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How to Choose A Real Estate Agent

3 March 2012 |  by  |  Agent Advice

The lack of independent, transparent and readily available data on real estate agent performance used to make it almost impossible to choose a real estate agent in Australia. This is compounded by the large disparity in the quality of real estate agents operating across Australia. This is equally the case within real estate agencies. The franchise companies invest millions to have you believe that all Ray White, LJ Hooker or McGrath agents are the same but it simply is not true.

It is the individual real estate agent, their competency, motivation, skills, experience and support personnel that makes all the difference as to whether you achieve a strong result or end up thousands of dollars short.

When you choose a real estate agent make sure the real estate agent you select is in possession of the following rare combination of skills and experience:

1

Local area expert

Those who live and breath the area in which you sell your property are more likely to have a comprehensive and up-to-date database of potential buyers for your property, before it is even marketed. The quality real estate agents develop relationships with potential buyers and actively stay in touch and inform their database when new properties come onto the market that fall within their search criteria. Often these 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, and are therefore highly motivated and likely to pay a full price. Do NOT list your property with an agent who cannot show you their extensive experience at selling in and around the same street your property is on.

2

Specialist at selling your type of property

Selling a studio apartment versus a three story heritage listed terrace are vastly different processes. Given the multitude of factors that impact the particular property type from heritage and strata issues to the demographic of the potential buyers, you want an agent experienced at selling your type of property.

3

Marketing

Presenting the property in its best possible light is a skill that shouldn’t be underestimated. A quality real estate agent will know exactly where and when to take the photos, when to conduct the open homes, whether display furniture is required, if vacant possession should be sought and so forth.

4

Advertising

This is more than listing the property on the standard listing websites. A quality real estate agent will determine the buyer demographic of the property and target advertising and structure a marketing campaign accordingly. If it is a high end property this may for example include targeted advertising in business media and inspections by appointment e.g. out of work hours to suit the buyer demographic.

5

Qualified buyer identification

Quickly and professionally determining who is interested and in a position to buy, and then coalesce them into a competitive, time restricted bidding environment is one of the key skills, if not THE key skill, a quality real estate agent requires. This is much much more than just standing at the door taking phone numbers!

6

Relative positioning of the property

Awareness of other similar properties on the market (the competition) and understanding your properties relative strengths and weaknesses is crucial, particularly when negotiating. That is why the quality real estate agents will spend time visiting their competitors’ open homes, as well as managing their own.

7

Negotiating

In order to negotiate effectively the real estate agent must have a strong understanding of the local market and comparable properties so as to be confident in the value of the property and its relative position. An experienced agent who can talk confidently to the asking price, qualify buyers effectively and talk with authority on recent comparable sales will ensure your property is sold at its optimal price.

8

Quality support staff

Most successful agents have one, two or even three support agents who assist them with their listings, as they can have as many as 15 properties live at any one time. Understanding the competency of the support and when and to what extent they are going to be involved is crucial well selecting your agent.

Seeing too many people choose a real estate agent who didn’t possess the above, unique factors, and the poor results that eventuated lead to the formation of Which Real Estate Agent.

We spend 100% of our time identifying quality agents for our clients. See how we help Australian’s everyday choose a real estate agent(click here) that possess the above factors.

Choose a real estate agent based on the above factors

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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 are paid the same referral fee percentage regardless of which agent you select.

  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 – Compare Fees & Performance

    After the data analysis has been completed, the top three agents, as presented by the data, are profiled. Their fees, experience, qualifications, and properties recently sold are all provided to enable in-depth consideration.

    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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