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The art of finding the best real estate agent...

Never let time constraints push you into making a quick decision on which agent you choose to handle what most probably is your biggest cash asset.

An article appeared in the Canberra City Times in which we had a little helping hand and it covers this topic perfectly.

Regardless of how much your house is worth or its location, you still have to get it right at sale time. Given the size of the dollars involved you, this means you have to put more work into understanding the process than you put into your footy tips.

The first thing to realize is that the whole point of selling is maximizing the price. And this is where a great real estate agent can make all the difference. I said great, not just any.

Have you ever gone to a few house exhibitions and noticed the difference in how the agents operate? Ignore the agents who just sit back and wait for someone to hand them a cheque because the one you want working for you at sale time is the one who really works for the best sale, who is actively assessing prospective buyers, following them up after the exhibition, engaging them and teasing out the top deal.

Yes, getting someone like this working for you will cost money. But you don't work for free so don't expect the best agents to work for free either.

Which brings us to DIY sellers. Sell it yourself by all means, if you're good enough. But don't do it yourself if your objective is just to save $1000 in commissions. I'd rather my agent worked up the price by an extra $5000 or $10,000 and we'd split the upside. My house is not a discount piece of cheese and any agent who thinks it is can go sell hamburgers. And this brings us to the art of the deal.

Real estate selling consultancy, Independent Real Estate Consulting (IREC). Has just released a quick guide to using and choosing a real estate agent. Their biggest lament is that too many inexperienced sellers assume they will get a good deal from their agent automatically, as if somehow all agents are as good as each other.

They believe the big differentiator is in negotiating and that's why they say that before signing up a smooth-talking agent you should always take a closer look and test them out.

Start by asking what is their negotiation range. IREC says a big red flag is when a prospective agent says they allow for example a 10 per cent range because that means the best deal you will get will probably only be 90 per cent of your asking price.

Agents speaking like this are already in excuse mode. You want them to beat the asking price, not use it as the upper limit. Any clown can sell a house for its market value, but the power hitters are the ones who can sell it for more than the market price.

IREC also say you should ask them how they would respond to classic giveaway questions such as "How long has this property been on the market?", "Why is the vendor selling?", or "how much will the vendor accept?". If their answers don't convince you then why would they convince a prospective buyer?

Finally, IREC say you should try to negotiate with your agent regarding their fees, not to push them down, but to see how they respond. If the agent is easy to squeeze, then its another red flag because it probably means they'll easily drop the price for a pushy purchaser.

Remember that your real estate agents job is not selling your house, but it's making you money. Finding them will require you to shop around, but it will be worth it."

About to sell? Contact us for a complimentary chat to make sure you are on the right path - CLICK HERE. 

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