How NOT to choose your agent

If you owned a business and needed to fill an important role, you wouldn’t simply hire the first applicant that walked through the door would you?If you owned a business and needed to fill an important role, you wouldn’t simply hire the first applicant that walked through the door would you?

Finding the right real estate agent to sell your greatest financial asset should be no different to hiring the best person for a job.

Many sellers head to the Internet these days to help shortlist agents to meet their needs. However, according to Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA) President and Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) Deputy President, Hayden Groves, the old fashioned methods of choosing your agent are still best.

“Well established methods of choosing your agent such as re-employing an agent previously used, adverts in the Herald, recommendations from friends and relatives or visiting Home Opens to meet agents remain effective methods,” said Mr Groves.

However if you want a credible online source to find a reputable agent, Mr Groves said it is vital that the source be independent.

REIWA’s Agent Finder tool is an independent, credible source for finding professional agents.

Mr Groves warns of the many commercial operators that claim to ‘find the best agent near you’.

The following is what he had to say to support his argument of how NOT to choose your agent…

“Conducting a Google search of “Real Estate Agents Fremantle” for example will throw up paid for adverts for:

http://www.localagentfinder.com.au,
http://www.whichrealestateagent.com.au,
http://www.openagent.com.au
http://www.agentselect.com.au

These ‘intermediaries’ claim they can find you the best agent. The truth is they merely run a portal and a call centre whereby they contact local agents offering them a lead for a property listing in exchange for about 20% of their sales commission. The consumer then contacts the participating agents, chooses one from the list and is astonished to find the agent will be paying a referral fee to the intermediary. Suddenly, the vendor’s confidence in their agent – one prepared to give up a portion of their fee to obtain a lead – is undermined.”

Now working for less money, how hard do you think that agent would work for you?

The best agents don’t need to use intermediary services as they get their business based on their merit, which leads to word-of-mouth referral.

“Consumers need to know that in using these sites, they’re simply not getting access to the best agents, just the cheapest and most desperate,” said Mr Groves.

Not all agents are the same

Remember, an agent works for YOU. Your needs must be their top priority. If they’re not the right person for the job, it can cost you dearly.

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