Choose an agent carefully
Be thorough when selecting a real estate agent to sell your home
The “free market appraisal”, offered by almost every agent, was conceived as a vehicle to demonstrate their services to would-be sellers, in the hope they are chosen to sell their home.
Nowadays, written market appraisals have morphed into comprehensive prospectuses detailing marketing strategies, recommended methods of sale and service guarantees.
Some agents will go as far as presenting the property title, associated plan, sewer connection diagrams and heritage notes too.
Coupled with the time taken to compile and present the market evaluation, these market appraisals are not really free — certainly not for the agent.
However, real estate is a success-driven business; agents don’t get paid unless the sale progresses to settlement. Therefore, it is a business built on opportunities, with agents spending time and money for those opportunities.
If you’re thinking of selling, I recommend taking advantage of the willingness of agents to clearly demonstrate their services. Even if you’ve had a previous relationship with an agent, it’s wise to call at least one other local, prominent agent to compare their services.
Sellers often choose an agent based solely on price.
Ultimately, selling property is so much more involved than price and cost. Choosing to sign with the agent promising the best price for the cheapest fee is a mistake, one almost certain to cost you in the long run.
Look for the real estate agent who is prepared to provide a written estimate of your property’s market worth.
This estimate should be backed up by sound comparative market analysis, so be sure to ask how they derived the market price.
The agent you choose should draw their conclusion based on comparable properties only.
It is equally important to fully understand how the agent plans to market your property and the associated costs.
Ask for marketing samples, and look at the agent’s online listings to ensure your property will get quality exposure.
Ultimately, you want to find an agent who has an effective and informed strategy. Look beyond the mere dollar value, and go with the agent who provides a clear, written marketing and selling plan that will ensure your property sells for the highest price, in the shortest time. Hayden Groves is the president of Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.