7 Tips To Securing The Best Agent To Sell Your Home
As a buyers agent, I get more exposure to sales agents than most. While they often get a bad wrap (sometimes well-deserved) for being unscrupulous, the more professional of the bunch can get great results.
That being said, if you’re going to sell your home and you don’t know one operator from another, it can be best to undertake a small “interview” to ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for. I’ve always liked the saying, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”, and engaging a sales agent to sell your home is no different.
Here are some of the most relevant questions that I’ve used to make sure my agent is ahead of the game, (and to remind them that I am too!).
1. How long will it take to have it photographed and on the market ready for inspection?
If you’re keen to get the property to market you want to know that your agent is on the ball and ready to go. This is important if you’ve already committed to a purchase elsewhere and don’t want to tackle bridging finance.
If it’s an investment, always best to check on the flexibility of your tenants. Depending on their schedules, you may be able to have your property listed and ready by the weekend.
2. How much commission do you charge?
While this is important it’s not the be all and end all. Most agents will charge around 1.5% to 2% + GST, and if the price of the property is substantial, may even go as low as 1% + GST.
You get what you pay for here so don’t necessarily go with the cheapest, and keep in mind 40% to 50% of the fee goes back to the agency, so the agent won’t pocket the lot.
3. Can you provide an example of your marketing schedule?
If there’s something that a sales agent will bring to the table that you may not necessarily be able to do yourself, it’s the experience of a marketing campaign. This is more important today than ever before, as properties won’t sell themselves and buyers are far scarcer than they were some years ago.
The agent should be able to outline what your campaign will look like, how long it will take and how much it will cost.
They should also be able to tell you why they think their chosen method will be the most successful for your type of property, and they should always have a Plan B in case things don’t go as planned.
4. Can you show me your recent sales statistics?
It’s good to know your agent has some experience in your area and at your price point. More importantly, though, it also means that they may have potential buyers for your property who missed out elsewhere. This can lead to a surprisingly fast sale from a buyer who doesn’t want to miss out again.
5. How accessible are you as the selling agent?
While some top performing agents can be extremely busy, it can also mean they’re quite difficult to get hold of and you may be left dealing with the assistant. When it comes to the sale of one of your biggest assets, you want to know the service will be attentive, personal and straight from the source.
Remember though, it’s all about the result, so don’t’ get shirty if they don’t return your phone call straight away. Their real value comes in bringing buyers to the table and getting the best price in the negotiation.
6. Can you provide the names and phone numbers of the last three people who listed with you?
If an agent is half decent there will never be an issue with them being able to provide the names of happy past clients (you will undoubtedly get the numbers of those who were the most satisfied).
You’re in red flag territory if your agent can’t provide you three names though. That means they either haven’t done more than a handful of deals or they’re struggling to find someone who’s actually happy with their service.
7. How many other sellers are you representing now?
This can go both ways and in some markets, people like to know that they’re being handled by the most popular agent in the area. In support of this strategy, the most popular agent often has the largest list of potential buyers to call about your property being listed.
Don’t be put off by the more boutique agent though, who are only carrying a limited number from a smaller agency. If they’re quality agents you may actually get more personalized service and better guidance throughout the whole process.