Will a Vendor Reap Rewards from a “Popular” Agent — or One Who is Simply Doing Their Job really Well?
We spoke with one of our resident Sydney-based real estate agents, Derek Farmer, for his opinion on whether popularity pays off when selecting an agent to use to sell your home.
“Recently, a television news crew turned up to one of my auctions — unannounced, as television news crews are wont to do. So I did something that, I was told afterwards, was unexpected: I asked them to leave. A lot of real estate agents probably would have jumped at the opportunity to have been featured on a big, metro news program, but not me. For me, being a great real estate agent is about getting the best result for your vendor, not the most publicity for yourself.”
— Derek Farmer
If Derek had let that news crew stay, he definitely would have achieved some publicity for himself. However, Derek felt strongly that their distracting presence would have shifted the buyers’ focus away from the auction, which could have had potentially disastrous consequences for his vendor. This experience got him thinking: Do you want a popular real estate agent or a great one? Because popular and great aren’t always mutually exclusive.
Take a Closer Look at the Agent’s Achievements
When you start researching real estate agents in your local area, you’ll undoubtedly begin to see the same half-dozen or so names crop up. Sometimes the hardest part about selecting just one of those agents is that they may all appear equally qualified.
This is where we’d suggest you take a close look at their achievements. If they’re really a skilled negotiator, then their sales record should reflect that. You should see properties that have been sold by private treaty, ones that have sold prior to auction, and ones that have been sold at auction. And in the case of the latter, the final sale price shouldn’t exceed the reserve by more than 10-15 percent.
Who is Endorsing this Agent?
Another really important thing to look at is the information provided on their website. You will find that some real estate agents prefer to fill their website with useful information that will help guide vendors through the sales process, so they will be able to make informed decisions when they matter the most — such as whether you should you accept a pre-auction offer, or whether you should buy or sell first.
Some agent’s like to include press clippings from where they were quoted in a newspaper or TV news story, but unless it pertains to something relevant to your property, it’s generally not very useful to you as a vendor. If the newspaper coverage is part of the marketing strategy, however, real estate agents often include copies of the newspaper coverage they’ve achieved for their properties. Editorial coverage is not particularly easy to achieve these days, and newspapers, given their declining column inches, are very particular about the homes they choose to highlight.
Testimonials are also important — what better way to tell you about an agents’ performance than for you to hear it direct from the horse’s mouth. Not every agent does this, but they should be willing to supply you with feedback they’ve received from their most recent vendors, because really, it’s only their clients’ opinions of them that should matter.
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