You’ve decided to sell. Even before you put in the hard-yards to get your property to a standard you think might fetch you the price you want, a wise person hones in on a selling agent first.
Appointing the right – or wrong – real estate agent to sell your property can greatly influence the outcome. Or put another way, can result in more money in your pocket. Or not. And, really getting the best price possible is everyone’s goal.
You could choose the first agent you like – and often initial impressions are true – but it makes more sense to choose someone you like AND someone who you know will get you the best outcome.
Cut through the fluff (otherwise known as talk, talk, talk) and put the following five simple questions to work for you when hiring an agent:
- How much?
This one’s obviously a no-brainer, but it’s the answer you should focus in on with your best possible listening ears. You see, many agents will tell you what they think you want to hear just to get your business. You are looking for an agent that deals in the currency of facts when it comes to setting the listing price for your home; too high and people will dismiss even viewing your property and too low, well … same. Property must be priced to attract those most likely to buy it.
- How long?
We all know that with experience comes wisdom: or sometimes weariness. Don’t choose the longest serving agency in your local area because of that fact alone. Choose an agency based on how long it takes them to sell homes, not years in business. Choose an agent who has life-experience and is enthusiastic, motivated and has good local-area knowledge.
- How many?
An indicator of the right agent for you is how many properties similar to yours they’ve sold recently. When backing up what they think your property may sell for, a good agent will provide you with recent, comparable sales data for your area. This is also a good indicator of how well they understand your area, your particular type of property and those most likely to buy it.
A good agent will happily supply you with a list of previous clients. Don’t be afraid to call these people. Many will find it flattering that you seek their opinion. Some good questions to ask are: What did you like about the agent? How long did the property take to sell? Was there anything you thought they could have done better? Did the agent get the sale price you wanted?
- What makes you different to other agents?
Asking this question provides you a window into the agent’s selling style. It also allows them to demonstrate what stands them apart from their competition, both as an individual agent and as an agency.
Real estate agents are a critical part of the selling process. You’re choosing someone for a task that requires experience, skill and wisdom, not to mention, entrusting them with the sale of your biggest asset.
In the end, many would be loath to admit that it is the gut that rules the head in decisions great and small. But at least if you engage the head first and ask and listen, your gut decision about which agent to hire will serve in your best interest.