When it comes to selling your home, you want to be safe in the knowledge that your property is in the right hands, but how do you go about choosing the right agent?
We put questions to Ray White Head of Performance Management Adam Downes to decipher the dos and don’ts of choosing the right agent.
I’m looking to sell my property – how do I go about picking the right agent?
When an owner is looking at selling their property and is looking to choose an agent, what they effectively want to do is choose an agent who is going to be able to obtain the highest possible price for them.
To do that, I think what property owners should look for is firstly how that agent will deal with potential buyers when they come through their property, should they engage that particular agent.
To start that vetting process as a property owner, you should actually go and see them in action. And you can do that in a variety of ways.
You can enquire on properties they may have listed already and pretend to be a buyer to see what the level of service and engagement is like from them.
“You can also do it at an open home or a private inspection, just to see what the follow-up is like and see how that agent would be acting for you with buyers or potential buyers for your property.
What is the follow-up like? Do they follow-up? How engaging are they? Are they trying to engage you with the property? Are they good at selling the features of that property? Are they engaging you in the buying process?
It’s like being a secret shopper. And the reason why it’s crucial to do that and get the first-hand experience is because if you look at all these agent rating sites, you’ll rarely find an agent under 4.8 stars, and it’s because you can put all your good reviews up there.
It’s probably not the best source to go to when vetting agents. So, I think getting that first-hand experience is the best way to go.
I decide to sell my property – I have agents pitching – who do I pick and why?
When the time comes to choose an agent at the listing presentation, if you don’t already have a relationship with an agent you know and trust, you often invite three agents to pitch.
It’s really important that as a property owner you look for them to prove to you and to explain their process and their ability to be able to extract and find a buyer in the market place who will pay more than anybody else.
Any agent can sell a property for any price but what you want to be able to do is to decide on the agent who can clearly articulate how they have a process or a structure to be able to bring a buyer who will pay the most.
“That generally comes by way of creating competition, by creating an environment where they have multiple buyers competing against each other to drive the highest price for the property owner.
As the seller – what three questions should you ask at the listing presentation?
I would want a case study. Can you display to me an example of where you have achieved a result that’s better than what the vendor wanted or a result that has proven to show they’ve obtained the best price for a property.
The other thing I’d like to see is a written vendor report from an agent and that would be a report from a previous campaign they’ve run. What you’ll find in that report is the proven structure of communication that you’ll likely get from that agent.
Testimonials. Good and bad. They can’t all be good so I’d like to see some testimonials of other previous clients.”
Does the method of sale come into it?
If I was going to engage an agent particularly based on method of sale, it’s really important to only choose an agent that has a proven track record for that particular method of sale.
For example, if you wanted to auction your property, you would want to choose an agent who has experience and success with auctions. Not all agents know how to run a really successful auction campaign, so it’s important that if it’s auction you want to go down the path of, choose an agent who does facilitate and conduct auctions.
And if you’re thinking of selling under the hammer, and I’m a big advocate of that, then go along and watch them in action.
Don’t just look at the result, if I was there I’d be looking at how many people were actively bidding. What was the agent doing at that point in time? Were they active in the negotiations along with the auctioneer?
Many people trust Trip Advisor – is there a reputable agent review site to trust?
I’d probably use a variety to ascertain a cross section of responses. From a volume point of view, both Domain and REA can give a property owner the volume of work an agent is doing and a volume of the transactions an agent is involved in, so I’d start there.
From a ratings point of view, I hear a lot about Rate My Agent as the place to go, but I’ve got a fundamental issue with sites like these because I’m just not convinced that all of the ratings go on there.
Google reviews are pretty good because anyone can rate on there but there’s not a huge amount of volume on there.
From a further vetting process, I’d say NPS (Net Promoter Score). I’m not sure many people know about it but it would be great if an agent could show their score along with their sent rate and response rate. This can provide a component of integrity and consistency around what customers really think about a particular agent’s experience.
It’s pretty credible and can be tied in with testimonials too – especially if the agent can take a seller through exactly what that means and how it works.
Adam Downe, head of performance management
Ray White Oakleigh Real Estate
7 Atherton Road, Oakleigh, 3166
03 9568 2000