Choosing a real estate agent

Deciding which agent will handle the sale of your home is likely to be one of the most important decisions you will make in the selling process.

As with any other professional service, the level and style will vary from one agency to another. But one of the most important considerations when selecting an agent is their profile and knowledge of the area.

One way to establish an agent’s profile is to drive around the area in which you want to buy and look for agencies that actively promote properties.

Once you have established which agencies are active, visit the office to look at their window displays.

It's also a good idea to have a look at Saturday's newspapers and see which agency has the most properties advertised and how effective you think the advertisements are. Do they attract your attention? Are they easy to read?

Most importantly, speak to family and friends, particularly those who have sold property in the same area, and ask them to recommend an agent to you. A good agent will know that word-of-mouth referrals are a good source of business and will take care to look after every client.

Once you have selected a few likely agencies, ask them to outline the services they offer if they were chosen to sell your home. You should remember that those agents who are members of your state’s Real Estate Institute are also bound by the REI’s strict Code of Ethics.

Once you have chosen your agent, you should have them explain to you the various selling methods available.

Whichever method you choose, remember that proper marketing is essential to attract prospective buyers and a well-trained and realistic agent is likely to request vendor-paid advertising as part of their marketing proposal.

Realistic pricing is also important regardless of which selling method you choose.

Prepared in conjunction with the Real Estate Institute of Queensland. www.reiq.com.au

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