How your online listing presents to a buyer casually looking online at similar properties to yours is crucial. Your listing should grab their attention and good agents take the time to do this well. The days of people going to agencies to check out display windows are over, it’s online where your property needs to be seen as that’s where buyers now look.
Accurately value – The agent you choose should believe in your property and feel it’s appropriately priced to sell in this market. It is in no ones interest (especially yours) for an agent to agree that your property is worth $100 000 more than it actually is, just to get the listing. This happens a lot and leads to stale properties and blaming the agent for the property not selling. Do the same research a buyer would and know what you would pay for your property BEFORE you ask the agents opinion.
Take great photos – and be involved in which ones to use. The saying “A picture tells a thousand words” is very relevant when it comes to selling your property. They can make all the difference between a buyer clicking on your property to arrange an inspection or moving on to the next one. Good photos are not cheap, but nor is your property.
Appeal – Your agent should be working with you to ensure your property sounds vibrant and appealing to buyers. You want buyers to identify with the property and actually want to go see it.
Give you all the options – Some agent’s properties on realestate.com.au for example stand out because they pay extra for that privilege. Find out how your agent intends to promote your property and be involved in the process. No one knows your house better than you.
Marketing – Find out how your agent intends to market your property through online, newspapers, magazines even TV. Every property is different and some agents are more proactive and creative than others. Some have had good success in different areas for example and see them as better value for your precious marketing dollars.
Expertise – Good agents don’t just promote themselves by Auctions and large advertising budgets etc, they work out the best way to promote your property for the best value. And you should find out how much (if any), the agent is requiring you to spend on promotion and what they are prepared to offer themselves in this area.
Communication and trust between the seller and the Agent is very important. If you tell a good agent what you will accept, they will work hard to get OVER that figure initially, not just take an easy contract at your lowest price. The agent should be working for YOU, not the buyer, and you should feel able to relate to them well and be confident they are working for you. If you ring them, they should ring back for example as buyers and sellers need to be informed of progress, or a reason for a lack off.
Improvements – Ask your agent what they think you could be doing around the property to improve its appearance as they often have suggestions that can be worth considering. Simple things like tidy this up or paint that can make a huge difference to the price and speed of a contract. These people are expert’s, its in your interest to encourage them to offer an opinion.
Not encourage poor offers – Assuming your agent is indeed working for you, when it comes to negotiating a contract there is often a lot of negotiation, some needs to take place and some offers should be just ignored outright. An agent must present offers to you legally and they will often quote that to put a very poor offer in front of you. Good agents handle this differently and respect both you and your property and wont encourage you to take a poor offer. Listen to their suggestions about a counter offer etc as they know the buyer, you don’t. Remember it’s your property and YOU have the final say.
Contract – The best contracts are very obvious to the buyer and the seller however if you have conditions contained within an offer, make sure you get proper advice before signing any contract. Good agents will do all they can to eliminate onerous and unnecessary conditions as they only encourage extravagant legal fees and many a contract has failed when opposing lawyers are involved. Simple contracts are the best ones and worth fighting for so be guided by your agent and your Solicitor.
The bottom line is ask questions about exactly how your property will be presented to buyers, the money involved and most importantly what is a reasonable listing price in today’s market. If you feel you are on the same page with these things and can communicate well with the Agent, you are already way ahead of most sellers.