6 key questions to ask your agent before you sign them up

Tuesday 05 May 2020

You’ve decided to sell your property, it’s a huge decision and moving is always a time of upheaval in your life. What you want then, is the smoothest experience possible, and central to getting that is finding the right agent to handle things for you.

With so much choice in the industry, finding that right agent is a challenge. Here are six questions you should ask your agent to make sure you have the right one:

How much experience do you have as an agent?

Everyone has to start somewhere, and new agents are often hungry and eager to make their mark. As such, they may put more effort into your property and work harder to get you the outcome you want.

On the other hand, you may feel that you need someone who has the experience to understand the market and make it work for your benefit, and who knows how to deal with buyers of all kinds.

Listen to the answer, and make your choice based on the details they give.

Can you give me an example of a property like mine you have sold in the last six months?

This is an important question, not just about how properties like yours are selling, but what the agent has learned about marketing such properties; what they know will work for you. It gives you a good insight into their approach and whether that is right for you.

What do you think are the key selling points for my property?

This is an important question as you are basically asking them to give you their selling strategy for your home. Think about the response not just in whether they are talking about the things you expected, but whether it sounds persuasive.

Would that pitch make you want to view the property they describe? If not, why not? If you like it, buyers probably will too.

How should we sell the property, and why choose that method?

You have several choices when selling a property, auction, fixed price, private tender or offers by negotiation. Each has its merits, but it is important to know their reasoning for the choice. It is also crucial to know that their methods match your own ideas and comfort zone.

How much do you think we will get for the property?

Once they have described their marketing approach and method of sale, how much they think it will sell for is the next question. Remember, this is not a valuation, but what they realistically expect the final sale price to be. Ask how they came to the price they claim, this weeds out those who will just give you a high number to win the contract.

What commission do you charge?

Listen to the answer here as you are not just learning about the cost of using that agent, but how they justify what they charge. Confident agents who know they will get results have no problems justifying their commission rates, what you don’t want to hear is evasion or vague responses.

With these questions, you get a good idea of what the agent has to offer and whether they can do what you need. How long the property will take to sell, where they plan on marketing the property and directly asking why they are better than the competition are further questions that put the agent on the spot and give you a good insight into their abilities.