In an industry where anyone can acquire a real estate license, how do sellers choose the right Agent?

Monday 16 Apr 2018

It’s long been perceived that real estate agents don’t have the best reputation, so when it comes to selling your greatest asset, it’s critical to do your homework.

Agents vary in experience and expertise, and along with a myriad of brand names, their fees vary as do their negotiation and communication skills.

We suggest that along with a healthy list of sales in your area, you take a good look at the prices each agent achieves, because you will soon discover that some agents do achieve better prices than others and surface value isn’t always as good as it looks. One way to do this is to break down the price per square metre (divide the sale price by the land size of the property) and you’ll be able to work out which agents actually gain the highest prices.

“Volume agents” are more interested in selling the most property, but not actually interested in achieving the highest price, and tout their number of sales as a way of gaining more business which does often work for them when it comes to lining their pockets with commissions.  Where this starts to fall down is when they get too busy, and just want the properties sold and off their books, resulting in a “sausage factory” environment and lack-luster sale prices.

What’s often referred to by agents in our industry is “the race to the bottom” when it comes to commissions or fees, where some agents promise the lowest fee and the highest price. Sellers really need to be aware that the lowest fee does not guarantee the highest price and where they will truly benefit is not from a lower selling fee but a higher sale price.

A great way to find the right agent for you is to put your walking shoes on and visit your local open homes.  Beware the agent who isn’t present (that’s the volume agent we’ve referred to above, because they’re too busy elsewhere). Our advice is that if you can’t deal directly with the listing agent at an open home, look for another agent.

There are many other factors to consider when choosing the right agent, the following links are a great reference point to get you started:

http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Factsheet_print/Tenants_and_home_owners/Selling_property/Using_an_agent/FTR32_Agency_agreements.pdf

https://www.domain.com.au/advice/ten-things-to-consider-before-choosing-a-real-estate-agent-20161028-gscoyj/

- Kate Webster