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How to choose the right real estate agent

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Nila Sweeney
A real estate agent that is experienced, qualified and well connected can make all the difference when you’re trying to sell your house.
 
So how can you separate the “talkers” from the “doers” when you’re trying to track down this illusive property professional?
 
Te begin with, you should hit the phones, says Luke Woollard from Pilot Estate Agents.
 
Start by researching the agents in your area by visiting open homes and looking at homes advertised for sale on property websites,” he says.

“Call and email several agents in your local area about a property they have for sale. Did they answer their phone and respond to your email? Were they efficient, professional and informative?”

Next, invite the agents who handled your enquiry the best to provide you with an opinion of value of your home or investment property.
 
You should beware of agents who give you the estimated value, without justifying their opinion, Woollard warns.
 
“Experienced and knowledgeable agents will provide you with a report on your home, including recent sales of similar homes in your area. You want to be sure they are comparing 'apples with apples', so ask the agent what makes the homes similar to yours,” he explains.
 
“If your agent can't answer your questions and justify their opinion of value with facts, they’re probably trying to 'win' your business by giving you false expectations.”
 
Finally, your agent should be able to give you an update on where the potential market for your home is heading, and discuss the kinds of buyers who are looking for properties like yours – and, more importantly, they’ll know how to find them.
 
Tips for appointing an A-list agent:
 
·         Make sure they’re net-savvy
Your agent should have “in depth knowledge of how to use the internet effectively to market your property”, Woollard says. “Also, make sure your property will be advertised on Australia's busiest real estate websites.”
 
·         Ask about their marketing strategies
They should offer you a choice of suitable marketing techniques for your property. “Ask them to explain their suggestions so you know the kinds of advertising that will attract the most buyers to your home,” he says.
 
·         Stack the commission structure
When negotiating a commission with the agent, you could negotiate a higher commission for a higher sale price, Woollard suggests. “It will ensure that the agent has plenty of incentive to achieve you a high sale price.”

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