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How to work effectively with real estate agents

By Mo Zeitouneh

Whether you’re buying or selling property, it’s essential to have confidence in your real estate agent. Here’s how to know you’re in safe hands.

For sellers, a great real estate agent will communicate effectively with buyers to help get the best price for your home. For buyers, agents can help pair you with the prefect property.

Bottom line: figuring out how to work productively with real estate agents is important for all parties.

With the help of Richard Simpson, President of Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), we break down the most effective ways of working with agents and how to pick the right one for you.

1. Focus on the agent, not just the agency

While as a vendor (seller) you sign an authority to sell with a property agency, it’s the salesperson and their team who will be handling the sale of your home. Therefore, selecting the right agent is crucial.

Choose the individual agent that’s right for you. Picture: Getty

With over 7,000 real estate professionals as members, the REIV allows you to choose a qualified agent with confidence.

Richard says that the best agents are proactive and maintain positive relationships with prospective buyers.

“The days of simply opening up a home, recording buyer names and numbers and waiting for auction day are gone,” he says.

“The most important part of the sales process is performed by your agent during the weeks leading up to the sale — speaking to the potential buyers, answering their questions, encouraging them to attend auctions and bid and advising on offers received and negotiating on your behalf.”

The agency is also important as often the processes and procedures are determined by the office and not the individual. Over 2,000 real estate offices across Victoria are members of the REIV.

2. Do your research

While a real estate agent will work to get the best price for your home, it’s up to you to decide what price you will accept. Assessing the current market conditions and local sales activity can help set realistic expectations for what is achievable.

Richard says it’s important to perform some due diligence on your home’s likely selling price and what is a fair selling fee for a property within your area.

“If you’re thinking of auctioning your property, you may want to attend a few auctions to watch how different agencies handle the auction process and assess their auctioneers,” he adds.

3. Choose an agent that knows your area

While internet advertising has allowed agents to sell properties across any number of suburbs, nothing beats an agent who knows all the ins and outs of the local area.

A great agent will already know buyers looking in your area. Picture: Getty

“A local agent will know the intricacies of the drivers of value in the area and are more likely to have qualified and active buyers on their databases,” Richard says.

To help find a local expert, REIV’s ‘Choose a Member’ tool can help you find an agent that’s in your area.

4. Develop a rapport

As a vendor, it’s important to develop a good rapport with your selling agent. You are trusting them with the future of your home, so keeping a productive line of communication will help produce the best outcome.

“You’re going to be working with your agent for a minimum of six weeks and you should be speaking to them at least two to three times a week,” Richard says.

It’s important that your chosen agent has excellent communication skills, not only in dealing with potential purchasers, but in providing you with timely and honest feedback following inspections and discussions with potential buyers.

Go with an agent that has excellent communication skills. Picture: Getty.

5. Trust the experts

Selling your property is a big financial decision. It can be difficult to leave such an important task in the hands of someone else.

Remember, you chose an agent for their professional skills in marketing, negotiating and selling and their knowledge of local property legislation. REIV Members will have ways to seek the correct information as needed. Sometimes you need to know when to step back and let them take the reins, Richard says.

Plus, a great agent will we able to give you expert guidance at the critical junctures of the campaign, he advises.

“Your agent should provide practical solutions to issues that arise during the campaign, including suggestions on how to handle offers or price adjustments, that are in-line with the legislation while protecting your interests.”


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