Questions you should ask prospective real estate agents

To choose the right agent, you’ll need to look much further than skin-deep online reviews. Search for agents in your local area, put together a shortlist and then swing by a few of their open for inspections to see how they interact with buyers. Observing how they handle face-to-face interactions should help you whittle down your shortlist to a handful of agents. Once you’ve made it this far, arrange face-to-face interviews and ask them the following questions to determine whether they’re the right agent for you.

What experience do you have?
Experience is important in any industry, but in real estate, it’s essential.

The likelihood of an agent securing a high sale price for your property is largely dependent on their ability to build a rapport with potential buyers – and there’s nothing quite like learning on the job.

Ask any potential agent how long they’ve been working in the industry, and whether they have a licence, as opposed to a real estate certificate that only took six weeks to get.

Which local properties have you sold recently?
Asking this question will shine a light on the agent’s selling ability, while providing an opportunity to sound out their suggested listing price. It will give you confidence that the price they’re delivering to you is based on several factual results, and not just them winging it.

It’s also worth asking for the contact details of past vendors, so that you can fact-check the agent’s claims. It’s important that you find an agent who has experience selling homes that are a similar style to yours.

How much do you know about the local area?
The importance of local knowledge cannot be overstated when it comes to selling real estate.

As soon as a buyer steps foot into your property during an open for inspection, they begin painting a mental picture of what their life would look like if they moved in – and it’s the job of your agent to fill in any gaps on the canvas.

The more your agent knows about the local area, the easier it will be for them to answer a potential buyer’s questions about the quickest morning commute, or where they could send their children to school.

A deep understanding of the local area should also be complemented by an understanding of local planning regulations. This will mean an agent can explain to buyers what renovations they can and can’t make – be it an extension on top of a three-bedroom house, or the addition of car parking space to a small semi.

How active are you in the community?
Even in our digital age, word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool that should never be overlooked.

Knowing local cashiers and hairdressers is really important because they all talk about property. Ask your prospective agents how big their network is, because networks help each other out – they’re all connected.

What do you know about the local competition?
Ask your potential agents whether they’ve recently visited many open homes in the local area.

Checking out the competition will enhance their understanding of which features and type of interiors are likely to strike a chord with buyers on the lookout for properties in the area.

Who do you think will be interested in my property?
This one’s simple: before you can reach an audience, you need to know who that audience is. If your agent doesn’t know who the potential buyers for your property could be, then your marketing campaign has little chance of success.

How will you market and sell my property?
Closer to a full-length conversation than a single question, this line of inquiry goes straight to the heart of the matter. You should discuss everything from which selling method your prospective agent recommends for your property, to how they plan to make its ‘wow features’ stand out.

We also suggests asking your prospective agent to showcase the buyers they are currently representing, and where they expect other buyers to come from, as knowing this will help you develop a marketing plan that captures more of those specific buyers.

Also make sure to ask the agent to demonstrate how they’d handle the negotiation with the buyer, as that will give you some good insight into what’s probably the most important part of the selling process. We also suggest asking the agent how many other listings they will simultaneously be managing, to ensure your property gets the attention it deserves.

What are your fees?
While price shouldn’t be your main consideration when signing an agent, it’s important that both parties understand what’s expected from them before they sign any contracts. This reduces the chance of isunderstandings down the track.

Why are you the best person for the job?
It may sound a little gimmicky, but asking this question will shine a light on what your agent believes to be the most important thing when it comes to selling property, and offer a glimpse into how they think on their feet.

If you’re struggling to pick between a few agents with comparable sales performance histories, then this might be just the ticket.

Surround yourself with a team of professionals who can provide you with ongoing support and expertise in securing your financial future.

The Addisons Team are here to help!

This article provides general information only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances and your full financial situation will need to be reviewed prior to acceptance of any offer or product. It does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice and you should always seek professional advice in relation to your individual circumstances. All loans are subject to lenders terms and conditions – fees, charges and eligibility criteria apply.