HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT
Selling or buying property for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. Having the right real estate professional by your side will make the process far easier. With so many agents out there, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Below are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right real estate agent:
Knowledgeable about local markets
Whether you’re buying or selling, it’s best to work with a skilled real estate professional who’s passionate and knowledgeable about the industry. Ideally, you’re looking for an agent with working knowledge of the areas in which you’re buying/selling/renting.
Clear communication is key
An essential element to the agent and client relationship is effective communication, as well as trust. The agent should work with your best interest in mind at all times. For that to happen, you must be able to feel comfortable with the agent and be able to discuss matters openly and freely. Don’t be afraid to speak to the agent about their core values to see if they’re truly the right fit for your property journey.
Well-connected real estate brand
Find out if an agent or the brand they work for lists properties for sale on national and international websites or just smaller localised ones. Sellers should remember that the more exposure their property has, the better their chances of finding a suitable buyer in the shortest possible time. For buyers, selecting an agent from a brand with a national and international network will increase the chances of finding you a home that ticks all of your boxes.
Provides realistic valuations
During this time, the agent can provide an evaluation of your property. Never choose an agent-based purely upon who provides the highest listing price. The right agent will be realistic and base their evaluation on location, market conditions and what similar houses have recently sold for in the area.
Request the agent’s credentials/references
One thing buyers/sellers can do is to ask the agent for proof of their Fidelity Fund Certificate. Not only will this show you that the agent is serious about their profession, but it’s also a good indication that they comply with the conduct rules stipulated in the state Agent's Code of Conduct. You can also ask the potential agent for past client testimonials. Alternatively, if someone whose opinion you trust has recently bought or sold a home, reach out to them for a referral.
Chat about the agent’s commission
The agent’s commission should be discussed and agreed upon upfront as it can vary depending on the agency they work for, as well as their experience and the services they offer. Often an agent that offers their services at the lowest commission will also give the lowest level of service. It’s important to remember that agents from larger, reputable agencies offer the backing, experience, considerable marketing benefits and access to a bigger database of potential buyers that only a large company can offer.
Questions to ask when vetting potential agents:
- What sales have you concluded in the area in the past six months?
- What tools does your estate agency provide to assist you in effectively meeting your obligations to buyers and sellers?
- How effective have your marketing campaigns been for other homes in the area?
- What is your sphere of influence and how well known are you in the area?
- What buyer qualification process do you follow regarding getting finance approved for sale?
Choose a real estate brand you can trust
Even though you can search for your dream home and agent online, searching for the right real estate professional is a personal decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Selling and buying property is a big commitment, therefore, you should embark on the journey with a trusted real estate agent who is backed by a well-established real estate brand.