When selling a property, a lot of investors choose to capitalise on the value added by real estate agents instead of doing it all by themselves. How do you pick the right agent for you?
Sales executive Kiki Bermudez said that, first and foremost, investors must pay attention to how the agent interacts with them at the onset of any transaction.
Selling a property entails a series of processes, from budgeting and styling to market research and marketing, so it's important that you feel comfortable working with them from beginning to end.
According to her, a good agent will work to understand you as an investor—what your goals are, how you operate based on your capabilities and limitations and how you want to be communicated with.
“It's about building trust very quickly. Just see how they are operationally. If they can't meet with you face-to-face, get to know them through proposals and information,” she said.
Ms Bermudez shares simple ways to find out whether a real estate agent is right for you:
Like in any trade, there will be dishonest agents in the property investment landscape, according to the sales executive.
One of the most critical factors to consider when choosing an agent is the way they price your property.
Usually, these professionals will start by asking you how much you want to sell your house for in order to determine your level of interest and how they will go about helping you maximise your earning potential.
However, some agents tend to overprice in order to attract clients, which is why Ms Bermudez strongly encouraged investors to look for the data that will back the figure presented to them.
She said: “It's really just working through that data versus just plucking a figure from the air to get you excited to sell. The information that supports what they are telling you, that could be an indication of whether you're dealing with an honest agent versus one that's buying the business.”
However, that is not to say that the agent who asks for the cheapest commission is the best choice, Ms Bermudez highlighted.
While it’s understandable that you want to keep your costs at a minimum, it’s also important to remember that you usually get what you pay for when dealing with a real estate agent.
Fees are going to vary depending on the area as well as the services that you will require from the agent.
If you have to choose between the agent who promises to give you the biggest price, the agent who offers the cheapest commission cut or the agent who helps you understand the current market movements so you can present and position your asset correctly, always pick the honest ones, Ms Bermudez said.
According to her: “Go with the agent that gives you the honest truth. He's going to give you the support and show you their tools in terms of how they're going to get you there.”
“They also help you do reference checks as well. A good agent will be happy to say, ‘Here's some phone numbers. Give them a call.’ I would definitely recommend that.”
At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the type of service that will fit perfectly into your investment journey.
“I think it's going to be coming down to the systems behind the scene or how they service buyers. The agent has to actually show you how they're going to service you so they can build trust and help you get the result you want,” she said.
The first two steps should lead you to a good agent, but some investors find that their first pick isn’t always the best one for them.
How do you know if it’s not working out between you and your agent?
For one, you are chasing them for information instead of having them provide you with updates consistently. The agent may also tend to overcommit and underdeliver.
Ms Bermudez advised: “They should have that meeting with you upfront to set up the rules and agree on what’s comfortable and familiar, so you're on the same page from the beginning.”
Before you go and swap agents, the sales executive recommended that you sit down with your current agent and discuss your strategy.
There are several factors to consider when you’re getting lackluster results and it’s important that your agent provides you with this information.
Good news or bad news, a good agent will share it with you and help you determine the best steps to take moving forward.
“It's very important that the agent gives you information quickly, so you make the necessary adjustments quickly and respond with how the market is moving to make sure that you attract buyers,” the sales executive concluded.
Tune in to Kiki Bermudez’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the best way to maximise your sales price, even in a slowing market.