Thursday, 25 June 2015

Avoid disaster with this easy 10-step process to choose the best agent

Why would you trust your most valuable asset with an inexperienced, barely qualified rogue real estate agent?...
...Simply put, you wouldn’t! If you knew all the fact before signing on the dotted line.
Here are some helpful points to consider when selecting your agent;
1) What you get in your bank account is what counts.Understand the end-game here is what is important. Many people select an agent who offers them the lowest fee. Often this shows an inability to negotiate strongly to protect the fee that a good agent deserves which in turn reflects an inability to negotiate the best sales price for your home. Part of this topic is to understand how the maths works.  
Let’s say an agent charges a fee of 2.5% of the sale price of the property. On a $600,000 sale the agents fee is $15,000. If the sale price is $610,000 the fee is $15,250. An average agent may “do the deal at $600,000 to be assured of getting paid, but a good agent will work the transaction to the $610,000 maximum sale price. Each extra $10,000 they get on the sales price they get $250 fee. But you get $9,750. You need an agent who will work hard to get the best total price –not just get a deal together.  
2) Track record is important and it covers many aspects of the history of an agent. The pitfall is to go for an agent who promotes themselves as selling the most properties. This may show experience but you are only selling one house, and you want as much effort put into your home as possible.
3) Another aspect of an agents track record to investigate is their success in terms of the Price suggested vs the price achieved. An agent who is good in this respect will share their results with you in terms of the value they first put on a property and put it on the market at, and the price they ultimately achieved for the owner. Promising a high result to entice the vendor to sign an agency agreement and then “conditioning“ an owner to take a lower price on the basis that the lower figure is all “the market” is prepared to pay is not a way for an agent to build a long term reputation. So look for an agent that consistently achieves sales within a few % of the Market Appraisal or First market price of a property.  (Always keep in mind that pricing property is a complex issue that is subject to many forces so even the most experienced agents don’t always get exact results all the time).
4) A good network often helps a sale. An agent who is well connected through their contacts or office infrastructure is something to look out for.
5) An agent who is backed by a strong local brand has a distinct advantage. They will have access to more buyers who are looking to purchase in the area who may be looking at other properties. A trusted brand is an assurance to you that the company will not condone or tolerate any activities that could jeopardise their reputation. Great brands also have strong followings so promotion of your property is likely to a wider population than a small or obscure brand.
6) Good support staff and systems make a huge difference to the efficiency of a Real Estate Agent and consequently how well they can do their job and the results they can deliver.
7) A well-developed “process”.Selling a home is a transaction with a surprisingly large number of steps that must executed flawlessly to achieve the best result. An agent who is well organised and who can explain to you succinctly each step of the selling process that they and their office use will be efficient in the delivery of a sale and also in extracting the best possible offers for your home. Disorganisation is a dead giveaway of an overworked or incompetent agent who may not be able to give your sale the attention or diligence that it deserves.
8) Look for the carefully structured question session with you so the agent knows what to put in the ad and what to tell potential purchasers who may not live in the area.
9) This will also lead to discussion of the best Strategy for selling your home. These complex transactions get better results when carefully thought through and then executed. Not all sales are a simple repetition of the last 5 times the agent sold a home.
10) A defined level of communication with you so you are kept informed with the progress and developments towards the sale is important to enable you to make the best decisions. Obviously agents will have to talk with you, but asked if they have a plan developed for this where you can formulate with them the way you want to be kept up to date with what is happening with your property.

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