Best Sell­ers

Choos­ing a pro­fes­sional to mar­ket your prop­erty isn’t a clear-cut process but do­ing your home­work could pay off hand­somely, writes Har­vey Gren­nan.

Australian House & Garden - - THE CHRISTMAS ISSUE DECEMBER -

Choos­ing the right real-es­tate agent to sell your home.

Agood real-es­tate agent is worth their weight in gold, but how do you find the pro­fes­sional who will ac­tu­ally de­liver the best pos­si­ble sale price for your prop­erty?

The first step in choos­ing a real-es­tate agent is to ob­tain ap­praisals from at least three agen­cies and then weigh up their es­ti­mates. On no ac­count should you tell them the price you’re hop­ing to achieve, be­cause they won’t want to lose your list­ing by quot­ing below that fig­ure. Some agents will overquote to se­cure the list­ing, while oth­ers will un­der­quote so they can make a quick sale.

“Remember that ev­ery­thing you dis­cuss with a po­ten­tial agent is en­tirely ne­go­tiable,” says Mal­colm Gun­ning, pres­i­dent of the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Aus­tralia. “Un­der­stand the mar­ket con­di­tions and have a grasp of av­er­age fees, then con­sider in­cen­tivis­ing your agent.”

By this, he means talk­ing to them about set­ting a ba­sic com­mis­sion and agree­ing to some form of bonus pay­ment should your agent achieve an out­come that’s above the agreed price.

It pays to en­ter into any sales process with a sound un­der­stand­ing of just what’s go­ing on in the lo­cal mar­ket. In­spect prop­er­ties for sale in your neigh­bour­hood and keep track of the auc­tion and sales re­sults. In ad­di­tion, do your re­search on the agents them­selves, ad­vises Gun­ning. “Some agents spe­cialise in, say, apart­ments, so if that’s what you’re sell­ing, it makes sense to check them out first.”

A few years ago you might have found your­self pay­ing out a com­mis­sion of more than three per cent of the sale price; to­day, a rate of two per cent – or even less – is com­mon. But be­ware com­mis­sion rates that seem too good to be true. How hard will the agent work for you if the re­ward is go­ing to be so mea­gre? As an agent once said to me,

“If I am care­less with my own money, imag­ine what I will do with yours.”

Many agents will press for an auc­tion cam­paign in which they will be the exclusive agent and you will pay all the ad­ver­tis­ing costs. Auc­tions work best in a ‘hot’ mar­ket; in a buyer’s mar­ket, pri­vate treaty may be the best tac­tic. But even in a pri­vate-treaty sale, an agent may want you to pay ad­ver­tis­ing costs. And they will present you with an exclusive-agency agree­ment to sign, rather than an open-agency one that would leave you free to use other agents. My per­sonal rule is to sign up for an exclusive agency for a lim­ited pe­riod, and only if the agent pays for at least some of the ad­ver­tis­ing.

At the end of the day, chem­istry also counts, so choose the agent you feel most com­fort­able with if he or she ticks all the other boxes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.