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Choosing an Agent

Choosing an Agent

Whether you’re selling your family home or an investment property, you are making one of the biggest decisions of your lifetime. Choosing the person who will be by your side, helping and guiding you throughout the sale, is just as important. Why? Because the right agent can make all the difference. 

Finding the right agent is no easy task. You’ll need to take into account their knowledge and understanding of your local area as well as your confidence in them to work with you to achieve a great outcome.
An agent with a strong agency behind them has the added benefit of additional support, knowledge and advice that extends to you and your agent throughout the process. 
Below is a checklist of questions you should ask agents to help you find the right person for the job. We’ve also included some questions for you to when making the final decision. 
 
Things to ask the agent:
The basic process of selling a home is the same regardless of which agent you choose. When interviewing candidates, you want to find out what they do differently and how they add value.  This is your opportunity to learn more about them, their experience and their knowledge so you can make an informed decision. 
Where do you find buyers?
The more buyers interested in your property, the better. It will help to create competition, which can result in a higher sales price.  Ask the agent how they plan to find buyers for your property – will it be exclusively through marketing or do they already have a list of buyers? 
A good agent and agency should have a strong database of potential purchasers. Most often, these are people agents meet at open homes, so they already understand what the buyers are looking for and whether or not your property would suit.  
How well do you understand the local market? 
Look for an agent who has expert knowledge of your market and area. This allows them to price properties realistically, execute appropriate marketing campaigns and determine the best sales method for your home. Ask them to provide examples of recent sales and their experience in your area. Do they have a strong presence in your region and are they producing successful results? 
An agent should provide you with a detailed report or analysis of the market, including recent comparable sales. This shows they have done their research, know the trends in your area and the true worth of your property. 
It can be tempting to choose the agent that gives you the highest figure in terms of potential sale price, but it’s important the agent is being realistic with you and not promising something they can’t deliver.  Ask the agent to explain clearly how they have identifies the potential selling price and what information can they provide to support this decision.  
Which sale method should I choose?
A good agent will outline all sale methods and discuss the pros and cons of each of them. They should take your specific needs into account and suggest the most appropriate method to achieve the best result. Ask the agent to explain why they have chosen this method, using statistics and market insights to support their suggestion. 
How will you market my property?
An effective marketing campaign is key to creating awareness for your property and finding potential buyers.  The agent should have a good understanding of what tactics work best for your property and area to create a tailored plan specific to your property.  
There are many ways to market a property and much of this depends on the available budget. An effective campaign should reach buyers through several different channels including online and print advertising, social media and agent databases. Ask the agent to provide you with examples from previous marketing campaigns and ask them how they work with specific channels, including: 
Photography – does the agent have a stylist or photographer they work with exclusively? 
Print advertising – what magazines and papers does the agent prefer to advertise in? 
Online – what are the major portals the agent uses? 
Social media – does the agent use social media? If so, what platforms? 
How will you keep me up to date? 
This is your opportunity to discuss communication, perhaps one of the most important factors in the agent/seller relationship. It’s important you work with someone who will keep you updated and informed throughout the process. An agent who communicates clearly with you could be the difference between a great experience and a stressful one. 
Come to an agreement on communication methods you are both happy with.  Some agents contact you after each open home, others may email you once a week. Let the agent know what works best for you confirm your communication plan going forward.
 
Things to ask yourself: 
Speak to a few different agents to compare what they offer but, don’t rely solely on their presentation. You will need to do your own research before making a decision. 
Have I spoken to friends and family? 
Some of the most reliable, trustworthy sources are your friends and family. Their insights and experiences will help you determine which agent you should work with. 
Speak to local friends, neighbours and family about their experiences selling their homes.  Ask how the process went, if they received the result they expected, how the agent made them feel, and if they understood and felt part of the process. 
Have I checked online? 
A great place to learn more about agents is online. Here you can find reviews, profiles and testimonials for most of your local real estate agents. 
You can search agent profiles and their current listings on websites such as Allhomes.com.au. This will show you what type of properties an agent sells most of and in what area. 
Who is in my local area?
The best way to find who is local in your area is by looking around you. Take a drive around your suburb and keep an eye out for signboards, open home signs and auctions. You will notice which agents are present in your area. 
Check your mailbox and pay attention to any material from an agent. Often, an agent will send out information if they’ve recently listed or sold a property in the area. This is a good way to tell which agents are operating locally. 
What is my gut feeling? 
After you’re done speaking to all the potential agents, it’s a good idea to weigh up the facts—their experience, strategy and preparation—with your instinct. If it feels right, he or she is the person for the job. 
This is a very important and often life changing moment in your life, so you need to feel a connection and have a positive relationship based on trust and a clear understanding.
If you want to learn more about what to ask a potential agent, talk to the team at Peter Blackshaw Real Estate today. 

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