5 things you need to know before getting an estate agent in to see your home.
If you have ever met a real estate agent, you will most likely have been asked if you will show them your home. For the agent, this is the beginning of a new opportunity for some business and for you as the home owner it may be an opportunity to get a local professional who can be a real asset to you to help you build your wealth.
Whilst all agents will be able to provide you with an estimate on your home's value, this is probably the last reason to invite an agent in. Here are 5 tips on making the most of a visit from an estate agent.
Don't worry about completing all your jobs just to show them through
Many prospective home sellers want to show the agent the finished product because they feel this will have a bearing on the value so they hold off on inviting an agent in until the last minute. Instead invite an agent in early, not to get their opinion of value but to draw upon their expertise. Professional agents know the buyers well and are tuned in to what the buyers are looking for in a home. If you expect to complete works, recruit the knowledge of a good agent who can help you select the right fixtures, finishes and can also advise you on what major works will have the biggest bang for your buck. Many home sellers have wasted thousands of dollars on areas that have minimal or no bearing whatsoever on the price as the buyers were more interested in something else or preferred to complete the works in their own way and had to start again.
Resist the temptation to use online 'agent comparison' websites
With many products it is a good idea to compare like for like to ensure you get the best value for money. Usually service oriented businesses are much more difficult to compare online as the factors that make the real difference to you as the customer are not all tangible. Real estate agents fall into this category and are not easy to compare online as you are getting the services, skills and expertise of an individual rather than an identical or comparable product. Despite these facts, many websites purport to find you the best agent without a cost to you. The cost comes to the agent who subscribes to these websites and is eventually passed on to you as the one paying his or her bills. It is still a good idea to check out the properties an agent has sold or is selling to get a feel for the way they market their homes and this is easily done online before inviting an agent in to see you and your house.
Don't leave it to the last minute
It is beneficial to get an agent on board as early as possible as part of your team. Just like you may have an accountant, a solicitor, a gardener, a cleaner and so on, a professional real estate agent on your team is an invaluable asset to your financial future. Many agents end up just being a part of a transaction however the client could have received so much more from that relationship had they got them on side early. Sellers who interview three agents just prior to listing their home are subjected to the usual performance of agents who are often more focused on getting you to sign up with them that they are on looking after your best interests. This may involve overquoting, undermarketing or inadequate advice that may lead to an outcome that is less that what it could have been. Instead get someone good on early. That way you will have someone to call upon at any time that will give you the advice, information and ultimately that perfect buyer for your home!
A realistic opinion of value
It is a well known fact that you can get several opinions of value and for them range from the 'fire sale' price to the 'on a perfect day' price. Agents should estimate the realistic potential value for your property in the market based on the best recent and most comparable sales so you can reasonably plan your life using these figures. There are usually only a few sales that are directly comparable and recent so it stands to reason that the opinions of value should not differ as widely as they tend to. Some agents have a habit of inflating their opinion of value in order to impress potential customers and win their business. Try not to judge the agents on the price they 'quote' you. Whilst it may seem that one agent sees value that another appears to have missed, it is not the agent that is going to be buying your property.
What you should do instead
Judge the agents on the things that will actually make a difference to the way the sale is handled and your interaction with this person. This person along with their team will be in your life a lot in (hopefully) a short space of time, so it is important that they are someone you can get along with. They must be a good communicator, punctual and professional. They need to be honest, trustworthy and upfront with you about the good and the not so good elements of your property. They must be someone that would go beyond the call of duty to help you achieve your goals and be available to you for advice when it is needed. Remember this is a person to whom you can shift the responsibility and weight of the sale, their role is to take the stress of selling away from your life and effectively get the job done.
Licensed Estate Agent | Auctioneer