You'll likely buy and sell a multitude of things over your lifetime. But of that long list, buying and selling a property is likely to be the most significant transaction you'll undertake.
So, whether it's your family home or a smaller investment property you're selling, finding the perfect real estate agent is crucial - you should never leave it to chance.
But how do you know where to begin looking?
And what are the most important things to consider when choosing the right real estate agent that meets your needs?
Here are our tips on how to get started:
Begin by researching potential agents just as you would properties. The number of different agencies to choose from can be overwhelming at first. Still, it's essential to look at a few different agents to get a clear idea about how they do business.
Combine your research with an online search, and explore different agency websites, blogs and reviews or positive feedback left from previous clients.
Find agents that are working in and around your local area. This is the best way to shortlist agents you'd like to meet with personally.
Look for how many listings your potential agent currently has, their previous sales, and how they market their properties.
When you first meet with an agent, ask how long they've been working in the area. Quiz them on their local knowledge. An agent with a deep understanding of the local market is just as beneficial as an agent with proven selling experience that's specific to your property. Your real estate agent should know just as much about the property and its location as you do!
The next step is to test your agent's selling ability. Because they are presenting your home to potential buyers, it's necessary to see how they engage with the public. Visit some open for inspections run by your shortlisted agents. Watch how they present the properties and take note of agent-buyer interactions.
After seeing an agent in his or her element, sit down with each prospect and ask some serious questions. Ask how they intend to position your property in the market. Who do they define as your target market? They should provide clear guidance on your property's position in the market and tailor a marketing strategy for your home.
Good real estate agents use property data to help them make informed decisions about the market and how it will affect your property's value. They should come prepared with a strategy to sell your home. Your agent should use their firm grasp of local market data to suggest a relevant price range for your upcoming sale and how you should sell to get the best price on the day.
Finally, it's vital that you set clear objectives and benchmarks early. Even in the weakest property market, a good agent can still cement business without losing out on a commission. It's tempting to go with an agent who has cheaper fees but - remember - you always get what you pay for.