When you employ a real estate agent to sell your property, you’re handing over a great deal of responsibility to someone who you hope will get you the highest price in the shortest amount of time – without taking too much off the top for themselves.
Understandably then, knowing that you have the right agent can save you money, time and stress – and leave you to the equally important task of finding your dream home.
But how do you go about it? Here’s what you need to know:
Even if the first agent you meet with seems enthusiastic, knowledgeable and promises you a great selling price, don’t stop here. Shop around; obtain an appraisal on your property from at least three agents.
By doing this you’ll catch out anyone making unrealistic assurances about price or quickness of sale.
Also, don’t be afraid to let agents know that you’re talking to others – a bit of competitiveness could see you end up with a better deal than was initially on offer.
Get a recommendation
A common way of deciding on a real estate agent is to get a referral from family, friends or work colleagues. They can tell you what an agent was really like to work with once the contracts were signed.
When getting a recommendation ask plenty of questions: did the agent respond to emails and phone calls quickly? Did they show up to the open house themselves or send an assistant?
Do your research
Keep an eye on the market and check recent sale prices in your area. By following how quickly local properties are moving you’ll have an idea of the demand in your suburb – and whether your agent is going to have to work extra hard for a sale or simply put up a sign in your front yard.
Agent commissions can be negotiated on these factors, so it pays to do your homework.
Visit open houses and auctions conducted by the agents you are considering and see if you feel comfortable with the selling techniques they use. And have a peek at their website – online presence is now an incredibly important factor in real estate, so make sure you will be represented well.
As with finding a real estate agent and all other aspects of moving house, it pays to be organised. Before moving into your next home, get an idea of energy prices in the area by using our online energy calculator.