08.23.2017 Selling Advice

Choosing A Real Estate Agent: 10 Questions You Should Ask

Choosing A Real Estate Agent: 10 Questions You Should Ask

When it comes to selling your property, choosing a real estate agent is about much more than asking someone to conduct a transaction.

You’re looking for a negotiator, a sales person and an advocate rolled into one. In many ways, you’re looking to develop a relationship – hopefully, a long-term one – in which you’re trusting someone with what’s often your most valuable asset. So how do you choose?

Here are 10 questions we recommend asking any prospective agent – including our team – before you decide who to use to sell your home:

1. So, tell me about yourself?

Choosing an agent is personal, and it’s a relationship that requires a deep level of trust. Get to know your prospective agent and find out some basics like:

  • Their experience and previous sales
  • Any qualifications and memberships
  • Their local knowledge, and
  • What their previous clients say about them (back this one up by asking around and also researching online)

2. What is my property worth?

This is a key question – but a high price isn’t always the right answer. You’re looking for a realistic market appraisal backed up with relevant data, not a sky high figure to inflate your expectations.

3. Which similar properties have sold in my area in the last few months?

This will validate your agent’s market appraisal. Most agents provide this as part of their sales package.

4. What’s your commission rate and structure?

This is an important question. But don’t just look at the percentage rate – it’s also important to look at the commission structure your agent suggests. Besides, commission isn’t the only measure of what selling with an agent will cost you. You should weigh up any other marketing costs, your agent’s local knowledge, their willingness to go the extra mile, previous sales records, their database of contacts, social media targeting capability, advice, ability to communicate, and more.

5. What type of agreement will I have to sign?

Whether you’re engaging someone on an exclusive or shared basis, every real estate agent will ask you to sign an agreement if you choose to sell through them. Check the fine print and make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up to.

6. Who will buy my home?

What is the target market for the type of property you’re selling? With this one, you’re testing your agent’s local knowledge. And local knowledge is key to an effective sale. What will your prospective agent be telling the buyers about your property – what are its key selling points?

7. Is there anything I should do to my property to maximise my sale price?

Staging and property styling is fairly routine in Sydney’s East, but should any other changes, repairs or improvements be made to make the most of the property? And, more importantly, what does the agent estimate the cost-benefit of any changes will be? Different agents may have different ideas about the merits of doing work on your property.

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8. How will you market my property?

Professional photos, floorplans, videos and copywriting are standard. But where will your agent promote your property? What type of advertising do they recommend? Print ads, brochures, social media, portals – local and international, sale boards and more. Their answer goes some way to showing how well they understand your potential buyers.

9. What sales process do you recommend?

Off-market, auction, private treaty, there are many ways to sell a property and you need the right one for your particular property and the market conditions. Always ask the agent to justify why.

10. Can I see how you work?

If you haven’t seen your prospective agent in action, ask them if you can go along to one of their other open homes or auctions. Watch closely how they run it, observe first-hand how they interact with buyers and what kind of vibe they create at the open home and listen closely to what they say about the property.

Now it’s your call…

After interviewing prospective agents and analysing what they have to say, it should always ultimately come down to who you’re comfortable working with and who feels right for you.

When you have a good working relationship with your agent, you’ll find that selling your property will be quicker, easier, less stressful, and you’ll make the most of your asset.

To find out how we’d answer these questions contact our team today.