Information Is Power
HOW SHOULD I SELECT AN AGENT
What too look for when choosing an agent...
When deciding to sell your property, choosing your agent is the single most important job that you have. This decision will be the difference on whether you maximise on your sale price and set a record or just get a sold result at market value or below.
Here are a few things we suggest you look for, during the decision process…
Invest the time to speak to a maximum of 3 agents
Investing time into speaking to multiple agents will help give you a few different opinions on whose best to represent you in the sale of your property. The decision to sell, what is probably your largest financial asset, is not to be taken lightly and just like any major decisions, a good amount of time to research, who is going to handle this sale, is important.
We strongly recommend that you only interview 3 agents. This will help with the decision-making process and deter from turning your mind to mush and confusing you on who to go with. In our experience, home sellers that interview 4 to 6 and in some cases, a lot more, will naturally stop listening to what’s actually important and purely base their decision on the all-round cheapest agent… These same home owners are also the people who generally get the lowest price in the street at the point of sale (well… at least they didn’t spend money on advertising and saved a couple of thousand dollars on commission).
By only interviewing 3 agents, you will be able to address more important things, such as, the presentation and confidence of the agent, the pros and cons of your property versus others that have sold around you, how to maximise on your sale price and a record and whether this agent is going to be working on getting you absolute best price rather than just a sale.
Which agents should you speak to? Ask some friends about past experiences, start to actively research the agents who are consistent in delivery and go to plenty of local open for inspections to get a better understanding on how each agent conducts themselves. In your 3, you should have a market leader, a consistent performer and a younger, hungry, up and comer.
Ask plenty of questions about how to maximise the sale price of your property
When selling property, the only thing that really matters is “how much am I going to get”! It’s also the one question you will get the largest variance of answers for. Some agents will come in conservative, some in the middle and plenty will come in slightly higher than reality.
Why a question of “how much am I going to get” doesn’t help you in the decision-making process is because it blurs the line between agents who have been trained to get you the best price and the agent who have been trained in selling you the highest price.
If you flip the question around and ask an agent a question like “how can I maximise the sale price of my property” you will get a range of useful options. Anything from whether minor/major works need to be conducted, how to best stage your property with furniture and the best methods, tactics and marketing strategies you need to implement in order to get the best out of the market.
Are you just a number?
A lot of people don’t realise how busy we are as agents. Handling multiple home sellers, even more buyers and dealing with day to day administrational work is not the easiest of jobs. It takes amazing time management skills and even then, a lot of agents still haven’t got enough hours in a day.
What does this matter to you? You might ask… This is one of the key factors on whether you are able to secure an amazing result or a below standard result. When interviewing, try to get a better understanding of how that agent is structured to give you, your property and the potential buyers the best possible service. An agent who may look like a market leader in an area based on the number of listings and sales they have, may look attractive. Though if you research that agent and find out that they don’t regularly communicate with their sellers, don’t call back every potential buyer and their results are consistently at or below market value, you may find that the agent has grown too big too busy to handle the workload and is continuously trying to just get rid of properties to make room for new ones. Does this agent still come across as attractive after that realisation?
Ask the agent how their day to day business is structured and how that works for you as their client. Ask how many other sellers they are currently dealing with, how many buyers on average they meet every week and if you list your property with them, what type of service would you expect from them. With some of the larger agents who deal with a lot of properties, ask if they currently run a team structure in which they have people dedicated and specialised to certain areas of the sales process and who will be the main point of contact and negotiator of your property.
Hunger vs Desperation?
Always go with the agent who proves to you that they are hungry for your business and hungry to succeed. Choose an agent who is confident (not arrogant) in their delivery of information, in their ability to sell your property for the best price and in their strategies. An agent who is always striving to be the best in every aspect of their business, whether they build teams to provide the best possible service or they deal with a certain number of clients to not overwhelm themselves. If an agent is able to present that to you and make you FEEL that they are your agent, then your job has just become much easier.
An agent trying to reach their quota for the month, whether it be for personal goal setting or because their job depends on it, are agents who have already shown that they are not consistent in results (hence the roller coaster ride of real estate), in it for themselves, generally care less about you and your outcome and are poor time managers.
The cheaper agent
There will always be an agent who will do it cheaper than everybody else. If you’ve heard the phrase ‘you pay peanuts you get monkeys’ this is generally what to expect when you appoint these agents. When negotiating commissions understand that the difference in percentages are generally only a few thousand dollars, though the difference in your end result with an agent with a greater incentive to work hard and get more may mean the difference of tens of thousands of dollars.
Cheaper agents are usually volume sellers, the more properties they get, the more they sell and the more money they make. The main objective is to sell the property, not for the best price… just get it sold. An agent who has proved their worth will most likely action what they have told you and make sure they have exhausted the entire market place and you will always feel comfortable that the offer you receive has been pushed to the highest dollar, whether it is at, below or above your asking price.
This doesn’t mean that you go with the most expensive agent either, just make sure you feel comfortable with what an agent charges and the overall service they will provide you.
As far as advertising goes, you absolutely must invest money into your property. Look at it as insurance to get the best possible result for your property. An agent legally cannot profiteer from marketing, so what we are charged is what you get charged. Just make sure the agent has proven to you that what you are investing your money into is going to maximise the number of potential buyers for your property and not just for them to promote their brand.