Choosing between real estate agents

Planning to sell your home? You’re probably speaking to more than one agent.

How do you decide which one is best?

Make sure you cover these 8 important things before making a decision.

It will help you to determine which agent is best for you and prevent nasty surprises down the track.

  1. Commission – It’s best not to choose an agent based on commission alone. However, you should know precisely what your agent is going to charge. Often the commission is negotiable, so if your preferred agent’s commission is higher than the others, ask if he or she will match the competition.
  2. Marketing/advertising of your property – The effective marketing of your property is key to the outcome of your sale, so make sure your agent has given careful consideration to how best to market your property given it’s unique characteristics, its target market, and the nature of the market generally. Avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach. It’s standard for the vendor to pay the marketing costs, so make sure you get a complete breakdown of these costs and discuss the various options with your agent (which can be tailored to your budget) before giving the go ahead.
  3. The agents’ record – including recent sales in your area and the value of their sales. It’s always good to ask to see some written testimonials and (even better) to speak directly to one or two previous vendors about their experience.
  4. Strategy – What strategy does the agent propose adopting to achieve the best possible outcome? Make sure that this strategy is clearly focused on achieving the outcomes you want based on your individual circumstances. This strategy should give consideration to how the agent will communicate price to buyers.
  5. Method of sale – What method of sale does he or she recommend and why? Be wary of an agent who always advises his or her vendors to go to auction regardless of their invidual circumstances, the property, and market conditions.
  6. Open for inspections – When will these take place? Will the agent personally attend all open for inspections? Who, if anyone, will work with the agent at open for inspections? Will inspections be conducted outside advertised times? Be aware that very busy agents may delegate many tasks to their assistant and/or other agents. Make sure you are aware of this and are comfortable with it from the outset.
  7. Communication – How will the agent communicate with you? A good agent will tailor their frequency and method of communication to your preferences. Let the agent know if you prefer written vendor reports with detailed data or a weekly telephone call with just high level discussion points. Ask to see examples of the agent’s vendor reports if this is something that is important to you.
  8. Price – What is the agent’s opinion on the appropriate price range for your property? An agent should be able to back up his or her opinion with relevant comparison sales. Don’t necessarily choose the agent who gives you the highest price range. He or she may be talking up your property in order to get your business. Choosing an agent who is straight with you on price  (and other matters) from the outset will help to prevent nasty surprises and stress down the track.

Do you have any matters to add to the list? Tell us about your experiences choosing a real estate agent.

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Hart Estate Agents is a dynamic, results driven real estate agency specialising in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Principal Alex Hart leads an experienced and tenacious sales team. If you’re considering selling, contact Alex on 0418 245 018 to find out how we can help you to achieve the best possible result.

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