Tips for Choosing an Agent
The person you choose to represent your home will have a major influence on the price you achieve.
The ideal agent is not always the one with the most sales under his or her belt, or the most years on the job - in all honesty, it's probably neither. The ideal agent is one who listens to you, is easy to get along with, and has the tools and skills to address your unique situation.
Every agent is different, as are every buyer and seller. Just as buyers and sellers have different needs, real estate agents have different skills and qualifications.
Here's how to find the agent who's right for you:
1. Ask who will sell my home?
If you're speaking with an agent that boasts of selling over a hundred homes a year, there's a very high probability that a large portion of the work is being passed off to a trainee or assistant. This has become common practice in the Hunter Valley with many sellers completely unaware when they sign the agency agreement. While there's nothing wrong with having multiple people help with your property, this should be declared and agreed upfront by the agent and seller.
2. Talk to multiple agents.
Research shows that most home owners choose the first real estate agent they contact. This means one of two things. Either most people are choosing wisely the first time, or they're just rushing into things without shopping around. What does this mean? Unfortunately, looking at statistics for the Maitland region; most people are hiring the agents who have the highest number of failed listings.
You don't have to exhaust yourself interviewing agent after agent, but at least talk with two or three to see who you're most comfortable with (which leads to the next point).
3. Consider the vibe factor.
Professional expertise is an important criterion when choosing a real estate agent. But interpersonal skills are equally important. After all, you'll be working closely with this person for some time, so it helps to get along with them. We all have unique personalities, and that's the way it should be. But when working with someone professionally, if helps if their personality "meshes" well with your own and also that of potential buyers. If the buyer doesn't like your agent, they won't have a good experience viewing your home.
4. Will they back their advice?
Many agents today seem to spend more time selling advertising than they do selling homes - some agents literally have monthly targets on how much advertising they need to generate from sellers. The only reason an agent would ask a seller to pay for advertising is if they have no confidence in their agency advertising. If the agent needs extra money for advertising, suggest that instead they pay for the advertising and increase their commission for successfully selling your home. If the agent is scared to invest in their own advice then carefully consider whether you should.
5. Read paperwork carefully.
This advice is heavily used for a reason. It's critical that you examine all documents during the home selling process, and that includes your agency agreement. At some point during the relationship, your agent will probably ask you to sign an agency agreement. Basically, it's permission for the agent to represent your home and credited with the sale. In most cases it's a simple, just be sure to read it carefully and ask questions. If you are unhappy with any aspect, ask the agent to change it.