Qualities of a good estate agent
With so many players in the real estate brokerage industry, home sellers often have quite a lot of choice when it comes to brokers. Fortunately, there are many ways to identify a good estate agent. For example, you can ask the agent these questions before signing a contract to make sure you choose the right one.
1. How is the price estimate formed?
Getting the right price estimate is one of the cornerstones of a successful property deal. The estimated selling price of a home is based on a number of factors, such as the actual selling prices in the area, the current competitive situation and the condition and characteristics of the home.
The seller should remember that the best price estimate does not always mean the highest price estimate. Indeed, sometimes the industry may come up with a price estimate that is way over the top, which of course flatters the seller, but at the same time repels potential buyers. A good broker is always prepared to justify the price estimate, so it is worth asking the broker for statistics on actual sales prices and the competitive situation to support the estimate.
Read more What is the basis for a price estimate?
2. How will the listing be marketed?
A successful sales advertisement requires high-quality photographs and a professional text. It is often the photographs that first attract the attention of buyers, so they need to be of good quality and accurate. Dark, blurred or shaky photos will not invite buyers to come to the viewing, so make sure the agent has a professional photographer or knows how to take good quality photos themselves.
A well-written presentation text succinctly describes the assets of the home and appeals to the right target audience. Marketing texts need to get the facts right, and even small things like spelling or grammatical errors can affect the image of the agent and the listing in the buyer’s mind. It is part of the good agency practice to offer the presentation texts for the seller to see before publication.
3. How can I get information on the progress of a sale?
An effective broker is one who is proactive, and the client should not have to take care of communication because of the broker’s lack of activity. The broker’s activity is also a key factor in the success of a sale, as such a broker is sure to attract and maintain the interest of buyers.
Before concluding an agency contract, it is always worth discussing with the broker how the broker intends to communicate with the client. A good broker will always keep the client informed of the progress of the sale and report on the progress of the viewings immediately afterwards. The method and frequency of communication can be agreed with the broker in writing to avoid any ambiguities or communication breakdowns.
4. Are ready buyers real buyers?
Sometimes the agent may have ready buyers “in their back pocket”, ones who have been looking for exactly the kind of listing the agent is about to sell. Often this is true, but there are also cases where the buyers mentioned by the agent disappear into thin air as soon as the contract with the agency has been signed, so they probably never existed in the first place.
In order to ensure that there are actual buyers, the principal can, for example, ask the broker to draw up a so-called “named mandate”, which allows the broker to sell the item only to the clients mentioned in the mandate agreement. In this case, the commission is conditional on the purchase of the object by one of the persons listed in the agreement.
5. How is open house organised?
Once the marketing of the listing has started and the first buyer candidates have expressed their interest, a good agent will not rest on their laurels, but will seize the opportunity without delay. Making contact as soon as possible and arranging a private open house will ensure that the buyers’ interest does not wane before the open house.
In some cases, a more appropriate alternative to a private open house may be to start directly from general open houses. A good agent will have a sales strategy in mind, tailored to each listing. It is therefore advisable for the client to ask the agent about their plans and approach to the initial sales phase.