HOW TO CHOOSE A SELLING AGENTThings to consider when selecting an agent to sell your home - By Patrick Bright.
Selling a property is not something you do every day so knowing what to look for in a selling agent isn't exactly an easy thing to do.
If you choose a selling agent purely on quoted price, you could make a huge mistake.
Thousands of sellers have learned from bitter if not expensive experience that the price the selling agent says you should achieve and the price the property is really worth and ends up selling for are often quite different.
More often than not selling agents who tell you a more accurate "at market" price lose business to agents who tell prospective vendors an inflated "above market" price. This puts the more honest agents in an unfortunate situation. If they tell the truth, they run a much higher risk of not getting your business at all — and the problem is they all know this.
Ask the agent to justify their quoted selling price by showing you examples of the original quoted price and final selling price of homes they have sold in the area.
Interviewing selling agents is similar to a job interview. The job description you're after should be along the lines of: "A person you like, who presents well, who genuinely likes your property, who you believe will act in your best interests and be honest with you at all times and will work hard to get you the highest price possible".
Do your homework on the agency also paying attention to:
* The quality of its website. Was it easy to find them and navigate through to view properties? Do they add descriptions which make you want to inspect their properties? What's their area profile like?
* I suggest you become a mystery shopper with any local agencies you are considering going with. See how they really treat prospective buyers.
Picking the right person could easily make a five percent or more difference in the final sale price so do your research and pick wisely.
Ask your friends for a referral to someone they have dealt with. Have they worked with an agent who did a great job?
Once you have one or more agents in mind, make an appointment with each one to learn more about their services. Listen to your instincts. Show each agent around your home. Watch their level of interest by seeing if they ask questions or make notes.
A couple of good questions to ask each selling agent are:
* "What will you do to get the best price for my home?" and "What will you do to sell my home if the advertising you suggest doesn't work?"
* Ask them to explain the benefits of any marketing tactics that will be used to sell your house; including print, the Internet and other types of advertising (you'll already know much of this if you've done your research on them).
* What's their commission rate? How does it compare to that of other agencies that offer the same services? Keep in mind I don't suggest you pick the cheapest or the dearest … I suggest you pick the best person for the job and as long as their fee is reasonable then use them.
* Find out how long they want you to list with them, keeping in mind that three months is pretty standard. Some will say to you I would have this sold in a few weeks with the amount of buyers I have on my books so offer them a four week agreement and gauge their reaction.
Ensure your selling agent or agency are members of the REIV (or relevant industry governing body). REIV members are required to have professional indemnity insurance - an important consumer safeguard. In addition, REIV members are kept abreast of changes to legislation and regulations affecting the real estate industry and ultimately the decisions of their clients.
Finally, it is good to know how long the (potential) listing agent been licensed to sell real estate and what else they have sold in the area as you don't want to trust the sale of such an important asset to an inexperienced person.
Remember, do not be intimidated or allow yourself to be pressured into doing anything that doesn't feel right. It is your home and you are in charge, so take your time when making such an important financial decision.
For more information from Patrick Bright visit www.epspropertysearch.com.au.