One of the primary factors that will determine the success of your property sale is the quality of the agent who represents you. Finding a good real estate agent is essential in ensuring that you sell your home without a hitch. Yet with thousands of highly qualified estate agents out there, how do you differentiate between them to find the right one?
(Looking for a good real estate agent? You can begin your agent comparison at LocalAgentFinder, including fees, marketing strategy, commission, experience and more).
There are a few defining characteristics that good real estate agents will have in common. Rather than choosing the agent who offers you the highest sale quote or the one who lands the most sales per year, it may be better to find one who is best able to suit your unique needs. This includes being up-to-date with current market trends. Also, having a solid knowledge of your particular neighbourhood. The right real estate agent will be honest, know your area like the back of their hands, and will make you feel comfortable straight away.
Working with a Licensed Agent
One of the first qualities to look for in any potential real estate agent is a current, valid license. Although the majority of Australian agents are licensed, there are a few who may not be. Most licensed agents will also be members of the Real Estate Institute of Australia. This qualification shows that they possess the highest level of integrity, skill, and specialised knowledge. There are strict guidelines set in place for all REI members.
Many real estate agents depend on referrals from previous clients to help build their careers. However, relying solely on referrals from friends or family members could make you miss out on an agent who is more suitable for your particular situation. It’s a good idea to compare all of your options first at LocalAgentFinder, along with the referrals that you may have received from your own contacts. With a list of names in mind, you can then check references from past clients to see how satisfied they were with the agents’ services. Good real estate agents put their customers’ needs first, and are willing to go the extra mile to achieve client satisfaction. This leads to referrals and good references, which you can use to make your decision.
Take Caution when Using Internet Tools
The internet is a prime source of information when you are trying to find the right agent for your needs. Yet as you browse online resources, remember that many agents pay to be listed in online directories. And that this says nothing about their actual skills or qualifications. Using an impartial comparison service can allow you to look at their strengths and weaknesses.
Generally, agents who have more experience will be able to use their professional connections and proven sales strategies in your favour. Yet don’t rule out novice agents either. Whether an agent is new to the industry or has decades of experience, there are other facets of their experience to look at. Newer agents may push harder for sales to build their career, and may also have more time to communicate with you. Experience helps in crafting an effective sales strategy, and more experience can help turn a higher profit in a shorter time period. There are pros and cons to both levels of experience, which is why it’s important to consider each individual on their own strengths.
Visiting Open Inspections
As you narrow down your list of potential real estate agents, it may be helpful to see them in action. Find out when they have open inspections, and attend these events to see them work in their natural environment. The agents won’t have any idea that you are in essence interviewing them, and you’ll get a better idea of how they would sell your home. You can take note of how they interact with potential buyers, what type of information and advice they are able to give, and what marketing tools they have available on the premises.
This allows you to catch a glimpse of how much effort the agent would be willing to put forth into your own home sale, by viewing them in action. If the agent is ignoring buyers or seems preoccupied, this could be a sign to look elsewhere. Yet if you like what you see, you could take their business card and jot down some notes about why they might be a good candidate. This can be followed up with a formal interview.
Look at Other Properties in Your Area
As you compare agents, you will most likely be looking for someone in your area. If you see similar homes for sale in your home, take note of the agency representing them and how long the house has been on the market. An agency may have a high volume of listings. But if none of them are getting sold in a timely manner, this doesn’t bode well for the agents at that company. You can also take a quick look at the flyers and other advertising materials for similar homes in your area. Then, use this information to help you make your final decision.
As you peruse proposals online, you may get in touch with an agent and find out that they are not completely suited for you. Yet they may be able to direct you to another agent who could specialise in your area of need. For example, you may have been in touch with an agent who only works with investment properties. But really, you’re are more interested in new construction or residential resales. Many good agents focus on one specific area of the market. So that they’re able to fine tune their expertise in this area.
Finding a good real estate agent – what’s next?
You can start comparing agents at LocalAgentFinder, including fees, commission, marketing strategies and more. So you can get in touch with a wide range of highly qualified real estate agents.
You can also read on for more information that may be of use:
When selling a property, the success of the sale is highly dependent on the quality of your estate agent. Unfortunately, there isn’t a ‘one type fits all’ scenario for real estate agents; each have unique strengths which are determined by the property type and area in which you are selling.
Some general characteristics such as being trustworthy, genuine and pro-active are positive traits in every agent and looking for these can be advantageous. Equally, it is important to look for qualities that are specific to your needs - finding an agent who has market knowledge and experience of your property type and your neighbourhood can be greatly beneficial.
Is the agent fully licensed?
It goes without saying that one of the first checks you should be making is whether the agent has a current, valid license. Whilst most agents in Australia will hold one, there are still a minority who are unlicensed.
Agent references and homeowner reviews
Many sellers will choose a real estate agent based on a recommendation by family members or friends. Taking opinions into consideration is useful but it is equally important to remember that you are looking for an agent that is best suited to your needs. Using LocalAgentFinder’s comparison service can be beneficial to narrow down agents based on your property type and requirements. Once you have some suitable options, you can check references and read homeowner reviews to see what the agent is like to work alongside.
Don’t believe everything you see online
When looking online for real estate agents, keep in mind that it is possible for agents to pay to be shown at the top of some agent listing websites. For an honest, unbiased comparison, use a service that is agent neutral such as LocalAgentFinder.
Level of experience
Understand your priorities before looking for a real estate agent. More experienced professionals will have fantastic sales statistics and are generally more likely to achieve a higher profit in shorter period of time but could have a larger number of listings and be unable to provide you with regular communication and updates. In contrast, a less experienced agent may not be able to turn over your property as quickly but could be much more pro-active as they are building their career and keep you much more up to date on the progress. Look at the bigger picture and keep your priorities in mind when looking for an agent.
How do they perform?
A good technique of ascertaining an understanding of the agent’s abilities is to visit them in an open inspection for a similar property to your own. Look for how much information they are providing, what advice they are giving and how much attention they are paying to potential buyers. Bear in mind that they will likely conduct an open inspection for your property in a similar manner.
Look at who represents similar properties in your area
When searching for an agent, check out who is representing similar listings in your area. Note how long the property has been on the market as well as whether the sale price has been reduced. If selling your home is a bit longer than expected this could be due to the agent’s abilities.
Using a real estate agent comparison service such as LocalAgentFinder is the best starting point for finding a suitable real estate agent. Compare performance data, marketing strategies, sales history and more before connecting with the best suited to arrange formal interviews.