How to Choose When You’re Spoilt for Choice?
If you’re subscribed to our blog, then you should recall that, not so long ago we published a series of blog posts on the different real estate agent personality types you may come across as you’re meeting with agents, to help you decide which type of real estate agent you want to work with. But there are also some general personality traits that all real estate agents, irrespective of whether they’re a ‘stayer’, a ‘doer’ or ‘networker’ agent, should possess.
We’ve put together a checklist of the personality traits to look for in a real estate agent you meet with, whether you’re buying, selling or renting, they should:
1. Be a Good Communicator
It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying, selling, or leasing your home out, dealing with an agent who isn’t a great communicator only amplifies an already stressful situation immeasurably. The real estate market moves fast, and you need an agent who is just as quick at letting you know where you stand with your current situation so that you can move on to another property or potential buyer or tenant. If you’re selling, you want to know that the agent you choose isn’t letting potential buyers get away, due to their poor communication skills.
2. Be Motivated and Proactive
Good agents don’t sit back and wait for buyers to come to them — they’re proactively calling potential buyers, communicating with existing customers, and constantly chasing new leads. An agent who is truly motivated to sell your property will demonstrate this in the way they interact with you during your first meeting, and in the days and weeks afterwards. Look for an agent who seems enthusiastic about selling your home, rather than someone who doesn’t care one way or another whether they get your business.
3. Listen to You
Beware the real estate agent who talks too much, because he’s not listening to you. An agent who doesn’t listen to their clients is unlikely to ever understand their circumstances and needs as either a vendor or buyer, and this is a recipe for disaster. Look for an agent who ask you lots of questions, and responds to the answers you give, rather than leaving you to ask all the questions and adapt to suit the agent.
4. Be Adaptable and Flexible
Good agents will adapt to their clients’ needs, not the other way around. If a vendor tells an agent they would prefer to receive regular updates by SMS, then the agent should be able to oblige. A tell-tale sign of how flexible and adaptable an agent will be is to ask them early on how you will communicate with each other. An agent who responds with, “Whatever suits you best”, is a keeper. An agent who spells out his strict policy for communicating with each other, probably is not.
5. Understand Timeframes — and Meet Them
A good agent is one who understands and is able to work within each of their clients’ timeframes. Some vendors may need to sell quickly, so their agent will need to work quickly to get their property prepared and on the market. Other vendors may not be in such a rush and may, in fact, prefer a longer settlement, so they can get all their ducks in a row. It’s important that you find an agent who understands your timeframe and can work to that.
6. Know Your Selling Motivations
A good agent will want to know your motivations for selling or least want to understand how they work with you to achieve your goals for selling. This does mean letting your agent in on your reasons for selling, even if that’s a little difficult to discuss. But the more they understand why you’re selling, the better they’ll be able to work with you.
7. They Don’t Hide or Exaggerate their Sales History
A good agent will happily supply you with the names and contact details of their last twenty clients, even though you’ll probably only be interested in speaking with the most recent three or four of them — or the vendors whose homes and circumstances were most similar to yours (i.e., property investor selling an investment property). If you discover that the agent has misled you or exaggerated their sales history, then it’s probably not a good idea to work with them.
Remember, these are the seven traits to look for in every real estate agent, regardless of whether they’re the type of agent who is happy to teach you about the market or whether they’re happy to take the lead while you take a backseat on the sale of your home. Every agent should possess these 7 traits, otherwise you may want to think twice about working with them.
If you’d like to learn more about the real estate sales process, you can subscribe to receive access to our free educational guide, called Selling Your Property: What You Really Need to Know. Alternatively, for more real estate news, analysis and insights, continue reading our blog.
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