It could be a $64,000 question or potentially even more but choosing the best agent for your home needn’t be too difficult.
As with most things concerning property, the best foundation for success can be laid with quality research and planning – and meeting an agent that can tick all the boxes.
After all, you are relying on that person to make or break your financial future, and also depending on them to guide you through the highly emotional path of parting from your most cherished asset.
Therefore, it makes sense to do plenty of work beforehand if you wish to minimize stress and maximize financial returns. And in an ideal world, this can be up to six months before officially choosing to sell.
At Ann Paterson Real Estate, we want to make sure you feel comfortable working with your real estate agent and that they understand your needs. It’s important that you feel you have picked the right person for the job. Like an audition, be prepared to interview at least three prospective agents to determine who is best placed to handle the sale of your property.
Your property and your personal preferences will determine largely where to start. Broadly speaking, smaller boutique agencies can bring a personal touch, tailor-making marketing campaigns and having the flexibility of principals working in a hands-on role. But smart vendors should look at the total package being delivered by agents, rather than just the bottom line of how much commission they will have to pay.
In particular, pay attention to word-of-mouth referrals from friends, family and work colleagues, peruse results over an extended period, and be sure to watch agents in action, noting how staff conduct themselves. It may even be worthwhile calling the agency with a basic inquiry or emailing them to gauge the speed and accuracy of their responses. When interviewing, vendors should ask selected agents for a written list of services that incorporates performance expectations. Bear in mind that, among other things, the agent’s responsibilities will include advertising the property, conducting inspections, presiding over negotiations, arranging the contract, and following the sale through to settlement and beyond.
Besides the standard queries about what similar properties have sold in the area, and marketing expenses (ask for an itemized schedule and payment plan), other questions will soon differentiate who you regard are the pretenders and the genuine article. They should include: What type of buyers would be attracted to this home? What do you feel are the good/bad points of the property?; What do we need to do to improve its presentation?;
Will you be handling all aspects of the sale? Can we talk to some of your past clients?; and, How will you help me understand the conveyancing process?
Ann Paterson Real Estate is always happy to answer any questions a vendor might have in relation to all of the above. And, of course, there is the eternal question of what your property is worth.
Common sense dictates that some agents will overstate the value of your home to gain your business, while others take the opposite approach in an attempt to be seen to overdeliver. But shrewd vendors should always take the middle quote as the most realistic. Once you analyse the various responses, marketing plans and costs, it’s then fair to compare apples with apples. Trust is an essential ingredient through every step of the process, so it’s important to outline your hopes from the outset, share feedback and always keep open the lines of communication.
The difference between a good and a great agent can not only create a seamless transition from one address to another but also ensure you are better off financially for your next chapter in life.
Contact Ann Paterson Real Estate today to find out how our team can help you get a start on that next chapter.