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How to Find the Best Real Estate Agents

25 June 2016 |  by  |  Agent Advice

To sell your house at the best possible price you need to do one thing!

And that is to find the best real estate agent possible.

Whether you are trying to find the best real estate agents in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, there are some common traits that distinguish the best agents from the rest of the pack.

We agree that identifying the best agents can be difficult without knowing all the facts.

Therefore:

We promise to identify the quality agents through a thorough, systematic and analytical approach which goes well beyond a 30-minute chat over the dining table.

So let us show you how to do just that.

But:

Before I elaborate on how to choose the best real estate agents, let me dispel a common misconception.

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Understand the listing presentation and back it up with facts

A lot of agents view the listing presentation – where you interview two or three local agents – as the main sale event.

You see:

If they secure the listing, they are pretty much guaranteed to get paid.

It’s true!

While the amount may differ depending on the final sale price, they will still pocket a pretty substantial sum of money as long as the property sells.

With this in mind, it is abundantly clear that you should take what an agent tells you during a listing presentation with a grain of salt.

In fact:

If they provide an estimate of what they are going to sell your house for, don’t take it as gospel. It is merely a guide, and sometimes an overinflated one, just to secure the listing.

So with this in mind:

Choosing the top real estate agents should always be supported by extensive, fact-based research on who are the strong performers; those who actually walk the talk.

See how we identify the best real estate agents in our free report.

I’m not saying the interview isn’t important!

It is.

It is where you should evaluate the personal fit between you and the real estate agents, and assess their soft skills.

  • Do they appear professional?
  • Do they listen?
  • Can they articulate themselves clearly?
  • Can they confidently talk about your property’s unique selling points?
  • How good is their local market knowledge?

But you know what else?

We provide all our clients with an interview guide and a detailed set of questions to ask the real estate agents.

However:

The interview should always be complimented with some insightful analysis of sales data.

The two main factors to consider when finding the top real estate agent

Let’s break it down.

There are two types – the ‘past go’ and performance factors.

Past Go

For you to even begin considering whether an agent is good enough to sell your home you should check:

  • whether they have a current real estate license
  • whether it is a full license or a certificate of registration

This is a regulatory requirement to show and sell property.

For example:

In NSW, a certificate of registration comprises of achieving competency in four units from an accredited institution, whereas a real estate license comprises of 24 units of competency. The courses take approximately one to two months and one year respectively.

Importantly:

If someone holds a certificate of registration, they can only act under the supervision of a qualified real estate agent.

Did you know?

You should also conduct a disciplinary check to determine whether they have been penalised in the past, and if so for what reason.

Recent customer testimonials should also be referred to, and ideally, previous customers called to confirm what the agent tells you is actually true.

Performance

Probably the single most important factor the best real estate agents possess is current, local market knowledge related to your particular property type.

This is absolutely crucial.

It is only with an intimate knowledge of selling similar properties within your local area that the agent will know how to market your property relative to the competition.

They will also advise what price you should accept or reject.

In truth:

The really good agents will already have relationships with qualified buyers looking for your type of property.

Why?

They develop relationships with potential buyers at previous open homes selling similar properties within the area and actively stay in touch.

They will inform their database of purchasers of your property before it is even listed on the real estate websites, maximizing the competitive buying environment from the very beginning.

This is at the crux of what drives good price outcomes for vendors.

Often these buyers on the quality agent databases are the committed and serious buyers as they have been actively looking for a while and may have missed out on purchasing a property previously.

Therefore:

They are highly motivated and more likely to pay full price.

In addition to understanding who is selling a lot, it is important to understand who is also selling well.

Let me elaborate further:

That is who is selling properties efficiently without significant discounting to achieve the sale.

These are all factors we consider when making our recommendations to our clients.

Differentiate between the sales agencies and the agents to secure the best deal

Lastly:

Let me address the common misconception that selecting a good real estate agency will automatically result in obtaining the top real estate agents.

It will not.

Consider this fact:

Individual agents vary considerably, even within agencies.

While the agency can help with internal training and marketing, it is the individual agent, their competency, motivation, skills, experience and support personnel that makes all the difference as to whether you achieve a solid result or end up thousands of dollar short.

Read why real estate agent selection is crucial for more information on the topic.

Here is something else to keep in mind:

From our research we’ve discovered that over 60% of people choose the first real estate agent they talk to.

They trust their largest asset with an agent based on a 30-minute ‘interview’ and what the agent tells them.

Unbelievable, isn’t it?

Do not make the same mistake, receive unfiltered performance data on your local real estate agents.

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The Agent Report

  1. Step 1

    Professional, Independent & Comprehensive

    The report is manually produced to the highest standards and is specifically tailored to you and your property. It is an unbiased assessment of all the real estate agents in your area and suggests those best suited to sell or manage your property based purely on their performance data. This is obtained from a variety of sources, including proprietary and industry databases which are not available to the public.

    Importantly Which Real Estate Agent’s analysis is completely unbiased - we receive the same fee from all agents, and only if your property sells. You are free to choose any agent in Australia. We are not aligned with agents (unlike our competitors!).

  2. Step 2

    Transparent & Extensive Agent Data

    The report analyses and transparently provides the performance metrics of the individual real estate agents that have recently sold properties similar to yours within the immediate vicinity.

    Extensive consideration is given to not only how many comparable properties each agent has sold, but also how long it took to sell them and whether they had to price discount to secure the sale. This is provided to you, so you can look past the agency branding and understand the performance metrics of the individual agent you will be trusting with what is possibly your largest asset.

  3. Step 3

    Top 3 Agent Profiles – Benchmark Fees & Performance

    After the data analysis has been completed, the top three agents, as presented by the data, are profiled. Their experience, performance history and properties recently sold are all provided to enable in-depth consideration. Benchmark fee and commission information is also provided.

    You are then in a very strong position to decide who to interview to maximize your sale price and reduce the stress of what can be with the wrong agent, a tortuous and drawn out affair.

  4. Step 3

    Recent Sales, Market Data & Step-By-Step Guide

    And if that isn’t enough the report also contains the latest market data for your suburb, an extensive list of comparable properties sold in your area and a comprehensive step-by-step guide to selling your property, including interview questions to ask the agents.

About the author

Thomas Roberts
Founder of Which Real Estate Agent.
An independent company helping Australians make informed decisions on which agent to use.
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