So you have decided to sell your home and are now faced with an almost bewildering choice of real estate agencies and consultants to choose from. What should you look for?
You may already know some real estate agents socially, but when it comes to selling your primary asset, you are wise to step back and make your decision based on professional competence, experience, local reputation and proven sales ability – and not just friendship.
The first step is to do your own due diligence
Local reputation: the agent you choose should be highly regarded locally and thought of by the Community as ethical as well as hard working and successful.
Profile: the most enterprising agents have an active presence on roadside signage, are regularly present on local advertising and even write articles on their industry in local media. There is a direct connection between a well-developed profile and sales success in the real estate industry.
Marketing ability: your agent of choice must know how to present your property in the widest sense and will need to demonstrate a clear strategy for marketing your home before you appoint them. You could ask “If I appoint you, how exactly would you go about marketing my property?”
Establish if the prospective agent is willing to arrange for photography and video as part of their marketing programme – and cover the cost. If they are prepared to back themselves in that way it’s a great sign!
Internet marketing and Social Media: up-to-date agents use the Internet and Social Media extensively to promote themselves and the properties they represent. They must show that they are comfortable in this demanding arena.
Local knowledge and experience: everyone has to start somewhere, but experienced agents ‘know the ropes’ and you don’t want to have someone learning at your expense.
You can get a feel for local agents by attending as many home opens in the weeks leading up to your decision to appoint an agent. How are you treated as a visitor to each home open? Do the agents give you a feeling of confidence and professionalism?
Choose an agent who presents well and dresses professionally.
Before you make your decision, ask at least three agents to appraise your property. How are you treated, and which agent stands out from the rest. Trust your ‘gut feel’.
It is generally agreed that the best agents are exceptionally hard working, thorough, are great communicators and can demonstrate market leadership by the number of listings they have as well as numerous ‘For Sale’ signs.
Make sure that the agent you choose has an excellent support team.
Do the prospective agent impress you as an excellent negotiator, lateral thinker and someone who knows how to ask the question and close the deal pleasantly but firmly? Are they politely persistent?
Above all, when you have made your choice, treat your agent as your ally and trusted friend in the exciting adventure of selling your home.