Licence: In all states and territories in Australia and New Zealand, all real estate agents have to be licensed in accordance with local legislation. The legislation also regulates such matters as trust accounting, continual education of licensees and those engaged in the business of selling, managing property and renting. In some areas this legislation also prescribes the form of agency agreement or contract to be used.
You should check the licence details of all real estate agents you are thinking of using before signing up with your preferred choice.
Local Agent: It’s important that the agent you choose knows the area you are selling in and that they are aware of other properties for sale and properties that have recently sold. They are experts at knowing the local market and can give you an honest appraisal on the expected value of your property and assess how it is placed in the market alongside similar properties.
Experience: Does the agent display local knowledge of your area and do they have experience in the method of sale you are looking at using? Can they show you any comparable previous sales?
Market Knowledge: The agent should be able to give you a local market report of your area and surrounding areas. They should know about property trends, schools, transport, demographics and the sorts of buyers looking for homes in the area. Ask your local LJ Hooker agent for our industry leading Local Market report packed with property information, trends and insights just for your neighbourhood.
See them in action: An excellent way to assess an agent is to see how they perform at an open for inspection. At the inspection watch their behavior, were they on time? Do they stand at the door and welcome attendees and capture their details? Do they highlight the property’s features and could they answer any question you put to them? Did they follow up after the open for inspection offering more information? And was their marketing of the property of a good standard?
Trustworthy: Honesty and trust are key to any good relationship – especially in real estate.
Approachable: You’ll need to find an agent who you feel comfortable with, who will listen to your concerns, answer honestly your questions and who is approachable by you and prospective buyers.
References: Don’t be afraid to ask for references and referrals, as speaking with past clients can give you an idea of how the agent has performed previously.
Professional expertise: Can they clearly outline the activities and marketing they will undertake and offer a guarantee of service? Can they show you their recent results including sale prices, time on market etc?