Speaking with industry experts we asked what you should be looking for when scouting around for the perfect agent, Graham McKee shares his thoughts.
You put your house on the market, but the estate agent is the one who actually sells it or helps you rent it out. Choosing the right agent is a critical decision – it can make the difference between getting a really good price, securing great tenants or not selling your house at all. But how do you tell the difference between good agents and bad ones?
- They communicate
As a house seller/buyer or landlord, it can be stressful dealing with an agent who’s not a great communicator. The real estate market is time sensitive, so you need an agent who will let you know quickly where you stand with your current buying, selling or letting situation so you can move on quickly to another property or potential buyer.
One of the biggest frustrations for people is a lack of communication from their agent. It’s so important that agents stay in constant contact with their clients and customers. What seems like insignificant information to an agent who’s been in the business for years can be really important to clients who are new to the real estate game.
- They listen
Most good agents will tell you to be wary of an agent who talks too much. If you can’t get a word in when communicating with your agent, then you’ve got a problem.
As a client or customer, you’re the one who should be doing most of the talking and making sure that your agent understands your special requests and needs. A good agent should be asking all the questions not the other way around.
- They have good local knowledge
It is incredibly important for the person selling or letting a home to have recent sales experience and success at selling and/or letting homes in the area. Someone who has never sold a home in a particular part of town is, in many ways, a beginner. Sellers and landlords have a right to pick a winner, so start things out right by making sure you’ve got the best person for the job.
- They are organised with attention to detail
An estate agent that is organised and likes to work with attention to detail is the one that is most likely to sell or rent a home, this is especially true in a hard-to-sell market. Great agents know the tiniest changes sellers and landlords can make to improve the sale-ability of their home and are creative with their listings including taking the best photographs of each home. They return client calls promptly and make every appointment on time.
- They are proactive and tenacious
A good agent should be proactively calling potential buyers and tenants as well as communicating with existing customers and constantly chasing new leads. The key element of being proactive is keeping the client well informed.
- They know their customers motivations
A good agent always knows why their clients are selling or letting their property and will ask themselves the following questions:
- Is your customer selling to buy?
- Is this an investment property?
- Are they going live in this home and then knock it down?
- What type of tenants are they looking for e.g. working professionals, couples, and families?
These are all things that good agents need to think about. It also helps to know if there’s a sentimental attachment to a home; a client who’s selling one of five investment properties will have very different needs to a client who’s selling their family home. A good agent will know the difference and will adapt accordingly.
- They are honest
Sellers and landlords need an honest agent, one that will tell them like it is, even if they’re not the easiest to hear. This type of person will lay out exactly what the seller/landlord can expect, from sale/rent price to timings and more. In the end, honesty will save property owners lots of worry.
- They aren’t afraid to give you their last 20 clients are references
The best way to get a good agent is use their past clients as references.
If you’ve lined up a new agent and you want to make sure that they’re the best fit for you, ask them for testimonials or statements from their last 20 clients. Not selected clients, literally the last 20. A good agent should be able to give you a positive reference from any of their past clients.
Finally, remember the agent works for you.
About Graham McKee
Managing Director of Stadium Residential, Graham has seen more than three and a half decades of the property business and continues to be passionate about his work. To find out more about Stadium visit: http://www.stadiumresidential.com/