Vetting Your Real Estate Agent

Vetting Your Real Estate Agent

If you want to sell your home, it’s important that you make the right choice when it comes to selecting a property agent. Ideally, you’ll want to find an experienced and trustworthy expert with a great track record, who specializes in the type of property you are looking for.

But how do you make the selection? What tools are available to help you in your search? In this article, we explore a few top techniques that you can use to find the perfect real estate agent for you.

Getting Started

As is the case when researching almost any service provider, your first port of call is likely to be an online search engine.

Make note of the names that pop up towards the top half of the first page of results.

Try to stick to local real estate agents. Check the addresses on their “contact us” pages if you’re not sure where each is based.

The closer their base is to the property you are trying to sell or auction, the more likely they are to know the area and the relevant buyer demographics that they should be aiming for when marketing your property.

Explore Each Site

Explore Each Site

Write up a list of local real estate agents that have turned up as a result of your online search.

Take a look at each website in turn. How many properties do they have available at present? If they have a few like yours in the local area, you might be on the right track – as they’ll likely have relevant experience.

You should also see if you can find out how many sales they’ve made over the last year, and how much their typical properties go for.

Another key indicator is the length of time each of their properties remains on the market. If they have a tendency to over-price properties, or if they fail to promote their real estate correctly, their turnover time will be negatively affected.

If they have a track record of quick, lucrative sales, it’s probably worth taking your enquiries further.

Read Reviews

Read Reviews

When you find a real estate agent in your area, the first thing you’re likely to do is to check out their website. There, you may find a selection of reviews from satisfied customers, displayed for the purpose of putting you at ease and building your confidence in that particular firm.

However, it’s possible that these reviews will have been cherry-picked by the real estate agents themselves – and that there are other less complimentary write-ups available to read elsewhere.

To make sure you see a balanced view of an agent, the best approach is to check out third-party review sites like Trustpilot. If the firm you are considering is highly rated on these sites, it’s much more likely that you’re on to a winner.

Ask Around

Know someone who has sold their property recently? Why not ask them their thoughts on the real estate agent they used? They may have some great tips.

You could also ask for recommendations via social media. You’ll find that users on most platforms will have a lot of opinions about the practices of particular agents!

Question to ask may include:

  • Responsiveness and quality of communication
  • Quality of customer service
  • Fees
  • Transparency of the sale process
  • Level of proactivity when marketing
  • Amount of time taken to sell

Check Accreditations

Most good real estate agents will display details of their certifications, accreditations and regulating bodies on their website.

This confirms that you and your sale will be protected, and assures you that this is an honest company with nothing to hide.

Contact Them Directly

Contact Them Directly

Once you’ve used the above techniques to narrow your search down to the top two or three service providers, the next step is to get in touch with each one.

You’ll need to hold a frank and explicit discussion with them about:

  • Their fees (make sure you check for any hidden costs)
  • How their agents are trained
  • Whether or not they offer a “no sale, no fee” arrangement
  • The existence of any tie-in contracts (try to avoid these where possible)
  • The typical time it takes them to sell a property
  • Their surveying and valuation process
  • Their approach to marketing property

Their answers regarding these matters will help you to make your final decision.

The above steps will help you to select a talented and established real estate agent with as little stress and fuss as possible.

Once you understand their track record, reputation, marketing approaches, pricing structure and specialisms, you’ll have a clearer idea of whether they are the right service providers to handle your sale.

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