Selling a home is almost as big a decision as buying one. Which means that finding a good realtor should be high up on your list of priorities.
More than just someone to help you sell your home, a realtor should be someone you can trust as well as a reliable, insightful source of information. Whether you’re selling an investment property, your family house or apartment, the right property agent will be a guide, an assistant and an industry expert.
To help you start the process, we’ve condensed our knowledge into 7 simple steps to find the best realtor for you.
Demystifying Home Sales – Have you wondered about the different costs associated with selling your property? Our guide on Agency Fees for Selling a House breaks it all down for you.
Know What You’re Looking For
Finding a realtor to sell your home is a little different than the one who you used to buy your home. We discuss this further in Step #2 but to start, here are a few responsibilities of your agent:
- Your realtor assists you in preparing to sell.
- Your realtor has expertise on deciding the right price for your home.
- Your realtor will use different avenues, like the Soho App, to advertise your home for maximum exposure.
- Your realtor will be an expert at marketing, promo and staging.
- The realtor will guide you through the entire real estate transaction process, from offer to contract to closing.
If it’s your first time selling a home, you’d benefit from a “teaching” realtor. They’ll clue you in on how to proceed if negotiations get tough amongst other helpful tips.
Another difference between a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent is the commission. When you’re buying a house, you’ve probably paid for the cost indirectly. But when you’re selling it, you probably know the real cost of the realtor’s service. This could incentivise you to check out all possibilities before settling for the right one.
Know the Lingo
Most real estate professionals will be licenced by the state, so what’s the difference between a real estate agent and a buyer’s agent? This can get a little confusing. A buyer’s agent generally does not sell property. What they do is help a buyer find their home through research and inquiry. They can also act on your behalf as a negotiator at auctions and private sales.
On the other hand, real estate agents work for the seller and will most probably prioritise the seller’s interests over the buyer’s, as mentioned above.
Soho Listing @ W502/2 Chippendale Way, Chippendale, NSW
The more research you do the better so start early to give yourself plenty of time.
Ideally you find an agent with good standing in your suburb and a history of solid results. Look for statistics like auction clearance rates or average days on the market. Then put together a shortlist of agents in your area and compare how many listings they have, previous sales they’ve completed and how they present those listings as well as their agency. Good agents will help you set a good price on your house, teach you how to market it, and suggest ways you can increase its value.
Friends and family are usually good sources of recommendations as well.
Look for Local Agents
If you see any “for sale” signs in your neighborhood, notice who appears more often. That agent is more likely to be well-versed in the area.
Once you’ve shortlisted the agents, you should start the interview process. This one person will assist you in maximising the return on a big investment, so it’s important that your personality fits theirs. They might appear like a prospective employee at an interview, eager and professional. And this is a good thing!
At the meetings, see how long they’ve been working in the area. Maybe even test them a bit about their local knowledge and recent sales. Good agents will already have experience in selling your type of property and in your neighbourhood. It shows their interest in the area and most importantly, your home! General insights like zoning, local schools and business and bus routes are good for them to have on hand.
Test Their Skills
Another step you should take before you meet with your shortlisted candidates is to see how they work! Look up their listings and go for an inspection. Pay attention to how they treat their clients and how they present themselves and the property.
Most decisions when buying a property are emotional so ask questions like, are they engaging with potential buyers? Do they make the buyers feel secure and safe? Do they exhibit knowledge on the area? Are they able to tackle surprise questions well?
Soho Listing @ 9/101 Murray Street, Perth, WA
Don’t be Afraid to Ask
Speaking of questions, as a seller, you should be asking many of them! Ask your agent to talk you through some of their sales in the area and how they achieved what they wanted. And then ask them to compare and contrast that experience with your property.
The more you know, the more realistic your expectations will be.
Set Your Goal Calendar Early
What a goal calendar will do for you is organise preparations for the sale. Once you’ve chosen your agent, they will put together a strategy to start selling your property, with clearly identified objectives. A thoughtful strategy will advise you on how to present the home, as well as marketing and negotiation tips. If you’re making any adjustments like minor fixes or staging, your agent will also be on top of this.
If your sale is time-sensitive, let them know and ask them for help in organising all preparations.
Soho Listing @ 901/550 Queen Street, Brisbane City, QLD
Comfort is Key
What we mean by this is your comfort. You should be comfortable with your agent and fully trust their capabilities. It can be an emotional process, and you’ll be communicating with them frequently, so a realtor you feel at ease with is key.
If you want to do a little more digging, it’s worth it to contact their previous clients to ask them what their service was like. Were there any challenges working with this agent? Were they responsive and good communicators? Would you have done anything differently?