Choosing your real estate agent: 3 obvious (but often overlooked) things to look for
It can be tough deciding who should work for you in the sale of your property. Something many in our industry take for granted: you will probably never pay another service provider as much in fees as you will to an agent to sell your home or investment. Not a lawyer or doctor, unless major surgery or litigation’s required.
So how do you ensure you have the best representation in maximising the sale of your sizeable asset?
Many agents will say they do things differently or that they care. Or that they have advanced new technologies or simply that their service is better. Sometimes new agents are ‘redefining the industry’ and offering a whole new approach.
All of those things are great. But how many of us stop to consider what’s really important? Here’s our quick checklist to get you thinking:
1. Are they a highly effective negotiator? Trained monkeys can load a web ad and put up a signboard on your lawn. Where an agent really earns their fee is in squeezing out the highest possible price for your property. What training do they have in negotiation and what’s their track record? Client testimonials will often touch on this – you want the ones that say ‘she hung in there for us and didn’t give up’. The best salespeople have a strong streak of determination in them.
2. Are they a leading marketer? Inner-Brisbane is a crowded marketplace so how will your agent ensure your property stands out of the crowd? You don’t just want them to recite the tools they’ll use. Ask about the strategy. Who’s our target market for this property and why? How will we reach them? If they can’t answer those simple questions they don’t know your property and its market as well as they should. Read some of their other ads, check their personal marketing (agents can usually sell themselves better than any piece of real estate). Does it seem well-planned, appealing and convincing?
3. Are their communication skills exceptional? Are they an active listener or do they talk over you, (often desperate to tell you something about themselves)? If they’re to get you the best result they must completely understand your needs. And very importantly, understand the buyers and their desires and dreams. This is how those good price results can become great final numbers. Most of us recognise top class communicators when we meet them.
So how do home sellers often choose their agent? “I liked them. They seemed like a nice enough person.” “I felt I could trust them and they seemed interested in me.” These are very valid reasons and should help in your choice. You need to be able to place complete trust in your agent.
But we’d strongly recommend you dig a little deeper and please don’t be embarrassed to see the process as a job interview. Good agents expect to have their skills assessed. They know their fee is a substantial sum. And if they can’t sell you on their own service, you’ve probably got your answer on hiring them!
And here’s our one line of self-promotion! The Bees Nees team specialise in Brisbane’s inner-city and we’d love to be interviewed for the job if you’re looking to sell your property. Please call Rebecca on 07 3214 6800