Ready to sell your house?  Before you fall head first for the first real estate agent who comes your way, take the time to make sure it’s a perfect match.  After all, this could be one of the most important relationships of your life.

Here are the 5 important questions you should ask before committing to an agent…

Credentials, please.

It goes without saying that any real estate agent must be a member of The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (MREINZ).  Agents should adhere to the Code of Conduct (REAA Professional Conduct and Client Care Practice Rules), and hopefully, their own in-house Code of Conduct.

Ideally, your prospective agent will bring extra credentials to the relationship. Sale and Purchase Agreements and Auction Agreements should be the latest version, as generated by REINZ.  Extra brownie points are awarded to an agent who partakes in extracurricular activities.  Perhaps they are a member of industry associations or training groups.

Don’t be shy to ask for references.  A good agent shouldn’t have any concerns about providing testimonials or references from satisfied clients.

Do you know your stats?

Your agent should get excited about sales data, analysis and research.

Having a good understanding of the area, as well as previous sales data, helps set a realistic price range.  Any good agent will have their finger on the pulse when it comes to sales data.

Don’t be afraid to ask a few questions specific to your suburb to find out how well they know the area.  Ask how long they’ve been operating in the area.  Ask if they can show examples of previous sales, ideally achieving attractive outcomes for the vendor?

Let’s talk about … dollars.

Ultimately, a real estate agent is working for the seller.  So the agent’s goal is to achieve the best possible sale price for you.  Factors affecting the success of a good outcome include your marketing costs and real estate agent fees.  In New Zealand, commission rates are not set by law, so they vary from agency to agency.

This is where it’s important for you to do your research and shop around.  Make sure you understand the way agents set their rates.  Some agencies offer different rates for certain portions of the sale price achieved.

At The Property Market our standard commission fee is 2% + GST.  Marketing expenses are generally around $1,500 (including a LIM).   If you compare these rates to some of the big real estate agencies, we typically save clients $10,000 – $16,000. With a great track record of achieving stellar sale prices, we deliver an appealing return on investment for vendors.

How good will I look?

We don’t want to sound shallow, but sometimes it’s all about looks.

A good agent is going to make sure your property is rocking the right look in all the right places.

At The Property Market we not only market properties on TradeMe, realestate.co.nz, and our own website, we also create a unique website for every property, using the street address as the domain name (e.g. http://45mainstreet.co.nz).

A good real estate agent will understand completely the best way to present your property through digital marketing.  After all, that’s where purchasers do their research.

What happens if my property fails to sell at auction?

This is an important question to ask, and highlights the need to make sure your agent has thought about all possible outcomes, both during and after the marketing period.

A savvy customer recently asked us this very question. Our response:

“At the Property Market we assess how well the property is considered during the marketing period.  If the auction date is approaching and we suspect the auction might not deliver the right result, we’ll encourage you to keep your reserve price high and pass in at auction. We will then sell the property by negotiation for a higher price in the week or so following the auction.  It’s better to take the time to get the right result than feel pressure to take the price offered by the market at auction.”

Choosing a real estate agent is like any new relationship.  It’s better if you choose someone who has your best interests at heart.  So, take your time, shop around, and don’t settle for anyone but the best.

Posted on Categories: Blog