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What Is REALLY Important When Selecting An Agent
Recently I interviewed three agents an behalf of my client selling their home, let’s call them Agent A, Agent B and Agent C. Part of my selection process is I survey the agents to get some background information and a commitment in writing upfront, so we can refer to it later if needed. In this case, the survey immediately knocked out Agent C who completely missed the brief of what my client wanted for their sale. It showed lack of attention, not what you want when selling a home.

On paper Agent A was strongest as they had 7 years experience in the area and my initial gut feel was to go with them. However, Agent B was the most prominent in the area over the past 2 years and had the most listings so they were a close second. Sometimes lots of listings means the Agent's are spread thin and you don't want that either.

Once I establish on paper the gaps, I do a more thorough interview on the phone or zoom. This helps me see how they can think on their feet and give me real life case studies from their experiences. Anyone can sound good on their resume but it is how they communicate and understand the real estate industry that matters to me.

Sometimes in my conversations Agent's start feeding me lines from Australia’s top real estate coaches, if I hear this I switch off. I want to know they can think for themselves and problem solve, if they are reading from a script it is a red flag. They need to be able to read a potential buyer as they could make or lose my clients tens of thousands of dollars.

Despite Agent A having the early edge, in the end we went with Agent B, here is why.

When I interview agents on behalf of my clients, often the agent’s want to know who they are competing against for the listing. I’m happy to tell them, but it is also brings to my attention that maybe they are a little too focused on the other Agent compared to what THEY can bring to the sale. In this case, Agent A was very focused the fact they had 5 more years’ experience compared to Agent B. It doesn’t matter what you did 5 years ago, I want to know you have the best systems and ability to sell today. Markets change all the time and if you are telling me you sold houses in an area 5 years ago that has little to no baring on today. 

The second reason we choose Agent B was if you know my general attitude towards auctions it is, don’t! Having said that ,10% of my clients still go down this path. As long as we look at all the angles and speak to the reasoning of the agent, I will always consider all methods of sale. Agent A was very much, my way or the highway with Auctions. I love the confidence but they put up a wall and didn’t listen to my argument. All I ask is they listen because during the sale we want an agent that will listen.

It become obvious to me that the reason Agent B had overtaken Agent A as the prominent agent in the area was they listened. They had built their recent successes on testimonials from happy clients to a point where they were able to win over future vendors.

My client also got this feel and warmed to Agent B far more.

Here are my top three tips if you are going to hire an agent yourself: 
  • Always interview at least 3 agents
  • Look at who is the best agent for your property. It could be that they are the most prominent, that they sold a very similar home to yours or that they are great listeners.
  • Don’t sign anything until having the contracts checked by a professional.

One of the huge benefits of using the Undercover Agent services is that we not only compare the measurable (commissions and marketing), but also the Agents people skills, office culture and understanding of the buyers in the market today, not yesterday. Why go it alone when you can have a third party expert on your side protecting your interests at no additional cost?
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