How to select your agent

Eliminate the stress in choosing an agent

 

According to a recent survey 67% of sellers surveyed said choosing the correct agent to list with was the most stressful part of the sale process.

Appointing an agent to sell and look after your largest asset and achieve the best outcome is the most important decision you can make as a seller. Choosing the wrong agent can make the whole sale process extremely stressful and result in a poor sale result, costing the seller thousands of dollars, or possibly resulting in no sale at all. A bad sales campaign can also stigmatize a property, jeopardizing any future sale process.

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Before choosing an agent, it is a good idea to do your research and the internet will provide you with some initial information including sales results, current and past listings and personal reviews. Unfortunately, review sites dedicated to rating agents are fraught with agents manipulating feedback to say what they want, deleting negative reviews or even submitting fake reviews. Another common pitfall on the internet are websites claiming to “give or locate the best agent” in the area to sell your property. These websites are often online listing companies where the agent pays a large percent of their commission to the website in exchange for the lead generation, agents also pay extra for higher exposure on these websites. Agents who use this type of website are typically poor or new agents who are unable to achieve listings through proven results, this is an agent to be wary of entrusting your largest asset to.

What about that agent who is always contacting me with information? Home owners and potential seller are constantly bombarded with information from agents through letterbox drops, emails, phone calls, signs and all methods of communication in an attempt to gain listings. There are some red herrings to be aware of in this method of communication:

–          I have a buyer who wants your property, would you sell your home?

The fact is that any agent worth their salt and a good database which they use well will have current buyers that they could match to your property. One of the most frustrating things I hear from sellers on a continual basis is that they are getting letters in their letter box or phone calls from agents claiming they have a buyer for their property. The truth is this is usually just a ploy from some agents to generate listings and identify potential sellers

–          Agents claiming sales that they did not sell.

Unfortunately, all too often I see things in people’s letterboxes and agents talking to people leading them to believe they were the effective cause of a sale on a property that they had nothing to do with. This can be said forthright or done in a way that the agent gives all the recent sales for the area to “assist local home owners” but the intention is that people are led to believe that the sales were done by that individual agent, when realistically they were a culmination of all the sales in the area by all the local agents/agencies.

–          A sold sign does not equal a great result.

This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions, a sold sign on a property does not tell the story of the sale result. Was it up to the owner’s expectations? How did the agent conduct themselves? Did the agent help the owners to move in the right direction based on their goals and ambitions? Unfortunately looking at sold signs is not the way to judge whether an agent or agency are producing great results.

After doing your research and shortlisting potential agents, the next step is contacting the agents for a listing appointment. The biggest conundrum when interviewing potential agents is that they are usually quite charismatic personalities. Part of this is genuine personality and charm, but agents are also trained to read your body language and intentions, they are also schooled on key words to influence sellers and manipulate the conversation to achieve a listing. While their promises and plans may sound enticing, a good way to judge between a big talker and a genuine agent is to research their past and current sellers. Speaking to past and current sellers can give you an insight into their firsthand experience with the agent and how their outcome compared with the original sales pitch. As always, the old faithful method of word of mouth is one of the best ways to give you guidance on local agents in your area.

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In summary, do your homework by talking to past and current sellers. Go to open homes undercover before you interview the agent to see how they treat buyers and how they speak about the listing. Don’t necessarily believe everything you hear or read. In doing this you will have a better, more balanced view to enable you to choose the best agent to list with and ensure the successful sale of your biggest and most treasured asset.

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