What to expect from your real estate agent

When selling your biggest asset you want to be sure that your agent has your best interests at heart and your property is not just another cog in the real estate wheel. Every property and vendor has different needs and a one-style-suits-all service does not ensure the best return on your investment.

Just as important as selecting the right agent in the initial stages is making sure you are getting the best from your agent. You want the marketing campaign to run smoothly and the whole process to gain the best possible result as even minor changes can result in dollars gained or lost on auction day. Creating and maintaining a good working relationship with a real estate agent will help to avert risk from selling property, as you can be sure they are meeting your needs.

Communication is key

It is essential to have good two-way communication with your agent. Is your agent contactable? Do they return your calls? Do they call you with updates on how the campaign is running? Do you receive updates on possible interest and reports on hits and views of your property online? Have you been sent copies of the property in the press? These are all worthwhile and reasonable questions to ask of your agent – you are, after all, the client.

It’s all about trust

To create a successful working relationship, it is important there is a level of trust between you and your real estate agent. Ultimately, you need to like the person you have entrusted to sell your biggest asset. You should expect your agent to be working hard to get buyers interested in your property and to be targeting the right audience. If you are selling a one-bedroom apartment and they are targeting families, it may be time to question their integrity.

Do your own research on properties in the area. Have you been given a fair evaluation? A good agent will be able to compare your property with others they have sold in the area to give you a realistic expectation of what you can hope to achieve come auction day. If you have done your research prior to selecting your agent, you should feel comfortable that they are able to achieve this.

Insider advice

Once you have selected an agent, it is important to take on board the advice you are given. A good agent should be providing ideas on how to prepare your property for open for inspections and for auction day. If you are not receiving this advice, ask. You have a contract with them and you should be ensuring you get bang for your buck throughout the whole campaign.

Selling your home relies on two-way communication. Your agent needs to know you will fulfil your side of the bargain by taking their advice and helping with areas out of their control. If they recommend you put some of your possessions in storage or clean up the front garden before open for inspections, it is worth taking this advice. After all, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out come auction day.

Knowledge is power

Excellent knowledge of selling properties and the local area is what will separate a good real estate agent from a mediocre one. If you have done your homework, you will have selected an agent who is very familiar with the area you are selling in. They will know what buyers look for and how to market to those buyers.

Your agent should demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of your area over and above property styles. Do they know about good schools and popular cafes and shops? Do they know about council plans and developments that could ensure you gain a greater return on your investment? In addition, they should inform you of other properties for sale that may compete with yours.

Does your agent have offices in other areas? This can be a great advantage to ensure that your property has the potential to reach a bigger audience. With that said, it is important to engage an agent who represents success on their own merits not just because they work for a large company – lots of properties on an agent’s list can sometimes limit their resources to focus on yours.

A good agent should have a sound knowledge of property law and council regulations. If you ask your agent questions, can they respond with answers based on knowledge rather than speculation?

Can your agent prove that they have access to buyers that may have missed out on similar properties in the area and are therefore ready to buy? It is a good idea to keep on top of properties that are selling in your area and seeing how many bidders there are at auctions. Speak with your agent and ensure they are targeting these potential buyers, who have the money to spend.

Good agents will let you know who will be conducting your auction before you’ve even signed the contract. Go along to auctions and see the auctioneer at work. Do you like their style? Are they getting the results you would hope for the vendor? If you have any concerns, highlight them in advance to iron out any possible worries prior to auction day.

Once you have an agent in place, keep in touch to ensure you are getting the most from your marketing campaign. By speaking regularly and maintaining a good relationship, you can steer the campaign in a different direction if necessary and ensure you get the end result you are looking for.

Article supplied by Golan Flamm from Hodges Caulfield.

Photo: bryanbartlett01