Top Tips for Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

Home sellers will find it difficult and daunting which real estate agent to choose prior to listing their property. The reason is because choosing a bad agent can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

In addition, property marketing has evolved significantly. Putting a signboard in front of property doesn’t cut it anymore. So it is essential to find the agent with the knowledge on how to use the complete arsenal of digital tools available today.

Here are the top 10 things you should consider before choosing a real estate agent:

1. Stay away from ‘free’ agent recommendation websites
You will find plenty of websites claiming they can recommend the best agent for you for free. If you think this is too good to be true, then you’re right. Virtually all of these sites compel the agent to part with a portion of their recommendation to win a vendor’s business.

The best agents can survive without paying for business and don’t sign up with these sites. Thus, there is a chance you could end up with a sub-par agent. So, there’s a risk that you won’t be able to get the best possible price for your property.

You should be the one choosing your agent. If you want to a recommendation, try asking a trusted friend.

2. Make sure the agent knows your target buyers
When you interview an agent, ask how they plan to position your property, or who they identify as your target market. The right agent should have a clear understanding of your property’s target market and tailor your marketing strategy accordingly. Your agent should also be able to guide you on matters such as minor renovations, staging and styling.

3. Your agent should use market data
A wealth of property data can be accessed by agents to help them make the right decisions when selling a home. With their excellent grasp of the local market, agents can guide you on setting a price guide, sale type and what should be done to make your property distinct from others.

4. Your agent should have a good grasp of local market
The agent you should choose is one who has extensive knowledge of your suburb. Your agent must be able to provide information about local schools, demographics, public transport and local attractions to prospective buyers.

Information on what’s coming up in your suburb, such as new developments, new shopping centres, light-rail, etc., is also valuable to buyers.

5. Ask your agent what the multi-channel marketing campaign will look like
When agents suggest a minimal advertising budget, it could sometimes mean their client’s best interest is not their top priority.

You could add tens of thousands of dollars to your sale price and help you sell your home faster with an effective advertising campaign. High-performing agents recognise this, and will treat advertising as an investment rather than a cost.

Know what marketing channels your agent intends to utilise. Using multiple channels to advertise your property – including digital, print and social, will significantly increase your capability of reaching your target buyers, which could include ‘passive buyers’ who are not actively searching.

6. Know which digital-type listings are available
Not all property listings are created – at least when it pertains to digital advertising. Your ad size, search results ranking and how long your advertising run will determine the number of views and buyer inquiries that your ad will generate.

Ask your agent which digital listing type they will include in your campaign. Agents who recommend high-exposure listings will probably be dedicated to bringing you significantly more competition for your home.

7. How do you promote your property on social media?
Real estate is the second-most discovered product/service on Facebook in Australia, according to research by the social media giant. Since 11 million Australians are on Facebook daily, it makes sense to ensure your property is popping up in your buyers’ feed.

Your agent will likely propose to showcase your property on their social pages, but ask your agent how they plan to reach the broad range of buyers who are not in their list of followers.

Paid social can position your property in front of a high targeted buying audience. You can also use products that can remove the guesswork from social and connect you with qualified buyers. The right agent understands all of these.

8. Enquire about the agent’s database
A good agent has a good clean database. Ask how your agent plans to market your property to their current database of buyers. However, as much as an agent’s database is essential, it cannot be solely relied upon. Competition between buyers is the main driver of higher house prices. To boost competition, give your property the most exposure you can.

9. Use professional photos and videos
Use professionally-taken photos and videos for your ad. Find out from your agent which video options they include in their marketing package. You should also request for samples of their past work.

The best video will feature your property’s finest elements and potentials through high-quality footage and inlays. Add a wow factor and set your property apart from other listed properties by having the agent present your home and stay away from the videos that are simply still photos put to music.

10. Commission
The good agents can still win business without cutting their commission, even during a soft market. Hiring the agent with the lowest rates is tempting, but don’t forget that you get what you pay for when it comes to selling your home.

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