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The Fine Art of Choosing an Agent

30 March 2013

In any real estate market, the question is often asked, “What exactly do agents do to earn their commission?”

On a typical sale, the agency receives around 2% of the value of the home. Of course a large percentage of that goes to the principal to cover running costs etc. (which really add up!).

Agents say that the current market is requiring them to be more creative, to be careful and extract the best value from vendor paid advertising and also spend more time and effort to make a sale.

But how do you go about making the right choice when putting your home on the market? Especially when you want it sold and not still languishing on two or three months down the track.

Here are a few tips that might help:

  1. Does your agent have a team of handymen, de-cluttering specialists, cleaners, gardeners, removalists they work with and recommend?
  2. If you’re not happy with the agent’s performance can you cancel the agreement? Do they offer guarantees on performance?
  3. What are the agent’s qualifications? How long have they worked in the area? Can they show you a track record and offer testimonials? Can you call their testimonials yourself?
  4. Spend some time researching the net to see the style of advertising your prospective agent is known for. Do they have professional images? Is their copy creative or is it bland? How many visits have they had per listing on the net? (This may help you figure out the length of time they’ve had the listing.)
  5. Are they asking for advertising money? This is a good thing. Professional images, copy writing, internet advertising, signage, brochures, and a floor plan – those things add up. It’s unlikely you’ll be using a savvy agent if they’re telling you all those things are ‘on the house’.

Once you have assessed all of those things, you also need to take into account whether you feel you can work with the agent - do your personalities fit? Did they really listen to you and what you're trying to achieve or did they dictate how you should run your sale? 

When you find the person who "clicks" with you and who has the professional experience to back it up, you're surely onto a good thing!

Hope this article has been useful.