Category

Choosing an Agent

Choosing an Agent

Q: I’m looking at selling next year and wondered if you have any advice on how to choose the best agent to sell my home? Steve H.
A: What a great question – especially to ask a real estate agent! We cover this off pretty thoroughly in our book ‘SOLD, How to Sell Your Home for the Best Price’, so I’m sending you a copy. For everyone else reading this here is a bit of a summary.
Before you choose your agent think about what is most important to you: the best price, the simplest transaction, the shortest sale time, the least stress, or probably a combination of some of these.
The next step is to interview at least two agents, preferably from different agencies, to see how they will meet your requirements in terms of what is most important to you.

Many people focus too much on the commission when in fact all agents are relatively close in terms of fees – the important thing is to get the best sale price. The same goes for marketing: Money spent on a comprehensive marketing campaign will come back in spades when you attract more people to your open homes, resulting in more bidders at auction, and a higher price.
Here are some of the questions you should ask your potential agent:

  • What is your listing to sales ratio? This is a great way to measure how good your agent is: If they sell over 90% of the properties that they take to market then you can be sure they know what they are doing, and it also means they will stick around when the going gets tough.
  • What is your marketing plan? It’s easy to do just the basics – everyone puts the property on TradeMe and realestate.co.nz, in the Property Press or the local paper. You want a plan that covers all the bases: Print, web, and social media, professional photography and video. The more people that see your property the more buyers you will have and the more money you will get.
  • How do you use technology to reach potential buyers? Facebook is especially useful for getting your property more profile and every agent should have a strategy for this.
  • How will you communicate during the sales process? This is very important. It’s easy for an agent to forget that this is a really important transaction for you, and to leave you in the dark – very frustrating for you! Make sure you have, at a minimum, a written report every week, and a call after each open home to keep you in the loop.
  • How important is it for you to like the agent? It’s very important for you to have rapport, if you don’t you won’t be able to communicate well enough and you really need to know everything that there is to know about the sale of you house.

Finally, remember, the agent works for you, the seller, and everything he/she does has to be with your best interests at heart, as long as it’s within the law of course!


Today we have the second part of our answer to Steve H’s question last week on how to select the best agent to sell your home. Point one last week was that the agent who charges the lowest fees and/or the least marketing is NOT necessarily the agent who will put the most money in your pocket at the end of the sale. Many people focus too much on the commission when in fact all agents are relatively close in terms of fees – the important thing is to get the best sale price. The same goes for marketing: Money spent on a comprehensive marketing campaign will come back in spades when you attract more people to your open homes, resulting in more bidders at auction, and a higher price.

Here are some of the questions you should ask your potential agent:

– What is your listing to sales ratio? This is a great way to measure how good your agent is: If they sell over 90% of the properties that they take to market then you can be sure they know what they are doing, and it also means they will stick around when the going gets tough.

– What is your marketing plan? It’s easy to do just the basics – everyone puts the property on TradeMe and realestate.co.nz, in the Property Press or the local paper. You want a plan that covers all the bases: Print, web, and social media, professional photography and video. The more people that see your property the more buyers you will have and the more money you will get.

– How do you use technology to reach potential buyers? Facebook is especially useful for getting your property more profile and every agent should have a strategy for this.

– How will you communicate during the sales process? This is very important. It’s easy for an agent to forget that this is a really important transaction for you, and to leave you in the dark – very frustrating for you! Make sure you have, at a minimum, a written report every week, and a call after each open home to keep you in the loop.

– How important is it for you to like the agent? It’s very important for you to have rapport, if you don’t you won’t be able to communicate well enough and you really need to know everything that there is to know about the sale of your house.

Finally, remember, the agent works for you, the seller, and everything he/she does has to be with your best interests at heart, as long as it’s within the law of course!