We hear a lot about first time buyers, but what about first time sellers? Once the decision to sell has been made, property owners may feel daunted by the next task – choosing an agent. There are plenty of research methods, with one of the best being to talk with neighbours, friends and family in the area; but at some point the seller will ‘interview’ a prospective agent.
If you are looking for an agent to sell your property, you can ask, for example:
What experience do you have selling homes in my property’s price range in this area?
How do you keep up what is happening in the real estate market?
How do you keep your professional real estate industry knowledge up-to-date?
What real estate industry bodies are you affiliated with?
What sales data can you present to showcase your sales skills, such as days-on-the-market?
Do you have testimonials?
What percentage of your business comes through referrals?
On the other hand, a buyer looking at an investment property purchase, might ask the agent:
What has the property been rented for?
What can you tell me about this property’s capital growth?
Real estate agents are experts in real estate so are happy to offer their expertise in this area.
However, they should not also be expected to be financial and legal experts as well.
Avoid asking questions about structuring loans or how to organize your finances, or how quickly you can repay a loan. Don’t ask for details and projections about returns on your investment, yield, and positive or negative gearing options. Direct those and similar questions to the appropriate experts, such as financial advisors and accountants. Don’t ask for legal advice other than that which relates to the agent’s area of expertise – the actual real estate contract. Beyond that, talk with your solicitor.
But for both buyers and sellers, direct appropriate questions to the font of real estate knowledge, the real estate agent, and you will be in a better position to make the decision you need to.