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How To Choose A Real Estate Agent

Discussion in 'The Buying & Selling Process' started by Cherrychan, 12th Oct, 2016.

  1. Cherrychan

    Cherrychan Member

    Joined:
    19th Jul, 2015
    Posts:
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    Location:
    Vic
    I'm considering selling a property and would like some advice on how to choose which agent to go with.

    So far I've looked at the "Find an agent" section on realestate.com.au and decided to contact the top 5 sellers for my area.

    Beyond on that what kind of questions should I be asking the agent?

    Also what kind of time period would be best to be locked in with an agent? Is one month too short?

    Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks
     
  2. Agent30yrs.

    Agent30yrs. Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hi Cherrychan

    Big decision ! First and foremost don't go to sites like openagent and localagentfinder. Find agents on realestate.com is a good guide as to who is most active in an area, but those figures can be deceiving. High turnover agents typically have a team of assistants who can often be delegated to look after your property, even deal with buyers and negotiations on behalf of the actual agent you thought you were appointing. It can become a numbers game and some sellers get put through the mincer !

    Couple of things to consider:

    *The best agents get most of their business through referral - look for genuine, quality testimonials
    *A great result is about the price, not the shortest number of days on the market
    *Any agent (without a team of assistants) handling more that 4 or 5 properties at once probably isn't giving enough time and attention to each client.
    *If you and the agent don't actually like and trust each other - find another
    *Look for someone who understands the target demographic and focuses on a "marketing strategy", not a "marketing programme" spat out of a word processor

    hope that helps :)
     
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  3. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    • The cost (commission) shouldn't be the determinant factor.
    • Highest selling price neither - they will start to condition you quicker to accepting a lower price
    • Review the comparables presented - how old, how comparable
    • Achieving street/suburb records means nothing - a refurbished house in a street with few sales is likely to be the best sale until the next one
    • Is the marketing campaign suitable? Do you need premium listing or newspaper?
    • What is the current days on market for the agency? What is their worst days on market? What is the suburbs DOM for the other agents?
    • Remember that the agent is working for themselves, a quick sale is a good sale (for them) and delivering an extra $10k to you after a lot of haggling means only $200-300 to the agent.
    • What works do they recommend you undertake to improve presentation before marketing? Eg. Staging, exterior power clean paths, returf, paint touch ups?
     
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  4. KateAshmor

    KateAshmor Victorian conveyancing lawyer Business Member

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    Melbourne
    Cherrychan, in which suburb are you selling? :)
     
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  5. Jasmine

    Jasmine Well-Known Member

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    Melb
    It may sound silly, but go to Open-for-Inspections in your area from a range of Agents. See how many agent representatives are in attendance. Then go to Auctions in your area, to see the level of interest the agents are able to generate on the day. That is how I choose an agent when selling my grandparents place. Scott and 30yrAgent also gave great advice above!
     
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  6. Agent30yrs.

    Agent30yrs. Well-Known Member

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    Great additional advice from @Scott No Mates and @jasmine 817, lets add, do a bit of secret shopper stuff at the open houses you attend . Leave your details and see what sort of follow up you get. You would be amazed that some of them don't !
     
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  7. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I have been told:- I will call you, I will email you etc etc. Good agents follow up and keep their word. Lazy agents don't. This is a good test too see how an agent will treat your potential purchasers.
     
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  8. John Williamson

    John Williamson New Member

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    14th Nov, 2016
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    Location:
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    What most people do not know is that these referral companies all differ in their approach. Local Agent Finder is simply the next version of Sell My Castle. If you are looking for a site where many agents of various ability simply bid on your property offering the cheapest commission, this is a great place to start. The worst place if you're a good agent which is why you dont see many on there anymore. Other online referral organisations actually go to some trouble to look into the data before selecting the top 1-3 agents, others will recommend 5 of more just to cover their bases. Simply hoping you locate the best agent through looking at signs or listening to friends is the WORST way to work out who to list with. Understand that this industry is a bit like the taxi industry, a few older agents want it to stay the same, the majority of agents who actually are the top sellers btw, are very happy taking referrals from genuine companies in the city areas in particular however there are a couple of dodgy referral agencies out there). Think about it, most of these companies seek about 20% of your agent's commission and given he/she knows they have to compete for the business, any suggestion that it costs the client money is rubbish. A buyers agent on the other hand will have their hand out for 50% of the agents commission, now that WILL cost the client yet no one complains about them do they.
    The concept of a 'computer generated' best agent is a dangerous fallacy, but this industry has moved on in recent years. There are many online resources that will help you seek out the best agents for you, do the research, read some blogs, or if you still use taxi's, then do it the old fashioned way and ask someone who more than likely has no idea.
     
  9. Ross Forrester

    Ross Forrester Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    An important part of managing an investment portfolio is knowing the agents in the area. The good ones will happily talk to you and form a relationship.

    Get a feel and understanding for the agents and how they work in the area. See how many they list and what they sold for. Some agents have big numbers because they sell for a low amount.

    Some agents are smaller and give a lot more hand holding whereas some have a personal assistant who does that.

    Once you have a strong feel for the guys out there you will not need a list of questions or checklists.

    Facebook is a good spot to stalk an agent as well. And if you live in the area you should see them around town too - the good ones always acknowledge me even briefly.
     
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  10. Bill Brown

    Bill Brown New Member

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    15th Nov, 2016
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    Noosa
    Plenty of great online places (and some dodgy ones) that will help you locate the top selling agents, and that is a grat place to start. You do need to see what they have sold, for how much and how long it took to sell. You also need to meet with a few agents as there are plenty of great agents I wouldn't list my properties with. Matching the agent to you and your property is very important and you will get a feel for who you think believes in your property the most.