Choosing a real estate agent

By Will Keall
Selling a property is never easy; there are many hard decisions to be made in a short space of time. If you wish to enlist the services of a real estate agent to help sell your property, one of these decisions involves picking a suitable agent.

Ensuring you get the best price is a primary concern, and choosing the right real estate agent is crucial to achieving this. But how do you go about choosing an agent? It is more than just picking one that will give your property the highest valuation or offer the lowest commission.

You are entrusting one of your most valuable assets to this person, so don’t afraid to be fussy!

So, before choosing a real estate agent, do a bit of asking around, get some recommendations from your networks and do your research. 

Here’s some things you might want to think about before selecting an agent (you may need to call and ask them for details):

What can you tell about the agent from word-of-mouth?

Word of mouth goes a long way in most industries; chances are, if you have heard good things about the agent from your neighbour, some friends or your mother-in-law, they are likely to be a good agent to work with.

That being said, what works for other people may not suit you.

How long have they been in the business for?

As with anything, experience is key here. An agent with a great deal of experience will be able to negotiate deals with confidence and ensure you get the best price for your home. They will also have a good network established that could assist with the selling process. 

What areas have they worked in and what type of properties do they sell?

In property, knowledge of the local area is crucial; each state, city and suburb could have distinct property trends at any given time, so an agent that has worked in your area previously has an edge over someone who has not. 

You could also look at whether they have experience in selling properties that are similar to yours, as an agent that sells only high-end homes may not suit your middle of the range property. 

How much commission do they take/how much will it cost for to sell your property through this agent?

A fairly standard question, but make sure you do ask for a breakdown of costs so you know exactly how much money is being spent for what. It’s important to note that an agent with a low commission doesn’t automatically make them the best value. 

Do their communication channels seem effective?

Have you tried contacting someone who has several assistants, more clients than they can handle and too much on their plate? If you have then you know they aren’t the sort of people who respond quickly to emails and phone calls. 

A real estate agent that has the time to respond promptly to any requests will also spend time putting effort into selling your property. 

You also need an agent that is genuinely interested in your property rather than viewing it as one of many that they can add to their listings.

What methods do they use to introduce buyers to listed property? How much will be spent on marketing?

Ideally your real estate agent will have an established marketing presence that will be harnessed to sell your property.
If you are or are not prepared to spend more on marketing, make sure the agent is aware of this.

How long is it taking for them to sell their listings at the moment? What is the current market like for a property similar to yours?

Asking this will give you an idea of how long you should expect your property to be on the market for, and can also give you an indication of how well the agent knows their stuff. 

Will Keall, iMortgage’s general manager, has a wealth of marketing and business development experience gained in Australia and the United Kingdom. These include high level roles in a range of sectors such as financial services, insurance, travel and tourism, motoring and professional services.

Will played a pivotal role in the successful establishment of iMortgage. His dedication and passion for the mortgage industry have won Will the utmost respect as an integral part of the iMortgage brand.

A self confessed “numbers and brand geek”, Will calls himself a conservative investor with a long-term philosophy. He also believes it’s important to “love where you live.”

Will is a cricket and football tragic, who also enjoys running.