REIWA’s tips for choosing an agent to sell your home

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WHEN it comes to selling your home, choosing an agent can be one of the most difficult decisions to make.

REIWA president Damian Collins said if you want to get the best possible outcome for you, choose an agent who has researched the market and understands the marketing strategy and market demand for your property.

“A good, transparent real estate agent will assess your property, taking into account the current market and buyer demands and will work with you to agree on an appropriate listing price,” he said.

There are a range of ways you can find agents to consider.

You can ask family and friends for a recommendation, you can drive through your local area or look in your local paper to see which agents are active.

Damian Collins.

You can also use a range of online options, but while there is a variety of agent referral websites, Mr Collins said sellers needed to be mindful that their choice was normally limited to agents who were willing to give up a cut of their commission to get a referral.

He said AgentFinder featured more than 9000 agents and sales representatives across the state and was free for the agent and the public.

“It allows you to search for agents in your area and view their profile, experience, current listings and recent selling or leasing statistics,” he said.

“You get a full scope of an agent’s capabilities and can determine if they are suitable for you based on a range of performance criteria, not just the lowest fee.”

When talking with an agent about the sale of your home, Mr Collins said an important aspect to consider was their marketing approach, which should be customised to suit your situation and needs.

“Every agent is almost guaranteed to present to you a ‘free market appraisal’, which gives the agent the chance to showcase their services with the hope that they’re chosen to sell your home,” he said.

“Some agents will go as far as presenting the property title, associated plan, sewer connection diagrams and heritage notes too.

“This is good, but don’t just base your decision on the amount of research they’ve done; take note of the agent’s marketing strategy and if they are utilising available products and services to get your listing in front of buyers.”

This may include using social media, an online presence, print media and a database of buyers to target your intended buying audience.

“Ask your agent about their marketing avenues and digital approach, if they can promote your listing across multiple channels, this increases your chances of connecting with your target audience,” Mr Collins said.

You also want an agent who has a strong portfolio of market data.

“Find an agent who can tell you everything they know about the current market, any influencing factors in your local suburb including upcoming developments, public transport, schools, demographics and local attractions,” Mr Collins said.

Cost can be a determining factor for many people but Mr Collins said it was important not to base your decision solely on the agent’s fees or which agent had the cheaper services as this may cost more in the long run.

“Look for an agent who you feel is most understanding of what is important to you and you feel comfortable will provide the service you need,” he said.

Mr Collins said choosing an agent who was a REIWA member had extra benefits.

“They must comply with the institute’s code of practice, plus they carry compulsory professional indemnity insurance which, should an issue arise, means both parties are protected,” he said.

“While the vast majority of agents are REIWA members, always check when you are looking to employ an agent.”