What to ask real estate agent when sellingJuly 20 2022
"Selling a property can be as complicated as buying one, knowing ways to do it efficiently can save the headache." - Didier Jourdain, Designer.
Deciding to sell a property, whether it’s an investment or your own home, is a big step.
You might be planning to upsize, downsize, relocate, or let go of an investment; regardless of your motivations, selling your property comes with a lot of considerations.
Choosing the right real estate agent is key in helping you succeed in pulling off a smooth, stress-free, and profitable property sale.
But with so many real estate agents out there, where do you start when trying to find the right one for you?
Asking these 6 questions will help narrow your search and find your real estate angel:
1. What’s the best method to sell this property?
Essentially, there are three different strategies for selling a property: private treaty sale, tender, or auction.
Each method has various benefits and negatives and will suit different markets at different times.
With a great real estate agent on board, they’ll take a look at everything your property offers before guiding you towards choosing the strategy that best suits your situation and current market conditions.
2. How should we advertise and market the property?
Marketing and advertising can make so much difference to the selling price of a property.
So before you pick an agent, ask them how they’d approach this aspect of selling.
What sort of campaign would they suggest?
Do they recommend online, print, and/or social media marketing?
How would they create the most excitement around, and interest in, your property?
Their marketing and advertising strategy will create the first impression that potential buyers will have of your property – so it needs to make an impact.
Choose an agent that can give you a clear outline of the campaign, as well as the estimated costs.
3. Is now a good time to sell?
Obviously, the real estate agent wants your listing, so they’re likely to highlight the benefits of selling right now.
But a great real estate agent will be honest about current conditions: they’ll tell you how your particular market has changed over the last 12 months, which types of buyers are most active, and what kind of activity they expect on your property.
They should also be able to estimate how long they think it’ll take to sell.
A truly fantastic selling agent, however, will take this one step further, and advise you on the benefits of selling now versus selling later – even if it’s a matter of delaying the property going to market by a few weeks, or even several months.
This demonstrates their integrity and professionalism, if they’re prepared to give you unbiased advice, even if it has the potential to delay their sales commission.
4. What is your track record like?
Any agent worth their salt will be all too happy to prove they’ve got a successful track record in selling.
Whether they show you this by sharing their most recent sales statistics, testimonials from other happy clients or even providing contact details to references, it will always be a prudent question to ask.
Be sure to look for their results in the particular suburb that you’re selling in, too, as agents with local expertise will have the edge on ‘out of area’ agents.
5. How much is all of this going to cost?
A good real estate agent will be able to give you a good estimate of how much it’s going to cost you to sell, including selling commission, fees, advertising, and marketing costs.
This cost varies depending on your location, but most agents generally charge between 2-3% of the sale price plus GST.
Other costs to factor in include bank fees and charges for releasing the mortgage.
6. Why should I hire you?
This one is plain and simple, but so important.
Any real estate agent who really wants your business will be able to tell you why you should choose them – with confidence.
What are the benefits of choosing them over another agent?
Do they endeavour to be consistently and frequently available?
How do they work under pressure? What hours do they keep?
Can they relate well to clients by going light on the real estate jargon?
You may think all estate agents are the same, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Remember, you’re hiring them and entrusting them to assist you with something potentially life-changing: the sale of your lucrative property asset.
So, don’t be afraid to ask too many questions – as getting the right fit could make all the difference to your bank balance at the end.
Things real estate agent SHOULD TELL you when selling
Your selling agent should be someone who understands your motivation for selling.
They should also have a solid communication system, which means you can get in contact with them easily.
Everyone hates endless voicemails on agent phones, don't they?
Especially when you're paying them to act on your behalf. Another key factor in selecting the right agent to sell your home is that they should be honest with you – property warts and all!
The thing is, not all selling agents are upfront with their clients.
So to remedy that, here are five things that your agent may not tell you but they should.
1. UGLY STICK?
Everyone loves their homes for different reasons.
One person might love a small, cluttered unit for a home, while another likes lots of open space and an interior that resembles IKEA.
We're all different so whatever floats your property boat is fine until... it comes time to sell.
A good sales agent will honestly, but diplomatically, inform their client that their home has been hit by the ugly stick and something drastic needs to be done to attract more buyers.
This could be mould in the bathroom or floor coverings made of newspapers.
Whatever might detract from a potential sale needs to be removed.
And an honest agent will tell you so.
2. HOW LONG TO SELL
Most agent appointments are for about 45 to 60 days, depending on which State or Territory you are in.
But the fact of the matter is that your property might not sell in that timeframe – especially in normal or soft market conditions.
Why is that?
Let's say it's a two-bedroom house in an area that's dominated by four-bedroom homes filled with families.
That means that the demographics of that area are probably looking for a bigger home to house their families – not a two-bedroom more suited to a single or a couple.
An honest agent will be upfront about the demand/supply equation with you so you're not sweating on an offer after the very first open for inspection.
3. NEIGHBOURS AREN'T NECESSARILY FRIENDS
How often have you scoped out the neighbours of a property that you're interested in buying?
Not that we're not condoning spying on your potential new neighbours.
Rather, perhaps introduce yourself to them or scan their property to see if it's full of overgrown grass or Rottweilers – not that there is anything wrong with that.
People can live whichever way they want too as it's a free society.
But that doesn't necessarily mean that you want to live next door to them, does it?
4. YOU CAN NEGOTIATE THE COMMISSION
Society is all about negotiation, whether we're buying or selling something or we're deciding what to have for lunch.
One thing that many sellers don't understand is that the sales agent's commission is also negotiable.
Of course, you want the agent to do a good job for you so don't try to knock the commission down to offensive levels.
However, one strategy might be to negotiate a commission that incentivises the agent to secure a higher price for your property.
An honest agent will be open to such an offer.
Although they will probably negotiate with you – as they should!
5. WHY ARE YOU SELLING?
People sell their properties for myriad reasons.
Sometimes it's because they're moving or they've simply outgrown the property.
Other times, though, it is because they're worried about the market.
Or they might even think that selling the house will fix their marriage or their relationship.
A professional sales agent will always attempt to understand the vendor's motivations for selling.
And an honest agent will provide advice on whether selling your property, at that moment in time, is going to fix anything at all.
Don't get me wrong, the vast majority of sales agents are professional operators who do their very best for your clients.
They are upfront and honest – and the seller gets a result that they're happy with.
The key is to ask the right questions to ensure that the agent is the best one for you and your property before you appoint them.
And if you'd like a helping hand – and to help level the playing field – you could also consider using our vendor advocacy service.
That way, you can have an independent person who will be prepared to ask and answer the hard questions – without the emotion of owning the property.
Source: Property Update
Warren, B. (2022, July 16). 6 questions to ask real estate agent when selling. Property Update. https://propertyupdate.com.au/6-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-a-real-estate-agent-to-sell-your-property/