How To Choose The Best Real Estate Agent

Selecting-a-Real-Estate-Agent-Red For most Australians property is their single most valuable asset, so it’s important to deal with an agent that you know you can trust. Many agents prefer to tell you what you would like to hear, rather than delivering accurate and realistic information. It is vital to ensure you don’t miss your one window of opportunity to maximise your profits. The difference between choosing the best agent and just another agent can easily be 15 per cent or more, which adds up to be a lot of money!  A great agent will be able to provide you with an effective marketing strategy, accurate information and will possess powerful negotiation skills that will achieve the best sales outcome for you.

When choosing an agent, it is important to remember to not fall into the most common real estate trap – selecting the agent with the lowest fees and the highest valuation. Overpricing is rampant on the Northern Beaches. There are many agents out there who are willing to make false promises just to get the business. So how do you assess which agent has the strongest negotiation skills and the best strategies? Here is a checklist of questions crucial to ask when you are selecting your agent:

Does the agent have a strong track record of sales? Many agents will tell you they do but ensure you get the facts of which sales they have personally sold (not their company). Ask for a list of all their sales in the last financial year.

Is the agent providing accurate information in regards to pricing? It is very common for agents to give you a high valuation just to get your business. This is extremely damaging to your property sale. The prime opportunity for selling a home is when it’s new on the market. This is when it is most marketable and when most property records are set. So it is also crucial to know that your agent is pricing your property accurately. A good way of finding out if they are giving you a suitable price guide is by looking at their listing prices and what their sold prices are. A good agent with have the majority of their sales around or above the listing price guides. If your agent regularly sells below the price guide – be very wary, they may well be feeding you false promises in order to get your business…and ultimately you will end up selling for less or not selling at all.

Does the agent have access to a large interlinked database? Most agents will answer yes to this question but the truth is the majority of real estate companies don’t share their databases from office to office. They are not interlinked and they share no common goal and in fact compete against each other for buyers as opposed to working together.  There is only one real estate company in Australia that shares one database of buyers and that is McGrath Estate Agents. That is one of the big reasons why McGrath is constantly getting record results and leading the way in the real estate industry.

Does the agent have the responsibility of running a company?  It may sound particularly appealing to have the Principal of a real estate company selling your property, but we warned and ask yourself where their focus is most likely to be. A Principal has the responsibility of running the business, overseeing staff, resolving issues, assisting with training, recruitment, finances and the list goes on. It is impossible for them to give your sale the same attention that an agent that is focused on sales and sales alone. Avoid the temptation and go with the agent that does not have to juggle responsibilities.

Does the agent have a team supporting them or are they a standalone agent? It is crucial to select an agent with a team of staff behind them. There are many tasks behind the scenes which take a great deal of time. If there are no support staff in place to assist with marketing and administrative tasks, plus a second point of contact for buyer enquiry – then you should steer clear. Your agent must be able to focus solely on the negotiation and sales process (where their strength is). This will allow you to achieve top dollar for your property which is the whole reason why you employ an agent! Note: Be sure to check the support staff support just your agent and not multiple agents or a whole office.

Does your agent know the local area? It is important to ensure your agent know the Northern Beaches intricately to ensure they have the ability to sell the lifestyle as well. Find out if your agent lives and sells locally and for how long they have done so. The Northern Beaches is all about the fantastic lifestyle it offers so if they don’t know the area inside out then they won’t be able to achieve a premium result.

Does the agent have access to world class marketing? You have one chance to ensure your property shines above the rest. Do not make the mistake of opting for cheap/inferior marketing for your number one asset. Make sure your agent has the tools available to market your property in the very best light. You will attract more buyers and will achieve a higher price.

About Tim Cullen

Since joining McGrath Estate Agents 15 years ago, Tim Cullen has defined himself as a first class industry leader with an outstanding track record and rapidly growing and loyal client base. He ranked 1st on the Northern Beaches in this year’s Real Estate Business’ Top 100 Agents List and ranked 21st nationwide.