How to choose the best agent to sell your home

Josh Tesolin , NSW

Josh is RateMyAgent's national 2020 Agent of the Year. With a formidable work ethic and energy, he has carved out a reputation for delivering outstanding service and results for clients.

Introduction

Your home is your most valuable asset, so it’s vital to choose an agent who will work hard to get you the best possible result in a given market. My how-to guide will help you get the choice right.

 

A good agent … will work to get you every dollar they can..

A strong local presence

Drive around your suburb and look at the sale boards in the area. If most of them feature the same company and the same person, they’re selling most of the properties in the area, so they must be doing something right!

Detailed local knowledge

When you’re shortlisting agents to interview, focus on the ones who live and work locally. Buyers will inevitably have questions about local facilities like schools, public transport routes, sporting grounds and so on. Agents with local knowledge and experience can answer buyers’ questions without hesitation, based on personal knowledge rather than fumbling with Google Maps!

 

The more information your agent can give buyers on the spot, the more confident they’ll feel about making an educated decision to move ahead with the purchase.

 

A great local agent also knows the sales results for comparable properties in the area and can explain why your home is priced at a certain level. They’ll be in a strong position to negotiate with buyers on your behalf.

 

Sure, a buyer will only pay what they want to for a property – but a good local agent will bring them to that point, create a sense of urgency, negotiate on your behalf, and make the overall process as smooth as possible for you.

Reviews and recommendations

Check the agent’s sales and client service track record. Don’t just go on what they say about themselves. Use platforms like RateMyAgent, where you can see genuinely independent vendor reviews linked to actual transactions, along with the agent’s recent sales results in your local area. Independent reviews will help validate what the agent is saying about their track record.

 

Focus on agents with dozens of positive reviews and recommendations, rather than just a few. (RateMyAgent has also recently added ‘agent recognition’ badges to help you identify which agent is the most trusted, recommended and awarded.)

 

Apart from demonstrating the agent’s experience in the market, large numbers of verified reviews will show you that the agent has a consistent track record. The more consistent their record, the more trust you’re likely to feel.

 

In saying this, it’s not just about the number of properties an agent has sold, but whether most of their sales have positive reviews and recommendations.

 

A great agent will also provide (with permission) the contact details of recent vendors. Every time I sell a property, I send every potential vendor the phone numbers of my last 10 vendors. This way, they can ask for personalised, honest feedback about working with me and my team.

Energy + process + results

Look for an agent with good energy; someone you gel with. When I last sold a property of my own, I chose someone I trusted and felt comfortable with. The trust was built on their experience in selling in the local area, and positive recommendations from people in my community.

 

If you and the agent are in the same headspace and share a common goal, you’re more likely to work productively together. People want to work with people who want to work with them! A great agent wants your business, has a strong agency and team to back them up, and will work hard to show buyers the most positive features of your property.

 

Speaking of buyers: the best agents make the time and effort understand buyers’ individual needs and bring the right ones to your home. Make sure you quiz prospective agents about how they’re going to achieve this.

360-degree marketing

In real estate, perception is everything. A good agent will market your home everywhere – from conventional newspaper advertising and sale boards, to real estate websites and targeted social media content.

 

In 2020, great agents are reaching buyers through geographically targeted social media campaigns. This can be incredibly successful. I just sold a 3-bedroom home at a record price for my area, straight from Instagram. The buyers saw it, arranged an inspection and bought it. Vendors have never had this kind of reach before!

 

Agents who learn and embrace these new methods will be in a better position to compete with their peers for buyers’ attention and, ultimately, get you the best sales result.

A word about commissions

Provided that an agent’s commission level is somewhere within the general industry range – 2 to 3 per cent – it should be the last thing you consider when deciding who to go with.

 

A commission is a success fee. If your agent doesn’t sell the property, they don’t get paid. Find someone who will bring genuine buyers to your property and work to get you every dollar they can. If that agent happens to have a higher commission than some of their peers, the extra money from a great sale price could be well worth the additional commission outlay.

Summing it up

If an agent has a proven sales record, consistently positive reviews and local experience; can bring the right buyers to your door; and can negotiate from a strong position on your behalf … they may just be the best agent to sell your home.

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