When it comes to selling your home, finding the right real estate agent is a bit like trying to find a partner for a relationship; there’s plenty of offers out there, but knowing who’s got your best interests at heart and who’s just out to screw you is becoming increasingly difficult to determine.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help find your perfect match, and you don’t even have to swipe left or right; just scroll down and check out our handy hints for how to find the real estate agent of your dreams.
In the dating world we’d probably call this ‘stalking’, but for the purpose of sussing out who will best manage the sale of your property, it’s called ‘research’. Getting a little bit of background knowledge on different agents can provide you with a wealth of information.
We’re not talking about what they like to eat for breakfast or how often they visit their grandma, but rather finding out what their professional history looks like. What is their experience as a real estate agent? Are they employed full time or part time? What are their personal strengths as a real estate agent? How have they presented their listings? Which marketing strategies do they recommend for the sale of your property? You get the idea...
Don’t stress about going local.
Just as we don’t often pick partners that grew up in the very same neighbourhood we did – we shouldn’t exclusively choose real estate agents based in our area. Sure, it’s important for an agent to have an extensive knowledge of the area – but that doesn’t mean they have to live and breathe it. All that’s important is that your agent will be able to assess your home as it sits in the market, and will know how it compares to similar properties which could be competition to your sale.
Sample the service.
Get out and about to open house inspections and check out your prospective agent in action. Consider this a bit like an audition, or even the ‘first date’ before you choose to commit, if you like. Casually observing the agent at work is a great opportunity to see how they interact with clients, and what kind of experience they give you as a (incognito) potential buyer.
Were they on time? Could they answer all your questions about the property? Did they follow up on your attendance at the inspection? Watch and see if their professional manner is how you would like an agent to represent you.
Test their dedication.
Call backs are another important factor. You wouldn’t be happy if you called a date and they never responded. You’d be waiting with that awful feeling in your stomach that makes you start to doubt yourself. A good agent will never make you feel this way; they’ll always return your calls and make you feel like their priority – not their last. Oftentimes, their level of communication has a lot to do with their level of commitment.
Make a connection.
It doesn’t have to be love at first sight, but it is important that you feel somewhat of a connection with your agent. He or she needs to be someone you feel comfortable and capable of having an open, honest conversation with, and can be confident in their abilities to negotiate effectively. Someone who listens to your concerns and makes you feel reassured and at ease is probably going to have a similar effect on potential buyers, and having someone on your team with irresistible charisma will bring you one step closer to closing the deal.
Results are key.
Underneath all the fluffy stuff, it’s the hard facts that really matter. The results. Find out which properties the agent has sold recently, how much they were listed for vs. how much they sold for, and how much time they spent on the market. An agent who only has the gift of the gab is probably not going to do much for you if they don’t have the results to back it up. Just like any job application, a proven track record is the only solid evidence of success you can really rely upon.
As equally important as it is that you do your research, a good agent should have done theirs, too. They should be able to provide information about local schools, public transport, demographics, what sort of buyers are looking at homes in the area, and what the current market looks like. These are all key factors that will help potential buyers make an informed decision about your home, as well as provide conversation topics to help your agent build rapport and trust with the buyers. Houses for sale don’t just sell themselves, and you need an agent who knows exactly what’s going on in the area to give your home the best chance at snagging a buyer’s interest.
So, if you’re feeling like it’s time to get on the market, remember: it’s not a dating app, so don’t just take an agent solely on face value. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll be sure to find an agent that is the perfect match for you.
If you've been thinking about buying or selling your home feel free to contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0431 366 364.