How to Hire the Right Real Estate Agent During COVID-19

How to Hire the Right Real Estate Agent During COVID-19

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus might have you worried about finding the right real estate agent to help you sell your property. In keeping with social distancing measures, it isn’t like you can just hop from one real estate agency to the next, hoping to find an agent that understands your needs.

Thankfully, we can do a lot of our business online now, and utilising these useful tools takes a lot of the sting out of finding an agent you can trust. Here’s how.

1. Research

You wouldn’t trust just anyone to handle one of the biggest financial transactions you will ever complete in your life, would you? As selling property requires a significant skillset and understanding of the property market, selling on your own is a decision you make at your own peril.

This is why doing research about qualified, experienced and top-selling real estate agents in your city or suburb is essential if you are to find an agent that can help you sell quickly, and at the highest possible price.

There are a number of ways to research capable agents in your area, the first being good old word of mouth. Ask friends or family who might have recently had to sell their property who they used, and as whether they would recommend this person’s services.

You’ll do well to interview potential agents before officially agreeing to enlist their services. Interviews like these help to gauge whether you will get along with an agent. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should look for a friend – this relationship is still professional at its core – but it is important that you find someone who understands your needs, and whom you will be able to talk to openly about price expectations, home improvements and other aspects relating to the sale of the property.

Online agent finders like Perfect Agent do a lot of the legwork for sellers, and with a database consisting of thousands of agents all across the country, there are so many agents you can trust to choose from. Finding an agent that fits your specifications is as easy as filling out a questionnaire and waiting for recommendations. From here, you’ll be able to trim the list down to ultimately find an agent you can relate to.

2. Look Local

It is critical that you find a real estate agent who does business in the city or suburb you are selling in. While it practically makes sense to find an agent that’s nearby, there are plenty of other good reasons for choosing a local agent to help you sell.

For one, doing business in a specific area for a number of years gives real estate agents a keen understanding of the local property market. Because comparable properties in your city or suburb will be held up as examples of what you can expect from the sale of your own property, agents need to have a good overview of the market factors at play in a given area. Real estate agents are clued up about developments that are in the pipeline and have seen suburbs mould into their current states.

They also understand how market conditions influence property sales – something that is of particular importance in times of economic turmoil, like we are seeing right now as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Using an agent that is aware of the undercurrents of the property market in a certain city or suburb helps sellers to set an asking price on the property that is likely to catch the attention of potential and prospective buyers, and this is very important if you are entering the property market in uncertain times.

3. Do You Feel Comfortable with the Agent?

As we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, being comfortable with your real estate agent is key to developing a professional relationship which fosters circumstances that are fertile ground for a sale that is lucrative, but also fair and in line with market trends.

Having a comfortable relationship with the real estate agent that is helping you to sell your property benefits sellers in more ways than one. First off, real estate agents will be able to take a look at the current state of your property and make recommendations that will actually add value. Unfortunately, that sometimes means having to see the property through the eyes of an objective bystander with no sentiment about the property whatsoever. You will have to be able to take this criticism in your stride, and see the potential benefits that these changes might make, without taking comments about the work your property needs personally.

The objective nature of the real estate agent is something that home sellers can thank their lucky stars for when it comes time to negotiate with interested buyers. You can be sure that potential buyers will want to drive the price of the property down, and this means having to discuss their qualms with buyers, and trying to reach a middle ground that is fair to both parties, but still leaves you with profit in pocket. Having someone by your side to handle these negotiations on your behalf is invaluable – and you can be sure that an experienced real estate agent knows exactly how to play this game.

4. Check Agent’s Recently Sold Properties

The number of properties that an agent has sold in the past six months to a year is probably one of the best indicators of whether they’ll be a good fit for you. As the primary purpose of putting a property on the market is to sell it to a buyer, it is stating the obvious to say that a real estate agent should be an excellent salesman or woman.

Asking how many properties an agent has sold in the preceding six months is one of the most important questions to ask when you interview potential candidates, and you shouldn’t hesitate to directly ask this to the real estate agents you are considering. To gain an even better idea of what kind of salespeople real estate agents are, ask to actually see the listings they have sold over the same period. This gives you additional information and shows you if agents have sold many properties that are similar to your own (“comps”).

It will also be useful to ask about an agent’s average list-price-to-sales-price ratio. This refers to the percentage one gets when dividing the price a home ultimately sells for by the price that it is advertised for, and then multiplying the result with 100 – for example, a home which was listed for $300,000, but ultimately sells for $289,000 has a list-price-to-sales-price ratio of 96.3%.

The list-price-to-sales-price ratio not only tells us what the agent’s negotiating abilities are like and how motivated they are to sell at the asking price, but can also give an indication of the market conditions in the local property market: list-price-to-sales-price ratios that are lower than 100% may signal a buyer’s market, while ratios of between 100% and 110% show that the conditions in the local property market are conducive to sellers who are looking to fetch a high price.  

5. Market Knowledge

Understanding and knowing the local property market you are selling in is simply one of the most important skills a real estate agent come with. Because the amounts paid for property can vary widely in different suburbs in the same city, you’ll need someone by your side that has done business in your specific area for a while.

If you want to sell in Sydney, it won’t just suffice to find an agent in the city – rather, you’ll need to find someone who is well acquainted with the suburb your home is located in, and preferably an agent that has sold a few comparable properties in this area already.

Furthermore, a marketing strategy that is effective in the city won’t necessarily work as well in the countryside. Good real estate agents know what works in the area they do business in, and their sales figures should reflect this fact.

6. Hire a Top Real Estate Agent Online

One of the easiest ways to find an agent that ticks all your boxes is to use an online agent finder like Perfect Agent. Answering a few questions regarding your requirements for the sale of your property will help us to find a real estate agent that is qualified, experienced and capable of selling in a way that takes your specifications into account.

But what will such a service cost you? Perfect Agent’s online agent finder is completely free for use by the public – you only paid the agreed-upon amount of commission, without having to fork out more cash before you’ve even found an agent.

Conclusion

A trustworthy real estate agent is central to selling your property at the right price, quickly. Still not sure who to choose in an ocean of candidates? Let Perfect Agent refine your search, based on your exact needs.




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