Putting in the homework

by Andy Bryenton

Before you choose your next home, you must first choose your real estate agent. It’s a simple truth, but what should you look for in a professional to help you buy or sell your home?

First up, find someone who is confident in their ability to set a reasonable price with you for your home. A good agent can take in data from many sources, such as other homes recently sold in the area, rateable value, costs of renovations and improvements, and come up with a sensible figure, which will both satisfy your financial requirements and entice buyers. Too low, and you miss out on valuable equity. Too high, and your home could languish on the market for months, priced out of the running.

To reach this point; your agent needs to be willing to get to know your home inside out.

A good representative will ask lots of questions, have a thorough tour of your home, and here’s a tip; they’ll want to access the ceiling cavity and the undercroft as well. There’s no better way to check for leaks and damage, things, which a conscientious vendor or savvy buyer want to know about early on.

They should be savvy when it comes to scripting and placing advertisements. Check out your local newspaper for a few weeks before talking to prospective agents. Who has the best spots, like the front and back pages? These are proactive agents. Also, check the wording and content of the advertising and the pricing of the houses. Agents who specialise in properties like yours will be apparent; those with high turnover are likely to be successful, so watch for those who regularly premiere new homes in the press.

Finally, as your real estate professional is going to be dealing with large sums of money, legal documents and a considerable investment, pick someone you are comfortable with. It may seem trite, but a person you have a rapport with and feel comfortable talking to is worth 10 in shiny cars with expensive suits. Choose someone who explains things in simple terms and comes through on small deadline promises regarding things like photos, paperwork and keys. They are most likely to make the whole process hassle and stress-free.