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4 things to think about when choosing an agent

The agent you choose to sell your home has the potential to make a big difference to the sale price you might be able to achieve.

It’s worthwhile taking the time to find the right agent - as a rule of thumb you should aim to interview at least three. Here are some important things to consider when making your decision.

Is the agent realistic about what sale price can be achieved?

When it comes to choosing an agent, it’s important the agent you decide to go with is honest about what sale price is achievable. As a seller, you may have an idea in mind about what you believe your property is worth, but you’ll want an agent who can give an honest appraisal – and be able to back it up with facts, in particular with comparable sales of similar properties in your area.

It pays to be wary of agents who suggest a much higher sale price than what other agents you interview think is achievable. If it’s significantly more, make sure they can back it up with facts as to why they believe the price is achievable. You’ll want to know whatever price they appraise the property at is achievable and that they’re not making wild promises just to secure the sale.

Can the agent suggest easy ways to maximise the sale price?

A good agent will have the knowledge and experience to suggest practical ways you could make improvements to your property to positively impact the sale price. That means they’ll let you know if the garden needs a good weeding or as simple as de-cluttering the house. They should also be able to let you know what impact larger scale work could have, such as painting the house.

Keep in mind though improvements don’t need to be expensive – sometimes just the smallest changes can help improve the saleability of a property. Make a point when interviewing agents to discuss any ways you could boost the sale price of your property.

How does the agent intend to market your property?

A strong marketing strategy is likely to be integral to any successful sale, as you want to reach the widest pool of potential buyers in order to create competition. Ask the agent how they would market your property – will it include online channels, signage and flyers? Do they have a database of potential buyers they’ll contact about your property?

The cost to market your property will in most cases be in addition to the commission for selling your home and will likely need to be paid up front, so make sure you’re clear on exactly what you’ll pay for marketing and what the benefit of different advertising methods should aim to achieve.

What commission will they charge?

And finally the big one – how much will they charge in commission to sell your home? Commissions can vary depending on the agent you choose, although in most areas around the country they do tend to be competitive due to the number of agents competing for listings. Of course when it comes to selling property, even half a percentage point can be a significant amount – on a $500,000 property that equates to $2,500.

Keep in mind though that the lowest commission isn’t necessarily the best option. Make sure you find out exactly what is included in their commission – some agents may charge a higher rate, but if they offer a good service they could be worth the extra. In other words, the commission you’ll pay is an important consideration, but it’s wise not to make it the only consideration.

Things you should know

We acknowledge that this information has been prepared with the assistance, and permission, of OpenAgent Pty Ltd  but without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account.  For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness of the information and if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.