Choosing the right real estate agent: Insider tips from McGrath Real Estate
By Amanda Scali

19/08/2016 12:00am

Choosing the right real estate agent: Insider tips from McGrath Real Estate

Unless you have a personal recommendation, choosing the right real estate agent to sell your home — likely your most valuable asset — can be daunting.

Making a good choice requires quite a bit more effort than Googling ‘real estate agents Adelaide west’.

When you have a feel for the likely contenders in the local area, make appointments to speak to them in person to ascertain their ability to do a good job for you.

Some real estate agents keen to list your property may impress you with their confident presentations, but you need to assure yourself that they are actually skilled at selling property and not just themselves.

Choosing the right real estate agent starts with the right questions

To differentiate between a good sales pitch and a good track record, be prepared to ask some pertinent questions and expect to receive straight answers.

That’s not to say it’s an interrogation—think of it more as a job interview, with you as the potential employer.

Before you ‘interview’ any real estate agent about handling your sale, organise yourself and your questions along the following lines:

  • Expectations
  • Documents
  • Decisions

Great Expectations

You will never get the results you want from your selling agent if you do not make your expectations clear to them.

If you are a co-owner of the property, discuss with your partner/s their expectations of the sale process and agree on a united approach before you meet with agents.

It is equally important to know what an agent’s expectations are of you, with respect to their terms of service, contract of sale and full disclosure about your property.

While no-one can predict exactly when a home will sell (beware of anyone who does, see last week's article, How can I sell my house fast? McGrath tips to drive your sale through), you should ask them about the timeframes and prices for similar homes that have sold in your local area.

Also, ask about similar properties that are currently on their books and how they compare with your home.

And perhaps one of the most crucial things to ask for is a list of references.

If an agent hesitates or refuses to provide you with references, you should be confident in dismissing them from your list of contenders because they either have no experience or they have something to hide.

Vital Documents

Having relevant documentation with you will enable an agent to quickly gain an accurate view of your home and, therefore, to give you better quality information.

Gather the following to take to your interview:Current internal and external photographs of your home (electronic or printed)

  • Current internal and external photographs of your home (electronic or printed)
  • Your most recent state government property valuation notice
  • Recent land, and water and sewerage rates notices
  • A floor plan, if you have one
  • Copies of building approvals for any construction work you have undertaken
  • If your property is strata titled, the last year’s worth of body corporate fee notices

Critical Decisions

There are two major and interrelated decisions to be made in every property sale — they concern time and money.

If you have a deadline for selling, you need to be clear about this with your agent at the outset, as it will influence all their actions on your behalf.

Even though you should be guided by your selling agent’s expertise in setting the price for your property, you will need to decide in advance the lowest price you will accept.

Want to give us the third degree?

At McGrath Real Estate we have a proven record of success in selling homes in Adelaide’s coastal and western suburbs — in fact, we’re heading towards half a century of meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations.

So when you start choosing the right real estate agent, we’ll be delighted to talk to you about how our agents’ experience, training and support systems make us confident of getting a great price for your home.

To find out more, give us a call to arrange an appointment.