Questions to ask your real estate agent

Working as a real estate agent is an interesting profession. We don’t work for ourselves but rather for the property seller, the Vendor. With each property sale, we essentially have to compete for the job of representing the Vendor. In a highly competitive market, we often find ourselves up against other agents vying for the same opportunity. As a Vendor, choosing the right agent to sell your most significant asset is a critical decision.

To assist you in making this decision, we’ve compiled a list of questions you should consider asking a potential agent:

  1. What is your experience as a real estate agent?

An agent with extensive experience brings a wealth of knowledge, including the ability to manage multiple tasks effectively, being intuitive with potential buyers, negotiating for better prices or contract terms, understanding human motivations, and reading situations to achieve optimal results for both the Vendor and Buyer. On the other hand, an inexperienced agent may bring enthusiasm and energy to the table as they strive to establish themselves in the industry. Ideally, a combination of experience, expertise, and energy ensures you have an agent who is knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated to every job.

  1. What is the current state of the market?

Understanding the market is crucial in real estate. A knowledgeable real estate agent should be able to provide you with an overview of the current market conditions, including price trends, the impact of government policies, banking regulations, interest rates, auction clearance rates, and open house inquiries and inspections.

  1. What is the estimated value of my property?

While you may have a good sense of your property’s worth, a real estate agent can offer insights by comparing your property to recent sales and considering the current market sentiment. They should provide a range of estimated values based on evidence and market discussions, avoiding the common practice of overestimating the property’s value just to secure your listing, which can lead to unrealistic expectations and a prolonged time on the market.

  1. How long will it take to sell my property?

A real estate agent should explain that the initial weeks on the market are critical for attracting buyer interest. They should provide information about the average time similar properties spend on the market and offer contingency plans if your property doesn’t sell as quickly as expected.

  1. What can I do to sell my property faster?

Your agent should provide honest feedback about any changes or improvements that may help your property sell faster. This could include styling tips, general maintenance, cleaning, or decluttering. They might even advise against costly renovations that may not yield a significant return on investment.

  1. What is your marketing plan and its cost?

Your real estate agent should work with your budget to create a customized marketing plan. This should include a mix of online and print advertising to ensure your property gets maximum exposure.

  1. How will you sell my property?

Your agent should explain the different methods of sale, such as private treaty, auction, or tender, and help you choose the one that best suits your property and market conditions based on factual evidence.

  1. What is your commission rate?

Commission rates can vary, and it’s essential to evaluate the services provided in exchange for the commission. Choosing the cheapest option isn’t always the best strategy, as a slightly higher commission may be justified by superior service and a higher sale price.

  1. Will we work well together?

During your interactions with the agent, consider factors such as trust, personality, and confidence in their ability to handle the sale effectively. The “x factor” in the relationship is essential, ensuring that you can maintain trust and professionalism while working together.

Ultimately, while a real estate agent’s reputation and recommendations are important, it’s your judgment that matters most in deciding if they are the right fit for your needs.

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