their Vendor the best possible outcome, or just a quick sale? How is their follow up? Do they return emails and phone calls? This is by far one of the most important exercises you can do when selecting your agent. It is a good guide to see how they run their business. If the agent talks the talk, they had better walk the walk! 6. Do they know how to negotiate? The truth is, any person with a pulse can become a real estate agent. But not every agent is a professional negotiator. Agents like to throw around the term of being a specialist in an area or type of property. But if they are lacking in the most important skill necessary, negotiating, the product knowledge means nothing. Role play with your prospective agent. How will they deal with difficult buyers and aim to protect your price? A good agent should be able to do this with you on the spot. 7. What happens to the relationship after you sell your home? Almost all agents only service a limited area or number of homes. This generally means that after your home has been sold they will quickly move on to the next transaction and not focus on maintaining a long term business relationship with you. Do not be afraid to ask for testimonials or discuss what will happen after a sale takes place. 8. Do they have systems in place to protect you if a transaction does NOT go to plan? Unfortunately things can go wrong in the sale of a property. Whether it be a mistake, miscommunication or an unhappy buyer. What tools does the agent have to protect your best interests? 9. Is the agent quick to drop their fee or offer you free marketing to sweeten the deal? This is another major pitfall in choosing an agent. Everyone wants the best deal, but at what cost. Agents that are quick to panic and drop their fees show just how lacking they are in their negotiating skills. An agency holding the cost of many properties has a vested interest in making sure those properties are sold. At ANY cost. It is an ethical conflict of interest. An agent desperate for your business is the last person you want representing the sale of your home. Look at it this way: The cheapest agent is the one that will put the most money in your hand at the end of the transaction. Saving a few thousand on agents fees can be a costly mistake you only see in hind sight. 10. Refer to 1. Go with your gut. You need to trust the person you are about to work with. Do you believe they have your best interests in their heart? Do you think they will negotiate to the very last dollar? Do you believe buyers will enjoy working with them? Do you believe they have been honest in the assessment of your property to the best of their abilities? Do you believe they genuinely love what they do? If the answer is yes, yes   yes, you have likely found the agent for you! Happy Selling!

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