When you start thinking about selling your property, many people choose their agent based on how much commission they charge, and how much they say they can sell the property for. And the good news about using this approach is that if you want an agent who will quote a high sale price and low commission rates, you’ll find one. In fact, you’ll find HEAPS of them!!
Here’s an interesting thought…. The cheapest agent is NOT the one who will charge you the least for commission and advertising costs… The CHEAPEST agent is the one who works the hardest and achieves the highest possible sale price for your home, putting the most money in your back pocket at the end of the day.
So, what is the best way to choose an agent?
Question the evidence!
- Generally speaking, you’ve already got a good idea what your property might be worth. You’ve watched the market, you’ve seen what’s available, and you’ve compared these properties to your own home.
- So, when an agent comes to you with an appraisal of your home – ask questions! An agent should be able to explain to you clearly how they’ve come to their assessment of value. This should include being able to show you comparable properties, explain why they are better/worse than your own home, and clearly demonstrate how they’ve come to the sales figure. Be wary of the agent who tells you EXACTLY what you want to hear just to get the listing.
Question the results…
Like any other profession, some agents are more highly skilled than others, and it’s important that you know how experienced your agent is. When interviewing your agent, some useful things to know might be;
- How many listings do they currently have? In the current market some agents will simply take on as many listings as possible in the hope that someone comes along willing to buy one. As a seller, you need to consider whether the agent you appoint is going to have sufficient time to devote to your sale!
- Do they have a track record of results? Agents should be able to demonstrate recent sales results. A good question to ask when considering this might be what the difference was between the price the property ORIGINALLY went on the market for and the actual sales price achieved.
- How does the agent handle negotiations? Good negotiation skills are vital, and poor negotiation costs money! For example, ask the agent how they would handle a low-ball offer on your property. A skilled agent will have an immediate response!
Question the commission!
Within Queensland, Real Estate commissions are regulated to a maximum level of around 2.5% + GST. As a seller, if you believe that every agent is able to offer the same level of service, and will be equally committed to achieving the best result for their seller, you would simply shop around for the cheapest commission on offer and make your decision. The reality is, not all agents will offer the same level of service, and like anything else in life you only get what you pay for…
A skilled agent, with good negotiation skills and a history of results will seldom discount their commission. If they are confident of delivering the best results, why would they?
Question the expenses!
Depending on your property, each agent should recommend a marketing strategy for your home. When considering this, you should consider;
What’s the overall expense? A marketing strategy should NOT be overly expensive, and should be designed to achieve a sale. A marketing strategy should be about marketing the property, NOT marketing the agency, and the agent should be able to clearly justify the expenses.