5 Ways To Identify A Good Real Estate Agent
Finding a good real estate agent can be an overwhelming task. Finding a brilliant one can seem impossible! With a letterbox constantly full of glossy flyers claiming incredible results, plus so many agents offering reduced commission, free marketing or trips to Hawaii… how do you sort the sheep from the goats?
Here are 5 things you should be looking for in your future real estate agent. If they can’t check at least 2 of these off the list with your potential agent… run. You can do better!
1. A good real estate agent won’t offer “bribes” or heavily reduced commission
Let’s be honest. We all love a good freebie. But just like any other “free with purchase” item, it’s important to question why the gift was necessary. Unfortunately in the case of real estate, it often means that the agent is desperate to list (sell) more homes. They’ll give away “free” marketing, cash bonuses, and maybe even drop their commission well below average.
But is a “cheap” real estate agent really what you want?
Successful real estate agents rarely have much wiggle room on their commission. They don’t need to, because they’re confident that by getting a better sale result, you’ll make more money in the long run than if you went with a “cheaper” agent.
They won’t cut corners because they’re too busy trying to sign more listings.
They won’t provide sub-standard photos taken by a smartphone or trainee photographer because they had to give them away for free.
They won’t copy and paste your realestate.com.au ad from a similar property’s because they’re too rushed to write it themselves.
2. A good real estate won’t guarantee a sale price (or buyer) for your home
No matter how big an agent’s database is, how much your neighbour’s home sold for, or what state the current property market’s in… no agent should guarantee anything. If they do, they’re lying to you. It’s as simple as that!
A good real estate agent will make an educated guess during your appraisal which is based on recent similar sales, but that’s only to be used as a guide. There are countless variables that affect price, so simply prepare yourself with your agent’s advice and decide what you can afford to accept.
3. A good real estate agent would have successfully – and recently – sold homes in your area
It may seem obvious, but we have to mention it. Do they have cold, hard evidence of recent success? More importantly, have they sold in your area and can, therefore, call themselves area experts? Don’t be afraid to ask these questions. It’s not to say that an agent who hasn’t done these things won’t be able to sell your home, but you at least deserve an honest answer so you can make an informed decision.
4. A good real estate agent should have a huge list of testimonials
Don’t just take their word for it. What do their past clients say? If they’ve sold a lot of houses but only have a handful of people willing to say positive things about their experience, be wary. If they don’t provide you with any testimonials during your first meeting, then do some detective work.
Do they have an active Facebook page?
What can you find on their website?
Do they have a Rate My Agent profile? This is a big one for judging credibility!
Still can’t find anything? Ask if any of their recent clients would be happy to chat to you over the phone about their experience. Numbers aren’t everything – you need to know how their clients found the entire process.
5. You heard about them through someone you know
The ultimate referral is the one that comes from word-of-mouth. If no one you know has mentioned a good real estate agent lately, start asking around. There’s a good chance that a friend or family member has recently sold a property and would be willing to tell you about their experience.
But I found a couple of agents that seem to tick the boxes… what now?
You’ve done the head work, now it’s time to hand it over to your heart/gut/whatever gives you that “feeling”. You need to be a personality match. Understand and respect each other. Oh, and ideally not mind the sound of each other’s voices as you’ll probably be on the phone a fair bit during the process!
Coming soon: “The Ultimate Guide To Selling Your Home”
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