Agents are a vital part of the Australian real estate market. They help buyers decide exactly what they’re looking for or why they might consider buying a house. And they help homeowners navigate the selling process and sell their properties for what they’re worth. However, not every agent has your best interest in mind and in fact the system (and the contract you may end up signing) is setup to benefit agents and often includes financial incentives for agents prepared to sell your home for less than it’s value. High turnover for real estate agents is a good thing.
So what can you, the homeowner do to make sure you don’t get taken for a ride on one of the biggest financial decisions of your life?
Finding the best real estate agent to sell your home can be a daunting decision. But it’s an important one and one that no homeowner should take lightly or make too quickly. The most important things to consider are your knowledge of the Australian real estate market, it’s processes and tricks of the trade. The more you know when selecting a real estate agent to sell your home the easier you are able to decide whether the agent is on your side or just out to make a quick buck.
Becoming A Real Estate Expert
It is impossible to make informed decisions without the right knowledge.
When meeting with agents for the first time they are the ones with a huge advantage. They know the real estate markets and have generally been doing this for years. They’re the experts. Therefore when they say things like ‘this is just the way it’s done’ or ‘this is the way the Australian real estate markets work’ it can be easy to fall into the trap of agreeing with them. So educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about real estate in your area before contacting an agent in the first place and if anything they say contradicts what you think you know, or simply sounds odd, take a step back and research it yourself. Your knowledge along with common sense could end up saving you from going with the wrong agent and losing thousands of dollars.
Don’t sign anything unless you’re completely comfortable with the agent and understand the processes they have explained to you.
Finding Agents Who Care
Does your agent only care about their commission?
Finding a real estate agent involves selecting a complete stranger to handle one of the biggest transactions of your life. Scary! You should be able to trust this person to have your best interests at heart, be an absolute expert when it comes to selling in your area and be able to adapt to new considerations quickly. So how do you go about finding this person?
Scott Pape from Barefoot Investor recommends finding similar houses for sale in your area and enquiring about these homes. Are they prompt with answering your calls, are they on time for the open inspection, do they get to know the potential buyers who will most likely be the same people interested in your home. Most importantly how much do they seem to care about the home and the price it sells for. At the end of the day you want to feel you can trust this person with your most valuable asset.
Working Out The True Value Of Your Home
Should you call a real estate agent or a valuer first?
One of the most difficult questions a real estate agent gets asked is ‘what is the value of my home.’ When answering this an agent has to consider what other agents are telling you the house is worth and they don’t want to lose your business to another agent quoting way over the mark. A better question to ask the agent, especially if you have already undertaken the previously mentioned research is ‘what will you do to get the best price for my home?’
However if you want to find the true value of your home your best bet is to contact an independent valuer. A valuer has nothing riding on the financial value of your home and can therefore be completely unbiased. Using a valuer may cost you a bit more at the outset, but could save you thousands in the long run.
One thing sellers often do which we always avoid is settling for the agent they dislike least. Good agents do exist and they are out there. We know this because we are constantly interviewing agents and have strict criteria we look for.
When meeting agents remember there is no set maximum number of agents you can approach. If you haven’t found your guy after 5-6 meetings then keep looking. You may feel like this is lost time but in the end having the best agent will make the selling process much smoother and save you time, money and needless hassles.
When you meet agents for the first time take note of their appearance. Is this someone you think will make buyers comfortable around your home? Show them around and take note of questions they ask. Do they genuinely seem interested in the property? If you’re unimpressed with an agent don’t be afraid to end the meeting. Just tell them you have other agents coming soon and show them to the door. Remember it’s your house and you are the one in charge here.
Without educating yourself and having an idea of the valuation of your house an agent can tell you pretty much anything and get away with it. But if you have taken these steps and learnt as much as possible you are in a position of power and will know whether the agent is being honest or trying to take you for a ride.
What Find The Best Agent Can Do For You
Get help finding the best agent for your home.
Our advocates at Find The Best Agent have been in the industry for years. We know all the tricks agents try to play and how difficult it can be to keep on top of everything. That’s why we exist, to offer home sellers a helping hand through the entire process. We help you navigate the process of choosing an agent and keep you informed about every update, no matter how small. And if you ever have any concerns with your agent, we are here to work things through and make sure you get the best result no matter what.
Don’t let the process of selling a house put you off taking the plunge and selling your own. With the right know how and the right people by your side it will become an exciting experience and leave you impressed with the outcome. All it takes is a little work finding the best real estate agent for your investment.
If you’re just beginning this process start by reading our free ebook – ‘5 steps to get the best result when selling your property’.