5 things to look for when choosing a real estate agent
When choosing a real estate agent, the options are plenty. Do you go with a recommendation from a friend? Do you pick the agency with the most familiar name? Do you make a decision based on price alone? It’s not uncommon for real estate agents to work for a number of different agencies throughout their careers so it’s important to pay attention to their individual qualities and working styles before choosing an agent who’s right for you.
An agent who takes time to understand your needs
Real estate is a people business and it’s important to understand the needs of both the buyers and the sellers. Choose an agent who takes the time to understand your needs, listens to what you want and gives you advice when you need it. Agents who are too pushy or abrupt with you will also be pushy and abrupt with buyers. The same principle goes with agents who forget details or don’t call you back. When an agent takes the time to understand your needs, you can feel comfortable that they’ll also take the time to understand the buyer’s needs. And that’s what sells properties!
An agent who can tell it to you straight
It’s a well known story in real estate: the customer decides to interview a selection of agents in their local area to ask their opinion on price. All agents pitch, all agents give varying opinions of value, the agent with the highest proposed sale or lease price wins. Fast-forward to 8 weeks down the track. The marketing budget is spent, a zillion offers have come through and all of them are below budget. Both the real estate agent and the seller are unhappy and the property ends up being given away too cheap.
Choose an agent who can tell it to you straight. Someone who is honest about the property’s strengths and weaknesses, someone who informs you of the competition and someone who can justify their opinion of value with recent sales. Though it can be tempting to choose the agent who promises you the highest sale price, honesty and integrity are more important than someone who just tells you what you want to hear to get you to sign on the dotted line.
An agent with a proven track record
Real estate is a relatively easy business to get into and there are a bunch of new agencies popping up all the time. Choose an agent with a proven track record of success. Look for things like ‘SOLD FOR A STREET RECORD’, ‘SOLD IN 1 WEEK’ or ‘LEASED FOR A BUILDING RECORD’. You want an agent who can get you the highest price, not just someone who will convince you to sell for any offer, so these sorts of achievements are important.
An agent who can talk strategy with you
There are different reasons for putting a home for sale or auction, there are different options when it comes to marketing your home, and there are little tips you can try to make your home more enticing to prospective buyers or renters. Choose an agent who can talk through the psychology of why people buy so that you can plan the best way forward for your property, together.
An agent who you trust
Property negotiations can be an extremely stressful time so it’s important to have an agent on your side who can help you work through your options logically. Choose someone who can remain calm under pressure, who gives you all the information you need, when you need it, and who you can count on to answer your questions and have your best needs in mind at every stage of the process.