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How to find a good real estate agent

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Some simple steps to help

Not all real estate agents are created equal. The reality is that some real estate agents are exceptional, some are sub-par and most fall somewhere in the middle.
When you sell your property, you want to find an agent who will maximise your selling price while also charging reasonable fees. Choosing a good agent could equal thousands of extra dollars in your pocket at the end of the transaction, so it pays to do your homework.

But what makes a good real estate agent? Typically, a skilled agent who charges higher fees will leave you with more money at the end than a not-so-great agent who charges lower fees. This is because skilled agents have:

  • A database of ready buyers
  • Local market knowledge
  • Good negotiating skills
  • Good marketing skills
  • Good organisational skills for managing the many moving parts of a sales campaign

All that equates to a favourable price and a smooth sales process.

So, how do you find a good real estate agent? Get started with the steps below.

  1. Get feedback from friends and neighbours

Ask people whose opinions you trust to share their recent experiences with agents. Neighbours can be an especially useful source of information as it’s likely they’ve dealt with agents who work in your area and have local expertise.

  1. Check online review sites

Sites like RateMyAgent and Homely.com.au are helpful for comparing local agents’ reviews, experience, fees, currently listed and recently sold properties.

  1. Be a ‘mystery shopper’

Get a feel for how different agents operate by attending their open homes and auctions. Take note of how they interact with prospective buyers, whether they’re organised and how knowledgeable they are about the property and the area.

  1. Check their online footprint

Take a look at agents’ social media profiles and property listings to see what their local market knowledge and marketing skills are like. Ideally, an agent should market their properties across multiple channels and listings should be well-written and engaging with high-quality photography.  There are plently of real estate disrupters fighting for your business right now.

  1. Get interviewing

 Make a shortlist of at least three agents and invite them to your home for an interview. Have a list of questions ready, such as:

  • How would you market and sell my home?
  • How long have you been in real estate?
  • How much are your fees and what do they include? Keep in mind that some agents charge extra for services like professional photography.
  • How much do you estimate my property is worth? They should be able to show their estimate is based on local market knowledge.
  • What comparable properties have you sold in the past year?
  1. Test their negotiation skills

Ask them if they can reduce their fee and see how they respond. Negotiation is a big part of selling a property, so you want to make sure they’re comfortable with the process.

  1. Get contact details of recent vendors

Ask them if they can pass on contact details of former clients who are willing to tell you about their experience. A phone call or email with a recent vendor can help you gauge what it’s really like to work with an agent.

Selling your property is a big undertaking. But with thorough research and scrutiny, you can be confident knowing how to find a good real estate agent and that the real estate agent you choose is fit for the job.

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