One of the most important decisions you’ll make when selling your home is choosing the right real estate agent to represent you. Your agent will be one of the biggest factors influencing the success of your sale.
Choosing a good agent is just a matter of asking the right questions. Rowan Glanville, one of Canberra’s top auctioneers and a successful agent from Peter Blackshaw’s Woden and Weston Creek office, has identified 5 questions that will help you find the right real estate agent for you.
1. How much do you think my home is worth and why?
You shouldn’t necessarily go with the real estate agent who puts the highest value on your home. The price you set will have a strong impact on the success of your sale. Price it too high and you’ll have a hard time finding buyers.
You really need to think about how the agent arrived at their valuation. You don’t want to work with an agent who is overinflating your expectations just to get your business.
A good agent will be able to justify their appraisal with evidence from a competitive market analysis, which breaks down recent sales in the area, prices similar properties have achieved and the current state of the real estate market.
2. How much experience do you have?
Experience is very important; you want to work with an agent who has the skills and knowledge to help you achieve the result you want.
This doesn’t mean you should only work with agents who have been in the industry for 15 or 20 years. You just need to make sure they have enough sales experience to handle anything that comes their way and the motivation to find the best buyer for you.
If an agent has been working in the industry for a couple of years they are likely to bring a different level of enthusiasm. They’ll be trying to make a name for themselves by selling your property at the best possible price.
Of course, you also need to make sure that the agent is backed by a well-established, reputable brand which can support them throughout the sale.
3. How will you communicate with me?
Communication is a big deal and a good agent will understand they need to adapt the way they communicate to suit you. You want a personal approach, not an agent who is going to treat you the same as every other client.
You want to be kept informed throughout the entire sale, but the amount of contact you need might vary depending on your circumstances. A first time seller for example, might want a lot more information and regular phone calls. A busy executive on the other hand might not have time to deal with that. They might prefer a weekly email with a few key points to keep them updated.
You also need to determine if you will be dealing directly with the agent. It can be very frustrating if you agree to work with an agent, only for them to push you off onto a junior salesperson or another team member.
That being said, there can be advantages to agents who use a team structure. It can free up more of the agent’s time, allowing them to concentrate on finding buyers, but you need to understand what the team structure is, who will be dealing with buyers and who will be communicating with you, so you don’t get left in the dark.
4. Have you sold other properties in my area and how will you find buyers?
You want to make sure your agent has experience selling properties in your area, and understand the location benefits that will attract buyers. If they have recently sold, or are currently selling, properties in your area, then it’s likely they already know a number of potential buyers who might be interested in your home.
A good agent should also have a database of buyers they can contact directly to let them know about your home. This can be a big advantage, helping you to judge the interest in your home before you start the marketing campaign. You may even be able to sell your home before you start marketing, which can save you time and money.
5. How will you market my home?
Marketing is all about making your home stand out from the crowd and capturing the attention of potential buyers. A good agent should be able to recommend a number of different marketing methods which will attract buyers to your property.
Ask the agent who they see as your home’s primary target market and how they will reach them. Will the campaign be targeted effectively? Will they be using the latest technology and social media? Will they incorporate traditional print materials and direct marketing into campaign?
Of course, even if you think a particular market segment is likely to buy the property, you don’t want to completely disregard other segments. It might be a great property for first home buyers, but it might be equally as attractive to investors. You need a good mix of marketing to get the broadest reach.
The way your marketing materials and advertisements are designed will also impact how your property stands out. Ask the agent for examples of the marketing materials they produce and find out if they create the marketing materials themselves, or if they use professional design and copywriting services. You should also ask if you will get to see the materials they create for you before they are published or sent to potential buyers.
By asking these simple questions, you should be able to find a real estate agent who can help you achieve a successful outcome. If you’d like more tips on selling your home, contact your local Peter Blackshaw Real Estate office today.