There's no shortage of real estate agents in Australia, with over 30,000 licensed and practising nationwide.
All have the same stated goal: to sell your home for the best price in the least time possible. But, with so many to choose from, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff?
Why it pays to choose a real estate agent wisely
Your home is your biggest asset. It's the real estate agent's skills and attributes that determine its final selling price. Choose the wrong person, and that decision could end up costing you a significant amount of money. It can also impact the length of time it takes for your property to sell, adding needless hassle to an already stressful process.
As in any industry, there are both good and bad professionals around. So how do you distinguish between them? Take a look at these six telltale signs:
1. Market knowledge
Unsurprisingly, a good agent will know all there is to know about your local property market. Down to the last detail, they'll tell you how much similar properties sold for, why they sold for that price, and how long it took. Then, they'll use all this information to help you price your property at the correct price.
"Unsurpsingly, a good agent will know all there is to know about your local property market."
A bad agent, on the other hand, won't know much about what sells and why in your area. As such they are more likely to over-value or under-value your home.
2. Relationships with active buyers
At any given time, your suburb will have a number of prospective buyers who are keen to buy a property just like yours. A good agent will already know who these active buyers are, what they are after and how much they've got to spend. A bad agent won't.
3. Reviews and testimonials
One of the easiest ways to tell whether an agent is good or bad is by using their past clients as a reference.
"One of the easiest ways to tell whether an agent is good or bad is by using their past clients as a reference."
Ask any agent for customer testimonials – a good agent will have a collection whereas a bad agent makes excuses. Then check real estate agent review sites and see what their average scores are. It goes without saying that the higher these are, the better.
4. Marketing skills
If you want your home to sell quickly then it's vital it gets marketed to potential buyers properly. While that could be anything from flyers to online portals, social media to virtual tours, the key thing is that a good agent knows what they are doing.
They'll present your home in the best light possible and run professional open houses so that your home gets the maximum exposure to the largest amount of buyers.
A bad agent might talk the talk, but then end up delivering poor photos and sloppy open homes, resulting in your home languishing on the market.
5. Network of complementary professionals
It takes a network of professionals to properly prepare a home for sale. This could be anyone from photographers and stylists to gardeners and handymen. Good agents will have the best people on speed dial, whereas a bad one won't.
6. Negotiation skills
Once you've found a buyer for your home, an inevitable back and forth occurs. While you want the highest price possible, the buyer wants the lowest, so it's the agent's job to help seal the deal.
"A good agent will have your back and have the negotiating skills to follow through"
A good agent will have your back and have the negotiating skills to follow through. You'll get the best possible sale price from that particular buyer. A bad agent will give too much ground as they just want the deal to go ahead.
Content supplied by Jonathan Lui for Soho App.