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Selecting the Right Real Estate Agent

- Saturday, December 05, 2009

When it comes to selling your property the help of a professional real estate agent is invaluable, but it’s important you choose one carefully.

Selling a home or investment property is a major step. Employing the assistance of an agent can ensure a smoother, quicker, and less stressful process as well as attracting the best sale price.

While there is always the temptation to sell your property privately to save on fees, this can be a false economy in the long run.

A good agent can generally offer a much wider forum through which to promote your property; they also have a network of prospective buyers that can be pointed in your direction.

There is also the added incentive of engaging a veteran negotiator who can maximise your chances of selling for top dollar, therefore offsetting their agency fee.

Of course, the degree to which an estate agent will be able to assist you will vary, so it’s important to select your agent carefully.

Ask around
Check with friends and family about their experiences with local agents. They may be able to recommend an agent they really liked working with or know of one with a good reputation.
Test the water

Approach at least three agents and compare, first of all, how they make you feel. Did you like them? Did you trust them? Are you confident in the way they approached your meeting and how they might interact with prospective buyers? What about their office and receptionist? Listen to your instincts and avoid any agents who make you feel uncomfortable.
Plan of action

A professional agent should be able to produce a formal marketing strategy to show exactly how they are going to market your home. Also ask for a list of recent sales to demonstrate their performance.
The whole package

Although it’s tempting to choose the agent who tells you they’ll get the highest price, don’t be fooled into choosing an agent on price alone. There are agents who will inflate this figure just to secure your listing, leaving you disappointed when they cannot in fact sell your property for that price. The best way to know what your property is worth is to have it valued by a professional, unbiased valuer. This will also put you in a stronger position when liaising with prospective agents.
A fair price

Agents charge a commission anywhere from between one and three per cent of the selling price. While this is a point to consider, don’t let it be the deciding factor.


This article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the author/s, Carruthers Financial Services Pty Ltd or any of its employees or subsidiaries. It is intended to provide general news and information only. While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information it contains, neither the author/s, Carruthers Financial Services Pty Ltd,'Carruthers Financial Services Pty Ltd's employees, or its subsidiaries, can be held liable for any inaccuracies, errors or omission. Copyright is reserved throughout. No part of this article can be reproduced or reprinted without the express permission of Carruthers Financial Services Pty Ltd expect for the use for which it was purchased for. All information is current as per the date of delivery and Carruthers Financial Services Pty Ltd will take no responsibility for any factors that may change thereafter. The purchaser of this article and all readers thereafter are advised to contact their financial adviser, broker or accountant before making any investment decisions and should not rely on this article as a substitute for professional advice.

David Carruthers is a credit representative (Credit Representative Number [400226]) of BLSSA Pty Ltd (Australian Credit Licence No. 391237).