How to find the right agent to ace your spring sale
The spring selling season might still be a few months away, but if you’re thinking of putting your property on the market this spring, now is the time to start planning for your sale. That way, once the weather warms up and the buyers are out in force you will be ready to hit the ground running.
One of the most critical aspects of a successful sale is listing with the right agent. There might be lots of agents in your area, but how do you choose the right one?
In this blog, Hockingstuart agents outline tips and hints on what to look for in a good agent, including simple steps to help you find the right person to entrust with selling one of your most valuable assets.
Firstly, understand what the agent can do for you
An experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent can be your most valuable asset for a successful sale this spring, guiding you through the entire process to ensure you receive the best possible outcome at the other end.
“An agent’s value lies in their market knowledge and finely tuned negotiation skills,” says Nick Boyd, Hockingstuart Head of Network Growth.
“The agent you choose is going to represent you and your property, so it’s important they understand your local market, are in touch with active buyers and understand which marketing strategies work best in your neighbourhood,” added Nick.
Research and get recommendations
Firstly, do your research. Ask friends in the area and neighbours who they sold or bought with and if they would recommend anyone. Word of mouth is helpful, but it is also important to do your research to establish who are the agents selling the most property in your area, most successfully.
Take a look at their online reviews – Google My Business and Rate My Agent are great places to start. Social media is increasingly important in real estate, so also check their social pages to read comments and see how they interact with their online communities.
Speak to your shortlist
Once you’ve drawn up a shortlist, pick up the phone and chat with them. Ask about their local knowledge and connections, length of time they’ve worked in the area, types of properties they specialise in, and whether they have sold properties like yours.
Ask about their results including days on the market or auction clearance rates. Can recent clients vouch for their services with testimonials?
Find out about their buyer reach and database–are they part of a national network of offices, for instance, allowing them to market properties to buyers nationally as well as locally?
Make sure you can work with them
Being able to collaborate and communicate well with your agent is critical to securing the best outcome for your property. This first conversation is a good chance to start assessing whether you could work with them on a personal level.
You want someone responsive and proactive so you are kept up to date with your sale progress, and who is also able to communicate effectively with potential buyers, including the ability to handle any intense negotiations at the pointy end of the sale process.
- Do you feel comfortable with this person?
- Are they attentive and listen to your needs?
- Are they a clear communicator?
- How efficiently do they follow up and keep in contact?
Meet them in person
The next step is to arrange an in-person meeting, allowing you to learn more about their overall approach and, if the meeting takes place at your home, enabling the agent to assess your property, including its value, buyers it would appeal to and how they would market it accordingly.
- Who do they see as your target market?
- How much could the property sell for and how long might it take to sell?
- What sale type do they recommend?
- Do they see a need for any updates or repairs?
- What are your property’s unique selling points?
- How does it compare to other competing properties?
Understand their approach to marketing
Before you meet, research the agent’s listings to understand their marketing approach. Pay attention to the photos, videos, and wording. Are all their listings presented in the best possible light? Drill down further into their approach when you meet face to face.
“When you meet, ask about the strategies they might use in the property campaign and how much you will be expected to invest in marketing,” counsels Nick.
“Will your property be advertised on social media, will you have access to the latest digital marketing tools including video, 3D floorplans, virtual tours and virtual furniture? Does the agent have a significant buyer database to market your home to? Benefits like these will be critical in getting your property seen by potential buyers and delivering you the results you want on your sale,” he added.
Appoint your agent
After following all the above steps you should now be in a strong position to decide who you will appoint to list your property. After breathing a sigh of relief your attention can then turn to the other components required to ensure a successful sale, covered in detail in many of our other blogs.
In addition to being real estate experts, Hockingstuart agents are trusted advisors and negotiators committed to working hard to deliver great outcomes for their clients.