The 5 questions to ask a real estate agent or service to deliver a more positive experience
Paul Ryan | December 15, 2016
So you've made the decision to sell, the next question is "How and Who will you choose to help sell your property"
It’s a tough question and you owe it to yourself and family to take the time to make the decision.
The challenge of engaging a real estate agent or service and ultimately being happy with the outcome is not always the positive experience we hoped it would be.
So how do you find the right real estate agent or choose the right service to assist?
There are online services such as Open Agent and Local Agent Finder that operate as effective research tools to help you compare real estate agents in a particular area and then there are services like Purplebricks and buyMyplace that offer a discounted business model as an alternative.
From a personal perspective, nothing will ever replace the opportunity to meet a prospective agent or service, in person.
To shake hands and have the opportunity to ask questions could well be the start of building a trusted and working relationship. It is also the perfect opportunity to establish their motivation for the sale.... you don’t just want to be considered a timely transaction.
So let’s focus on the questions.
To help me with this process I called a good mate and one of the best in the business, Peter Sachs from Sachs Real Estate on Sydney’s North Shore. In fact, have a look at my endorsement circle on my simplyaskit profile page and you’ll see I am very happy to endorse Peter publically.
With Peter’s input here are the 5 questions property owners should be asking a real estate agent or service prior to making any decision of who to choose to help with the sale of their property.
1. How long have you been in the industry and are they a licensed agent?
2. What is the conversion rate on achieving the appraisal price compared to the eventual sale price over the past 12 months?
3. Would you be happy for me to contact the last five property owners who used your service?.
4. What are your motives in selling my property and what is your fee structure?
5. If I engage your company, will you be handling the whole process?
Peter suggested the questions allows you, the property owner, to put the onus on the agent to articulate why you should choose them.
The question about motives is really important as it just might flesh out some influencing factors worth considering. What’s their commission structure, how many properties they have sold in the past 12 months, are they on a quota system and are they on track to achieve their quota.
Unfortunately, too many agents see a potential sale as just a number to help them reach their volume targets. If this is the case you run the risk of simply becoming a transaction as they look to sell your property as quickly as possible and move onto the next sale.
Given the size of the asset you are selling, you want them working in your best interest, not theirs.
In my chat with Peter, he also suggested the agent’s communications skills and willingness to answer your questions will provide an insight into the customer service experience you'll likely receive.
Going through the process of buying and selling always creates varying levels of frustration, anxiety, and nervousness. By simply asking the questions up front, you are setting the standard and service expectations that will hopefully deliver a more positive experience.