7 Ways to Assess your Real Estate Agent Before you Hire

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There are many ways you can evaluate the performance of a real estate agent to gauge the success they may have when selling your property.   

Here are 7 tips that sellers can follow for choosing a real estate agent:

1.    Speak to previous clients
Ask the prospective agent to provide a list of all the properties they have brought to the market in the last year. Randomly select as many as you want and call the sellers.  Ask about the good, the bad and the ugly.  You want as much information as possible so you are able to make the best decision.

2.   Check licensing
Each state has boards in charge of licensing and here in NSW the agent must be either licensed or certified and working under a licensee.  This can be checked online or simply ask the agent to produce current documentation.

3.   Award winners
Be wary of choosing award winning agents.  Whilst you may think this is relevant and highly important it really only means that these agents have a high turnover and not necessarily the best outcome for the sellers.  

4.  Choose an agent who is a master negotiator
After marketing, this is the most important technique your agent should have!  You can trial and test their negotiation skills  by role playing.  Put them through an example of a buyer offering on a property and see what they say, how they say it and ultimately how they perform.

5.  Find out what other skills the agent has 
Many sellers believe it is important to choose an agent based on the years that agent has been working in the industry.  I can tell you now that sometimes those agents are the ones who become complacent, lazy or set in their ways.   A well seasoned agent not changing with the times can be far less successful than an enthusiastic agent new to real estate.

What is important is that you choose your agent based on their skills, knowledge and talents.  This usually boils down to how much they know about your suburb and the current market, what they know about marketing and how they interact and negotiate with buyers.  It is not necessarily how long they have been working in the industry.

6.  Check their present listings
Check online to look at an agent’s listings. The agency’s website, realestate.com.au and domain.com.au.  Be careful not to discount or judge an agent who has only a few listings.  It could simply mean that their average days of the properties on the market may be much lower than those of an agent who is trying to manage a high number of listings with longer days on market.

Buyers begin their search online, and you want an agent who utilises the Internet effectively.  You want an agent with an attractive presentation online.  One who understands market instead of just advertising.  There’s a big difference between the two.

Don’t dismiss an agent just because they are not in the same neighbourhood? Or not in the same price range? Just because they don’t specialise in a specific area does not mean they are not the best.  One Agency Pinkerton Properties specialises in marketing and is why all of our clients are referred to us and we work in all suburbs across a wide price range. 

7.  Enquire about how the agent will attract buyers to your home
A good agent should have knowledge of how to identify a ‘targeted market’ and what marketing methods they propose for your property.  Be wary of the agent who offers a Gold, Silver or Bronze advertising package.  Your campaign should not be a ‘cookie cut’ campaign or ‘one size fits all’ approach.   You want an agent who is a marketeer.  One who knows how to attract multiple buyers to compete for your property and one who designs an individual proposal for you!

If you are thinking of selling in the next 12 months and you are planning to get more than ONE agent’s opinion, make sure ONE of them is from Annette Pinkerton at ONE AGENCY Pinkerton Properties.

She’s the agent in Newcastle known to help people to turn the key to where they want to be and often gets called in to sell a home where other agents have failed.  Save yourself time, money and stress and choose Annette the first time!