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Top tips on choosing your next real estate agent

Top tips on choosing your next real estate agent.

The time has come to sell your house where you’ve happily lived for a number of years. You want the sale to be as painless and successful as possible, of course. How well the process goes will depend on what the property market is doing and the quality of your real estate agent. 

In the current market, there are still a lot of buyers out there who believe that they can get a bargain. And with plenty of homes coming onto the market in 2024 you want the best agent you can get, someone who can give buyers a sense of urgency and excitement about your home.  

Do you go with the salesperson who you bought from if they’ve kept in touch over the years? Or do you research who else is out there? 

International top agent trainer, Josh Phegan has a list of attributes which your agent should have as you make your choice. You’re looking for someone with extensive market knowledge, marketing prowess, an impressive database of buyers, great communication skills and lots of energy and empathy, he says.  

We put some of the burning questions on what to look for when choosing a real estate agent to Josh and these are his responses:

Should I go back to the real estate agent I bought my current house from?

Loyalty is a tremendous asset. If you’ve had a great experience and they have attention to detail, there’s nothing quite like being in the hands of a professional. But if you didn’t receive excellent service from them and you don’t feel like they’ve stayed in touch as well as they might have, it’s a good idea to survey the local market and see who the top performers are. Have a look at the local agents’ marketing, check them out at some open homes and auctions, and see who might be a good fit for you and your home.

What am I looking for in an agent’s record?

Look for awards the agent may have, and check Google Reviews, Rate My Agent reviews, and referrals from others who have used their services.   

The top five qualities a vendor should look for in an agent are: 

  • Professional knowledge

  • A team of people to help bring your property to market.

  • Evidence of strong negotiation skills, including auction bidding records or a list of their last 20 sales.

  • Track record - their career stats over time, number of houses sold, records set for prices.

  • Personable approach, a manner which shows they care. 

What other research should I do?

Attend your potential agent’s open homes and observe how they work with buyers. See how they communicate with you after an open house or when you enquire about a property they have on the market. Check their marketing, how good is it? The quality of their property marketing really matters. It will include video, photos, social media and it all needs to be super sharp, including their digital marketing.

How important is the agent's neighbourhood knowledge vs their city-wide database?

Market expertise is crucial. Never underestimate the power of an agent bringing buyers with them who have lost out at another similar property sale in the last month or two. A database of buyers is excellent as long as it’s up to date and current.You can assess this based on similar properties they’ve sold in the last 12 months. 

Do I choose the agent who promises me the highest price?

Pricing is an art and a science. Be clear on what you want but allow for a balanced view from the agent, based on recent sales ( “comps”), then properties currently on the market and the market conditions of the day.

Bonus tip: Set aside 60 minutes to meet with the agent and have a list of questions for them. Take notes during the meeting and be open to their recommendations. 

Is the busiest agent in the market with a team the best bet?

Having an agent with a team can work for you. As with a great restaurant, there’s a waiter, chef, barman and someone who clears the tables. 

Workflow is critical. Agents with specialists on their team who take care of legal, marketing and working with buyers, ensure there’s more access to buyers, and that the quality of the marketing and legal compliance is to a high standard. Busy agents are great to work with as they can access more buyers because they’re running more open homes on weekends.

Should you like the real estate agent you go with?

It’s tempting to choose the agent you like the most. This isn’t the most important thing but it does matter. Look for polished, caring people who can quickly adapt. 

Author

Gill South
Gill South