How using an agent can increase your selling price
Despite the growth in online services designed to help people sell their homes themselves, there's still a lot to be said for taking the tried and tested route of using a real estate agent.
Your home is likely to be your most valuable asset and you want to get the highest possible price for it. So rather than gambling with it, you might be better off taking a path that's worked for so many sellers before you.
By-passing real estate agents - the experts in trading in property - is a bit like skipping the doctors and treating an illness by yourself. Do you really know enough to do the best job and do you really have the skills and the time required?
Getting the best price for your home is all about creating competition among buyers for it and creating some competitive bidding for it. This means the more people you can get through your doors to see your home, the better.
Good real estate agents should have plenty of experience in doing this and should know what works and doesn't. They should also be able to advise you on the following crucial steps to selling your home:
Presenting your home in the best light:
Having lived in our homes for a long time, many of us can no longer see it impartially. A knowledgeable pair of outside eyes can be invaluable. Good real estate agents should have a feel for what most buyers are looking for and what puts them off. Good agents are likely to give you plenty of good advice on how the get your home ready for sale and on what unnecessary improvements to avoid. They may also be able to recommend some good tradies who could help you get your home looking at its best.
Setting your price:
You don't want to price your home too high because that could put some potential buyers off from coming to have a look, but you also don't want to go too low and attract the wrong buyers. Good agents should have an educated understanding of what's happening in your area as well as in the property market in general. This, together with their experience, should help them guide you through the all important steps of pricing your home.
Marketing your home:
This is crucial to getting people through the door. Good agents should be up on what tactics work for specific types of properties and markets as opposed to the "one size fits all" service some websites may offer. They should also be able to advise where best to advertise your property and what other marketing tools to use. And they should be able to recommend good photographers, stylists, auctioneers and so on.
Good agents should help you expand your marketing reach. They should have a brand that is credible and reputable and which attracts buyers. They should also have a database of potential buyers already known to be looking in your area, giving them an instant captive market. They should be able to advertise your property in their shop windows and use their own websites and newsletters to promote it. Some will also have offices in overseas markets like China.
Estate agents are trained in selling techniques and should know how to ease most concerns raised by potential buyers. They should be well-versed in sorting genuine buyers from curious neighbours and know how best to follow up after open inspections.
Unlike many sellers, good real estate agents are not emotionally attached to a property and will be able to handle the price negotiations in an objective way. They should know what works to get buyers to up their offers. And they should know when an offer is too low or too good to refuse.
However, remember the key word here is "good". Not all agents are the same. The right agent could make the biggest difference to selling your home better, smarter and faster. However, a bad agent could cause you lots of stress, frustration and setbacks.
You should do your homework carefully before appointing an agent. Our real estate agent comparison tool Agent Finder could assist you in pinpointing the right agent for you in your neighbourhood. Ensure you talk to at least three agents as well as some of their clients before you make a choice. Don't just go with the first agent you meet. And ask lots of questions.