Selling or buying a property is not something you do every day so knowing what to look for in a real estate agent isn’t exactly an easy thing to do.
If you choose a real estate agent purely on quoted price, you could make a huge mistake. Thousands of sellers have learnt from bitter, if not expensive experience that the price the real estate agent says you should achieve and the price the property is really worth and ends up selling for are often quite different.
More often than not real estate agents who tell you a more accurate “at market” price lose business to agents who tell prospective vendors an inflated “above market” price. This puts the more honest agents in an unfortunate situation. If they tell the truth, they run a much higher risk of not getting your business at all.
This is why many try to avoid the price and say, “It’s hard to judge exactly. It depends on who is currently in the market. Let’s not put a price on it. Let’s auction and see what happens.”
When you ask for a guide on your home’s likely selling price, many real estate agents will ask you what you think its worth or ask you what you would like for it. They will often simply agree with whatever you say and add, “If that kind of money is out there for your home I will get it for you”. Or they will simply either avoid giving you a price and talk auction or inflate the figure above what they think it’s really worth in the hope to secure your business.
Interviewing real estate agents is similar to a job interview. The job description you’re after should be along the lines of: “A person you like, who presents well, who genuinely likes your property, who you believe will act in your best interests, be honest with you at all times and will work hard to get you the highest price possible”.
Do your homework on the agency also paying attention to:
• The quality of its website. Was it easy to find them and navigate through to view properties? Do they add descriptions which make you want to inspect their properties? What’s their area profile like?
• I suggest you become a mystery shopper with any local agencies you are considering going with. See how they really treat prospective buyers.
Picking the right person could easily make a five percent or more difference in the final sale price so do your research and pick wisely.
Ask your friends for a referral to someone they have dealt with. Have they worked with an agent who did a great job? Once you have a list of agents, make an appointment with each one to learn more about their services. Always interview at least three selling agents and if you don’t like what you see pick another three.
Show each agent around your home. Watch their level of interest by seeing if they ask questions or make notes.