To outsiders, real estate agents might seem like they have a straightforward job. In reality, each day can be as diverse as the people they represent.
A good agent knows that a property is more than just bricks and mortar, it’s about people. They’ll understand that while the sales process can be complex and trying at times, it’s their job to act as a support, an impartial expert and always be trying to get towards a great outcome for all parties.
With that in mind, here are six qualities to look out for when searching for the perfect agent.
1. They communicate well and regularly with their clients
As a seller or buyer, it can be stressful dealing with an agent who’s not a great communicator. The real estate market is time-sensitive, so you need an agent who constantly keeps you in the loop about your current buying or selling situation.
Otherwise, you end up wasting precious time on opportunities that offer a limited chance of success.
In fact, Jean Gordon from Estate Agent Stars says that poor communication from agents is one of the biggest frustrations for buyers and sellers.
“It’s so important that agents stay in constant contact with their clients and customers. What seems like insignificant information to an agent who’s been in the business for years can be really important to clients who are new to the real estate game,” she says.
2. They’re proactive with the sales process
Ben Hatch from Harcourts Real Estate in WA says a good agent should be proactively calling potential buyers, communicating with existing customers and constantly chasing new leads. The key element of being proactive is keeping the client well informed.
“If your clients keep calling you, you’re not giving them enough information,” says Hatch.
3. They listen
Most good agents will tell you to be wary of an agent who talks too much.
Hatch says that, if you can’t get a word in when communicating with your agent, then you’ve got a problem.
“As a client or customer, you’re the one who should be doing most of the talking and making sure that your agent understands your special requests and needs. A good agent should be asking all the questions, not the other way around,” says Hatch.
An agent must also be able to ‘read’ their client, and adapt their approach accordingly, according to Lucy White from David Murphy Real Estate in Mosman.
“Some clients like to communicate via email, some prefer a quick text message, and others like to receive a phone call so that they can have a chat about what’s happening with their sale,” she says.
“It’s the responsibility of a good agent to suss out the clients preferred method of communication, so that they don’t feel ignored by silence, nor pressured by too much communication.”
4. They’re client-motivated
Put simply, if the customer gets a good deal, the agent gets a good deal. Which is why it’s so important to choose an agent who puts their vendors first.
White says a good agent will always have their clients needs as their top priority.
“Buying and selling houses can be stressful and it’s important for the agent to make sure that the client is feeling supported and happy.”
5. They know the local area
Real estate agents are selling more than a home; they’re selling the life that comes with it, which requires a deep understanding of the local area.
So, make sure that you ask your prospective agents a handful of curly questions before deciding which one’s right for you. (Think train and bus routes, nearby activities for kids, and local planning regulations.) That way, you’ll be able to distinguish between those who can sell the local lifestyle and those who can’t.
6. They know their customer’s motivation for selling
Ben Hatch says a good agent always knows why their clients are selling, and will ask themselves the following questions:
- Is my customer selling to buy?
- Are they looking for an investment property?
- Are they going to live in this home and later knock it down?
“These are all things that good agents need to think about,” he says.
“It also helps to know if there’s a sentimental attachment to a home. A client who’s selling one of five investment properties will have very different needs to a client who’s selling their family home. A good agent will know the difference and will adapt accordingly.”
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