The value of using a real estate agent
When it comes to selling your property, it can be both exciting and stressful. To manage the highs and low, many sellers turn to an expert real estate agent for advice and guidance.
Since the advent of Covid-19, a good real estate agent has become even more advantageous. That’s because a real estate agent can help to ensure you are getting the right price for your property, offer advice on improving your property’s value and navigate you through the ins and outs of the market and government regulations.
So, what exactly does an agent do and how can you ensure you choose the right one? Here are our top tips.
Why use an agent?
Although it is possible to sell a property without an agent, now more than ever, securing a good real estate agent is one of the best ways to ensure you receive the highest possible price for your home. In fact, according to Domain, an agent may be the difference between an acceptable offer and a champagne price.
“An agent’s value most prominently lies in their market knowledge and finely tuned negotiation skills,” says Nick Boyd, Hockingstuart Head of Network Growth.
"A good real estate agent will have a strong understanding of current market conditions, and in-depth knowledge of what buyers are looking for. Plus, a healthy database of potential buyers (including off-market buyers), and a thorough understanding of what kind of marketing campaign will work for your property and the buyer you’re after, which right now is so important considering a lot of buyers are looking virtually,” Nick adds.
What does an agent do?
Using key strategies, a real estate agent will help you sell your property and get the best price for it. According to Domain, there are seven strategies an agent will most commonly use, including presentation, marketing, strategy, communication, buyer engagement, strategic pricing and negotiation.
“The bottom line is, you hire a professional for most other services you need in life, so why would selling your home be any different,” says Nick.
“Yes, it’s an additional cost, but it’s a cost that will save you time, energy and a lot of emotional stress. Plus, you are likely to get a better price in the end, meaning the agent fees often pay for themselves.”
What to look for in your agent
Experience, skills, and background
Agent experience varies, and it’s important to investigate their background to understand their skills, education and market knowledge.
“At Hockingstuart our priority is the coaching and development of our agents, because education and training are vital to achieving great results for clients. We were recently awarded for our Training and Education program by a major industry publication, so the proof is in the pudding,” says Nick.
“We are industry-leading in all our real estate services, including digital and online technology, that allowed us to continue to provide premium real estate services and marketing to vendors regardless of market conditions.”
Marketing and sale history
It’s a good idea to look at the agent’s previous and current sales to understand their marketing skills. Pay attention to the photos, videos, and the copy they use and critically consider if they have presented the property in the best possible way.
“Look at an agent suite of marketing strategies, and how they have used them to sell other properties. Will your property be advertised across social media, will you have access to digital offerings like 360 virtual tours, and does the agent have a significant buyer database to market your home? Services like these will be critical in getting your property seen by potential buyers,” says Nick.
Communication and reputation
Ask your friends and neighbours who they sold with and if they would recommend their agent. Word of mouth is a powerful recommendation, but it is also worthwhile checking out online reviews and social media pages.
“Consider the agent’s communication. Ask them key questions and consider how quickly they respond. You want someone who will keep you up to date with your sale and be able to communicate with potential buyers effectively,” says Nick.
“Social media is increasingly important right now, so also check out their social pages for how they respond to comments on Facebook or Instagram.”