Choosing an agent is one of the most important steps towards a successful sale of your home.
You will be relying on this person to be the front line of presentation and negotiation for your property.
It is essential that you are comfortable that the chosen agent will invest enough of themselves in the process to ensure you achieve the best result.
Be careful not to be seduced by gimmicks and bargain commission rates at this point but rather focus on the true value your agent should deliver.
This will always mean the extra dollars you can generate on the sale as opposed to what you can save on the process. As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for in life.
Five things to consider before appointing your agent:
1. Do your research
Find agents working successfully in your local area via ratings sources such as Rate My Agent, which can give you feedback on previous sales and testimonials from previous customers.
Also talk to locals and get their thoughts on who works well in the area.
This can be local business owners and residents. Word of mouth is always a great way to find the best person.
2. Do a blind test
Your agent is presenting your home to the public, so it’s important to see how they engage with buyers.
Go to open for inspections that your shortlisted agents are running to see how they present properties and how they interact and follow up with buyers.
3. Ask questions, lots of questions
Remember that the more you know, the better prepared you will be for the sales campaign.
Ask agents to take you through case studies of other property sales and to talk you through how the sale happened and how the results were achieved.
Ask them why they use certain approaches and what they think will work best for your property and why.
4. Clarify your expectations
Most agents will propose a similar plan to market your property, after all there are only so many things you can do differently in the marketing.
Where the best agents differentiate themselves is in the quality of their customer service and their ability to negotiate a deal.
To help your agent do the best for you, use the appointment process to clarify exactly what you expect in terms of outcomes, communication etc.
If you don’t feel comfortable that an agent can live up to your expectations then they may not be the one for you.
The last point is perhaps the most important: pick someone you can trust. Know that this person will always look to be acting in your best interest.
My top 10 questions to ask your prospective agent
1. What are your most recent sales for similar properties in this area?
2. Do you have any buyers that missed out (previous sales) who might be interested in this property?
3. Do you have people on a database looking for this type of property?
4. What is your market appraisal for this property and what would you suggest the property list for?
5. What sales method do you suggest…auction or private treaty?
6. What marketing strategy would you use (advertising package, online, offline)?
7. Do you think there are any more improvements required?
8. Would you recommend a property stylist? (If so, who do you recommend, and what is a reasonable price for this service?)
9. What is your commission structure?
10. Will you be sharing the listing with any other team members?
Once you decide on an agent and all the details have been finalised, you’ll sign a legally binding contract called a Form 6.
This will detail the estimated sale price, method of sale, length of appointment, agent commissions, advertising costs, the process in case the property is passed in at auction and much more.
You may wish to seek independent legal advice to ensure you understand the terms and conditions of the agreement.