Selecting The Right Agent
People selling their home invariably gravitate to the real estate agent whose appraisal of the property is the highest. Though it is flattering to think the agent seems to appreciate the value of your home, there are many other factors that should be taken into account, such as the agent's enthusiasm, diplomacy, experience, follow up and negotiating skills. Don't confuse over-confidence on price with honesty. It tends to occur when there is a shortage of properties on the market.
When deciding on the most appropriate agent to sell your property, it is very important to assess their suitability to undertake the sale process. Viewing written references and speaking to former clients will provide an insight into the agent's professionalism.
The agent should be able to justify the suggested method of sale (auction or private sale) on the basis of results and market research.
It is also a good idea to attend a few auctions conducted by the agent to assess:
- The personal grooming, professionalism and number of staff in attendance
- The energy and motivation of staff
- The pace and excitement of the auction and the ability of the auctioneer
The agent's advertising and marketing strategy is also important and can be evaluated by taking note of the quality of the brochures, signboards and their ability to secure editorial coverage in the media. They should be able to attract buyers, in addition to those sourced from advertising, and should be asked to explain how this is achieved.
With respect to fees, a vendor should not necessarily use the agent who offers the lowest rate of commission. The fee should be seen in the context of several issues including whether an agent is likely to achieve the appraised value, their level of competence, the quality and standard of the agent's marketing and whether their level of service appears to be of a particularly high standard.
Finally, one of the most vital factors to consider is whether you like and feel comfortable with the salesperson who will be conducting the open-house inspections, providing feedback and handling the day-to-day running of the campaign. Assess their commitment, enthusiasm, energy and desire to be involved in the sale of your property.
Given the current market forces in the property market it's our opinion that Sale by Auction in most cases represents the best method of sale for the majority of vendors.