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Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent

Selling your home has the potential to be an incredibly stressful event. With emotional and financial implications involved, ensuring you have the right support and guidance is essential. 

This is why spending time deciding on who you choose to sell your home is so important. 

Engaging the right real estate agent cannot only facilitate a smooth, relaxed selling experience but is also key to getting the best possible price for your property.  

Equipped with in-depth market knowledge and insights, expert marketing and negotiation skills and more, they are best placed to help you navigate the complexities of selling your home. 

However, with so many agencies to consider and all of them vying for your business, knowing which one to choose can be a challenge. In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the role of an agent, how to find winning representation and what you should be looking for so you can sell with confidence. 

 

The Role of a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents act as a point of contact between buyers and sellers, facilitating communication and property transactions. 

As your sales representative, their responsibilities include:

  • Providing you with market insights and property valuations so you can have a clear idea of what your home is worth and what it may sell for 
  • Marketing your property through various platforms and/or channels to enhance visibility and increase interest
  • Seeking out potential buyers and introducing them to your property
  • Arranging and overseeing inspections and open houses
  • Negotiating offers and terms of sale
  • Receiving property deposits and holding these in trust until settlement
  • Managing various types of paperwork such as the contract of sale and other legalities alongside your conveyancer 
  • Handing keys to the new owner post-settlement 

Your real estate agent is involved with or in charge of almost every stage of your sale other than settlement. This is why it is so imperative to choose a highly skilled agent that you can trust to prioritise your best interests at all times. 

 

Finding A Real Estate Agent

The best place to start with finding an agent is to seek referrals and recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have had positive experiences with real estate agents. 

Doing so can help you locate a reputable agent in your area and give you valuable insight into their approach and client care. 

In addition to this or where personal referrals are unavailable, take the time to research online reviews and testimonials. This feedback can be invaluable to determining which agency or agent is worth contacting.   

Interview Multiple Agents

Just as you should compare multiple quotes for trades and services, you should never hesitate to interview multiple agents before making a decision. 

Ask about their qualifications, experience, marketing strategies, and commission rates and then compare them against one another to find the best fit for your needs. 

Questions about their approach to selling, their track record, and how well they understand your specific requirements are also advisable. 

Remember, the lowest commission percentage may feel like the biggest decider, but this does not guarantee a good selling experience, in fact, it’s more likely to be the opposite!

Agent should be motivated to sell your home for the best possible price

What To Look For In A Real Estate Agent 

Before interviewing or choosing an agent, be sure that you have checked and are across the following:

Licensing and Regulation

Across Australia, anyone practising as a real estate agent must be properly licensed and operating in strict adherence to their state or territory-specific regulations. 

It’s essential to verify an agent’s credentials before engaging in their services. Failure to do so could lead to legal complications with your sale. It is also worth checking if there are any records of disciplinary action against them in the past and what these relate to. 

Each state and territory in Australia has its regulatory body responsible for overseeing real estate transactions. 

Through these bodies, it is possible to check the licensing and registration of a real estate agent, obtain advice regarding an agent or lodge a complaint. They are: 

  • New South Wales: Fair Trading NSW
  • Victoria: Consumer Affairs Victoria
  • Queensland: Office of Fair Trading QLD
  • Western Australia: Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety WA
  • South Australia: Consumer and Business Services SA
  • Tasmania: Consumer, Building and Occupational Services TAS
  • Northern Territory: Consumer Affairs NT

Experience And Track Record

Finding an agent with significant experience and a proven track record of successful sales in your area and for your property type is strongly recommended. 

An inexperienced agent is not as well positioned to navigate the sales process and may lack the insights of someone more established. Likewise, an agent who is used to selling apartments or commercial property is not going to be as well suited to selling a house. 

A reputable agent will happily provide you with references or testimonials from past clients and examples of properties like yours that they have sold. 

If you experience push-back in this area or an unwillingness to share past sales information, this may be a red flag and a sign to look elsewhere. 

Market Knowledge And Expertise

Securing the right buyer and the right sale price relies heavily on your agent having a deep understanding of your local property market. 

They should be well-versed in current market trends, property values, and neighbourhood dynamics. Ideally, they should also be informed about comparable sales by other agents in your area, recent transactions and whether there are planned developments or zoning changes slated. 

Being able to access these insights and information through an agent ensures that you are best positioned to capitalise on market opportunities and reap maximum benefits from the sale.

Marketing Strategies

Marketing plays a key role in attracting buyers and helps to maximise property exposure. To achieve these outcomes, however, it must be done effectively. 

To evaluate whether an agent’s approach to marketing is likely to be effective, you should assess their:

  • Online presence: Do they list and promote properties on prominent real estate websites and social media platforms?
  • Photography: How professional is their photography? Look for high-quality images that showcase a property’s features and make a great first impression. 
  • Print advertising: Do they employ the use of flyers, brochures, and newspaper ads to reach a wider audience?
  • Open houses: How well organised are their viewings and how well do they showcase the property to prospective buyers?

It’s a good idea to also ask to see an agent’s marketing plan and budget allocation to ensure there will be comprehensive coverage and visibility for your property. 

Communication and Accessibility

As with so many things, communication is key and when it comes to selling your home, communication is especially important. 

Smooth, successful and stress-free (almost!) real estate transactions are possible but rely on effective communication. This means an agent that keeps in close contact and that is prompt, transparent and consistent. 

Your agent should be easy to make contact with and keep you fully informed of any developments. This includes feedback or offers from potential buyers and any relevant changes in market conditions that may influence your sale. 

Commission Structure and Fees

Real estate agents are typically paid for their services on a commission basis, taking an agreed percentage of the sale price. Commission rates often vary between agents and may be up for negotiation depending on who you are dealing with. 

Never enter into an arrangement with an agent without fully clarifying their commission percentage and other fees and charges levied for managing the sale. 

Make sure you are completely across what services are included in these costs as well as when and how they are expected to be paid. In most cases, these costs are deducted from the sale, but not always. Be sure to check what happens if you decide to end their services without completing a sale too. 

Personal Rapport and Trust

No matter how experienced or reputable an agent may be if you don’t feel a rapport with them a successful professional relationship is unlikely. 

You must be able to trust your agent and feel that they are genuinely interested in your needs, understand your goals in selling and will put your interests first. 

A great real estate agent will always display integrity, professionalism, and diligence throughout the transaction process, putting you at ease and ensuring you achieve the best results. 

Selling your home

On The Hunt For Your New Home? Why Not Build Over Buy?

By following the tips outlined above, we’re confident you’ll enjoy a relaxed and straightforward selling experience. 

If you are selling and intending to buy another home, whether to downsize, upsize or gain additional comforts, we encourage you to consider a new build instead. 

At Stop Renting Perth, we specialise in helping our clients move into their dream homes, built to match their unique preferences and needs. 

With over 70 home designs to choose from and the ability to build in locations all over Perth, we make it possible to find your forever home so you need never sell and move again. 

To learn more about the benefits of building a new home, contact our team today at 0402 513 446.

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We’re here to help, so let’s get started! it’s time to stop renting and start taking steps towards home ownership.