The best ways to select an estate agent

© The Sun-Herald —
Reproduced with permission.

WHEN it comes to selling a property, you can to do it yourself or use a real estate sales agent.

Enlisting the services of an agent is generally a simpler and better way to sell.

But as the owner, it is important to pick the right agent for your property.

Begin the selection process within the local market. There is little point selecting an agent from the western suburbs if your property is in the eastern suburbs.

A good knowledge of the local market is essential to selling a property.

It provides insight into timing, prices, the profile of the likely purchaser and the best marketing technique.

Word of mouth within the local area can be a great first step to finding the most suitable agent.

Secondly, look at the sales records of the agents in your area. Take note of their listings but delve deeper. What is their actual sales history? It is fine to have many properties listed for sale, but it is far more important that the agent actually sells the properties, not just lists them.

Not all salespeople are the same, even in the same agency. It is critical to find the right salesperson within an agency.

Websites such as make it possible to find out who sold the property, not just which agency sold the property.

Once you have a few potential real estate sales agents in mind, go to some of their property inspections. This provides an opportunity to be a mystery shopper and observe them.

Once you have narrowed it down to a handful of agents, contact them. A few won’t call back, so don’t bother chasing them.

You may decide while speaking over the phone that a couple of them are not quite what you are seeking.

Of the remaining potential agents, request an appraisal. An appraisal is an estimated selling price and should be free. The results may vary, so make sure the agent can justify their figures by providing the details of comparable sales.

Ask questions about their selling technique. Will they auction the property or sell it by private sale? How many open for inspection sessions do they intend to conduct?

When it comes to sales commission, be wary that a lower commission should not be your main selection criteria.

Remember the old adage, “if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”.

Finally, don’t ignore your gut feeling. If you have a particularly good or bad feeling about an agent, don’t discard this because it can be used with the other selection criteria when making a final decision.

– Peter Koulizos

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