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Buying or selling: How to choose a real estate agent

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Selling your home can be a breeze with the right agent by your side. Taking the time to choose that agent is key.

If you do your homework, you should uncover the perfect agent for you and your property – one who’ll make you feel calm and confident throughout the whole process and do their best to get you a great result.

But what about buying a property? A buyer’s agent can help you search and evaluate potential properties. They can also be very useful at auction time to help you negotiate the purchase price of the property and to bid on your behalf. This can often take a lot of stress out of the process. It’s important to understand how they charge. Some buyer’s agents charge an engagement fee, some charge a flat fee and some charge a percentage of the property purchase price. It’s important to have this conversation before engaging an agent.

Real estate agents often know which properties are for sale before they’re even listed. It can sometimes be a win-win for you, the agent and the owners to sell a property off market. Off market sales are increasing and one of the best ways to be in the know is to choose a real estate agent (or two!) in the area where you want to buy.

So, here’s our handy checklist for you to consider:

Make a list

Use the real estate sites and apps to look at similar properties currently for sale in your area, or those ones that match your buying criteria. Make a list of who the agents are and use this as your starting point to do your research.

  • Check each agent’s website
  • View their previous sales and results
  • Join the local Facebook groups and ask about people’s experiences with the agents

You should be able to narrow your list to two or three potential agents based on who has the most experience with property sales like yours and who is recommended by others.

Shop around

Consider heading to the next open houses for your shortlisted agents and watch how they work. Some things to look out for include:

  • Are they affable and engaged with the people inspecting the property?
  • Were they interested in you and keen to understand why you’d attended the open home?
  • Did they take your details and follow up with you?
  • Did they have professional marketing materials?
  • First impressions count - to you as a potential client of theirs, to the potential buyers viewing the property and to potential owners looking to sell. Make sure your agent makes a good first impression every time.

Road test

Consider setting up meetings with one or two of your favourites and chat through your situation. If you’re selling, discuss advertising options, commission and the small print of their contracts. Ask them to give you references of recent clients to contact too. If you’re looking to buy, take along a comprehensive list of what you’re after – specify the must-haves, the nice-to-haves and the deal breakers. This will give them a clear idea of which properties to contact you about.

Stepping through this checklist to find the right real estate or buyer’s agent will help whether you’re buying or selling your home. Choosing the right real estate or buyer’s agent will reduce the stress of selling your home or buying your next one.

 

  Disclaimer

Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305. The information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.

 

Article published September 2018