Jul 9, 2023
Hello, I’m writing from the beautiful Illawarra region, and today, I want to share some insights on how to pick a good real estate agent. This is not just a general guide, but a reflection of what I, as a Wollongong resident and property investor, look for in a real estate agent.
Choosing a real estate agent is one of the most critical decisions you’ll make when selling or buying a property. The right agent can make the process smooth, efficient, and profitable. On the other hand, the wrong agent can turn the process into a stressful, time-consuming, and costly experience.
The first thing I look for in a real estate agent is their local area expertise. Agents who live and breathe the area in which you’re selling or buying are more likely to have a comprehensive and up-to-date database of potential buyers or sellers. They understand the local market dynamics, property values, and buyer/seller expectations.
In Illawarra, for instance, an agent with local expertise would understand the unique aspects of our coastal, urban, and rural areas. They would know the best schools, the local zoning laws, bus routes, and even where to get the best coffee. This kind of local knowledge is invaluable in marketing a property effectively and negotiating the best price.
Every property is unique, and selling different types of properties requires different skills and knowledge. A good real estate agent should have experience selling your type of property. Whether it’s a studio apartment, a three-story heritage-listed terrace, or a beachfront property in Illawarra, the agent should understand the specific challenges and opportunities it presents.
A good real estate agent should have excellent marketing knowledge. They should know how to present your property in the best possible light, where and when to take photos, whether to use display furniture, and how to conduct open homes.
The agent should also have a clear advertising plan. This is more than just listing the property on websites and distributing flyers. A good agent will determine the buyer demographic for your property and target advertising accordingly. They might use Facebook and Instagram ads, drone photography, email lists, and other cutting-edge property advertising technologies.
The method of sale for your property can significantly impact the final sale price. A good agent should be able to explain why a particular sale method may suit you and your property. They should understand the pros and cons of different sale methods, such as auction, tender/expression of interest, and private treaty, and be able to guide you in making the best decision.
A good agent should be able to quickly and professionally identify who is interested and in a position to buy. They should have a database of potential buyers and know how to engage and nurture them. This is more than just taking phone numbers at the door. It involves creating bonds in the local community, understanding what types of properties buyers are interested in, and knowing how to leverage this information to achieve the best price.
A good agent should have a strong understanding of the local market and comparable properties. They should be aware of other similar properties on the market and understand your property’s relative strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge is crucial when negotiating the best price.
Negotiation is a critical skill for a real estate agent. They should be confident in the value of your property and its relative position in the market. A good agent can talk confidently about the asking price, qualify buyers effectively, and discuss recent comparable sales with authority.
Most successful agents have support staff who assist them with their listings. These supporting agents help by answering buyer enquiries, completing administrative tasks, and freeing up the lead agent to do what they do best – getting the best price for your property.
Finally, you should feel comfortable with your real estate agent. Selling or buying a property is a significant event, and you want to work with someone you trust and feel at ease with. The agent should be committed to helping you achieve your goals, not just their own. They should be easy to communicate with, transparent, respectful, and professional.
Choosing a good real estate agent is not just about finding someone with a license to sell property. It’s about finding a professional who understands your goals, knows your local market, and has the skills and experience to achieve the best outcome for you.
Remember, the ‘cheapest’ agent is not always the best choice. The best agent is the one who can get you the highest price for your property, even if they charge a bit more in fees. So, take your time, do your research, ask lots of questions, and choose an agent who is the right fit for you and your property.
As a Wollongong resident, these are the qualities I look for in a real estate agent. I hope you find them useful in your quest to find the perfect agent for your needs. Good luck!