Property Advice

How to choose the right real estate agent to sell your home

Article by Property Press

When you’re trying to sell, your real estate agent will be like the face of your property. Here are some practical tips to help you find the right one

Choosing the right agent to represent your house is a very important decision. Most agents have areas that they operate in — they know the local market, and often have a base of buyers looking for homes in particular neighbourhoods. When looking to appoint an agent they will come and present you with a detailed campaign but how do they actually perform when conducting open homes and discussing properties with buyers?

Visiting open homes before the agent knows you are a potential vendor is a valuable way of learning how effective they really are and how they compare in relation to other agents.

What was their sales material like in terms of capturing the unique features of a property, how did they conduct the open homes, were they forthcoming with information and answering questions, did they get back to you after the open home with a follow up call on your interest in the property, did you like their personal style and would you be happy with them presenting your home to buyers in a similar way?

All this is valuable information when it comes to selecting an agent to sell your home. They provide the vital interface between you and the buyer so it’s worthwhile to do some research into how they operate before you even invite an agent to pitch for the opportunity to sell your home.

Choosing your agent

When assessing an agent always contact at least three agents from different companies to give you a proposal. Be aware that agents’ fees and cost of marketing campaigns, extent of sales support in terms of fliers, advertising, etc, will vary considerably. Also, the agent who promises you the highest price may not be the one who actually performs the best — they may talk you down on price as the sales process continues. So be pragmatic and ensure that you really feel comfortable with the person you select — they are the face of your property.

Get the price right

Be sure to discuss with agents different forms of selling your home. The mandatory auction process which was prevalent in many areas of New Zealand is not such an obvious route any more. The rate of properties at auction being passed in has increased as conditions have changed from being a vendors’ market to a buyers’ market. Once a property is passed in and a negotiated sale is not made shortly after the auction, you can find yourself in a compromised situation as buyers are warned off because others have decided it is not worth the original reserve.

Offering properties by negotiation or at expressions of interest is becoming increasingly popular, especially as loan conditions become more stringent. Make sure you discuss all your options regarding sales method.

Tick all the boxes

If you have done renovations and structural tweaks over the years, check that these are all compliant sooner rather than later. You don’t want to sacrifice a sale because an interested buyer is put off by the fact that all the paperwork hasn’t been ticked off.

Words by: Sarah Beresford.  Photography: Kate Claridge, Peter Parks/Getty Images, PCYMA/Getty Images

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