Choose the right agent to get you across the finish line

Lucy RutherfordThe West Australian
According to REIWA President, the first thing you should assess in a real estate agent is whether they have strong negotiation and communication skills.
Camera IconAccording to REIWA President, the first thing you should assess in a real estate agent is whether they have strong negotiation and communication skills. Credit: Daria Nipot/Getty Images/iStockphoto.

There is a lot of advice out there for first homebuyers, but for first homesellers it can be just as daunting a prospect to choose your first selling agent.

The Agency Perth Property Partner Corey Adamson said reaching out to friends and family was a great place to start.

“If people have had a good experience with an agent they will tell you and, if they had a bad experience, they will definitely tell you,” he said.

“Reviews are something that have become very important, with so many agents and so many opinions reading what buyers and sellers have said about their experience is pretty powerful.”

REIWA President Damian Collins said the first thing to notice in a real estate agent was if they had strong negotiation and communication skills.

“Your selling agent should be approachable and show you that they understand your goals and what it is you are trying to achieve,” he said.

“Don’t just choose an agent based on the lowest commission – you want an agent who will get you the best outcome.

“A good agent will more than demonstrate their value by representing your interests and getting you the best possible price and terms.

“They should be transparent with you from the start and will work with you throughout the selling process, from the marketing strategy through to the negotiation process.”

Mr Adamson said he believed trust was the biggest factor in choosing a selling agent.

“Someone you trust and like is a great place to start, as an agent I try to talk to my sellers everyday and if you’re talking to someone that much you would want to at least like them a little,” he said.

Ray White Dalkeith Claremont Principal Vivien Yap said there were a few key questions homeowners should ask when they had their initial meeting with a selling agent.

“You should be asking where the selling agent sees your property in the market based on comparable sales in the area, the proposed marketing plan, if the selling agency has sold anything similar to your property and their own reasons why you should work with them,” she said.

Mr Collins recommends looking at a potential selling agent’s portfolio and sales statistics.

“See what kinds of sales they have made recently to see if they are suitable to sell your home,” he said.

“You should also ask about their marketing and sales strategy – how will they make your property stand out above the rest?

“Social media is a powerful tool, so don’t be afraid to ask your agent where your property listing will be shared and what retargeting methods will be used.”

Mr Adamson said in this market anyone could sell a property, however if you had an agent with a genuine point of difference the benefits could be worth thousands.

“Ours is our social media pages and strategy,” he said. “We can confidently say through our social following that we can put your home in front of more than 100,000 people.”

Ms Yap said homeowners should look for an agent who worked collaboratively with their team rather than independently.

“At Ray White Dalkeith Claremont, we all work together to achieve a common goal, rather than working against each other,” she said.

“This support is invaluable and helps achieve the best possible price for your property.”

Mr Collins said while a good agent would be able to sell any property, having an agent with local experience and expertise might tip the balance in their favour.

“Sellers should consider finding an agent that has experience in the suburb they wish to sell in,” he said.

“This means that the selling agent would have a sound understanding of the current market conditions in that suburb and will be best to represent your home when setting and negotiating the best sale price.

“Also, some agents may specialise in different types of properties, some may be apartment specialists, while others may be more focused on expensive homes.”

Mr Adamson however believes any agent should be able to sell any property.

“Whether it’s a $300,000 house or a $3 million house, the agent should treat it the same and the result should be a by-product of the strategy,” he said.

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