You want to sell your home. The first step is to interview your estate agent. Prior to this, you would have used the Property Deck platform so you will know exactly what proposals you have on the table.
What do you need to know before you go to your first interview? While they are experts in their field, you do need to know how best to compare agents and have some questions prepared to ask them. Your questions should be tailored to your property and personal circumstances.
How to prepare for your first meeting with your estate agent
One great way to prepare for your first meeting with an estate agent is to read articles on Property Deck. A good start would be to check out our articles on preparing to sell your house.
When first meeting your estate agent face to face we advise you try to stick to the following points:
- An agent should be honest, professional, approachable and a good communicator
- An agent should give you an honest home appraisal
- You should be proactive and establish ground rules for your sale
- Listen to the agent’s advice
- Discuss a marketing strategy for your property
The key to a successful relationship with a real estate agent is their degree of honesty. If you are expecting too high a price for your home, an honest estate agent will tell you and back up their argument with facts about the current market. It may not be the news you want to hear, but it does tell you that the agent is honest from the initial meeting and not just looking for a listing.
You want to know your real estate agent is on your side. Ask them how often they are going to communicate with you. A good agent will call you at least once a week with an update. They will also give you enough notice before bringing a potential buyer to your home. This is important for two reasons. You want to be sure someone will be at home and you will want to tidy up your home to make it more presentable.
You will only know if an estate agent is right for you if you listen to their advice rather than act as if you are in charge of the sale. An experienced agent will have sold dozens of homes before and will know the best way to sell your home. Here again, honesty is key. A good real estate agent won’t hesitate to tell you if your fence needs fixing; your garden needs tidying up; or even if you should paint your home or do other renovations.
Anything you can do to make your estate agent’s job easier is going to benefit your property and help you throughout the selling process.
Information you might need for each meeting
Anything you can do to make an agent’s job easier is going to benefit your property and help you throughout the selling process. What you need to remember is that you could be working very closely on a very big financial transaction with any of the agents that you interview, so it’s important to be prepared and ready to provide them with as much information as possible when you first meet. By doing so you’ll get a more accurate representation of what you can expect when it comes to listing your property and selling.
It’s a good idea to remember that selling a home is a two-way street, and you need to be prepared to also put in the effort to set your agent up for success.
There’s some information you might need to bring along to your agent meetings, so be sure to create a list about:
- Any current issues with your property.
- Any current strata issues in your building including any by-law changes to use of common property.
- Any other disputes that could hold up the sale of your property.
- If you have made significant improvements to your home, make sure you have a list of all the upgrades you’ve made. This will help your agent value your home and market your property more effectively.
- Having an idea of what conveyancer you might use – in some states you need to appoint a conveyancer before you list.
- If you’re refinancing your home, have an idea of the minimum you would need to sell your home for in order to get finance – your agent will be able to tell you if this is realistic or not.
Why Use Property Deck?
Let the estate agents compete over you. Choose your favourite agents based on their fee, valuation, availability, ratings, reviews, sale time, personality and overall proposal. Best of all, Property Deck is completely FREE.
How to discuss your marketing strategy with estate agents
Marketing is an important part of any real estate transaction. Before you meet with agents, you should have a general understanding of the types of marketing approaches typically used by agents. This way when you meet with them, you won’t feel like you are having the wool pulled over your eyes.
You should understand the basics about:
- Open houses
- Advertising on national properrty portals like Rightmove and Zoopla.
- Selling privately and selling at auction
Every property is different. Some homes do better at auction. Other homes benefit from national coverage. Still others can get exposure through an open house. An agent might recommend advertising on nationally syndicated real estate websites in order to attract out of state buyers. They may also recommend an open house to attract local buyers. Both strategies can work and an agent may recommend a combination of marketing strategies.
Preparing a list of estate agent qualities or must-haves
Before you meet with an agent, put together a list of must-have qualities or traits that you would like to see in your agent. Your must-haves could range from personality characteristics through to experience selling very specific types of properties. By putting together a list like this, you won’t forget to tick all the boxes when it comes to meeting with each agent you’ve shortlisted.
What kinds of qualities do vendors typically look for in agents?
Typically vendors will look for a mix of experience, work ethic, a great track record and unwavering honesty, but this will of course vary between homesellers.
To get the best result, there a few things you shouldn’t budge on:
- Years of experience in the local area, because they will have contacts and know your local market.
- A good sales track record
- A real estate agent who works full-time. Some real estate agents work casually, so you’ll want someone who works every day and spends every day in their local community actively selling and speaking to buyers.
Aside from these qualities, you may have more specific requirements around your schedule, needing to sell before a certain date or simply using an agent you have a good gut-feeling about.
The agent has to be right for you
To find the right agent for you, you will need to be as honest with them as you expect them to be with you. What do they need to know? Perhaps:
- You are selling because of a divorce settlement
- Your investment property has a tenant
- You don’t have a budget for extensive renovations on an older property
These are just a few examples of more personal issues that may help you choose the right agent for your needs. Some real estate agents know how to deal with both parties in a divorce sale tactfully.
This can take a lot of the stress out of the sale. Another agent may know how to tactfully handle tenants, who might resent having to open their doors to potential buyers. If you don’t have a budget for extensive renovations, an agent may be able to recommend ways to improve your property on a small budget.
So which agent should you choose? Ideally, it should be the one you feel most comfortable with. You will be in frequent contact with them and want to know you can talk with them at any time. You want to feel like you can discuss anything related to your sale and trust them to be honest with you.
Did You Know?
Less than half of all home sellers achieve a sale with the first agent they choose. We solve that problem!
We understand that every person’s circumstances and selling journey is different. That’s why our platform allows you to choose the agent that is the best fit to sell your home. Whether your driven by saving money or getting a first-class service, you can be assured that Property Deck will allow your selling journey to be less stressful.