Selling your home can be a stressful process – or an exciting one. It depends on so many factors, one of which is choosing the right real estate agent for you.
So what are people looking for in an agent? And what should you be looking for? What sort of person will help you make one of the biggest financial transactions of your life?
I asked Lauren, a recent vendor, to describe the process of choosing an agent, and what she was looking for when deciding to put her home on the market. Here are her answers….
What made you decide to sell?
I had been renting out my home for several years, and came to the conclusion that my lifestyle had changed so much that I was never going to return there. So I decided to move forward with the changes in my life, and look to buy closer to the area I was enjoying living in now.
How did you go about selecting an agent?
I spoke to the agent managing my rental property for a recommendation, and I also spoke to Karen who was recommended by a friend who had recently sold her property.
I spoke to the two agents and focused on who I felt most comfortable with. The minute I began talking about the process of selling with Karen, I knew she was the agent I wanted to go with.
What qualities were you looking for in an agent?
I wanted someone experienced, someone who had been working for many years in the field and really knew how to get the best out of the sales process. But perhaps even more importantly than that, I wanted someone I felt was trustworthy, and who had integrity. This is what Karen demonstrated to me during our initial discussion – I felt like I had found someone who knew their business, and who cared about how she carried out that business. I knew Karen was genuine about getting me a good price for my property, and helping me to have a pleasant sales process.
How were you feeling going through this selection process?
Initially I was very nervous – I knew I needed to find the right person, and I knew I needed a fair price to cover the costs of my existing mortgage, and the costs of buying again. Karen put me at ease straight away, and once I signed with her, she kept me informed at every step of the process and encouraged me to make decisions that suited me. I felt her advice was honest and stemmed from her knowing my hopes for the sale.
What sales process did you choose?
We chose a private sales process. As the property was tenanted as the time it went onto the market, there were a number of factors Karen had to juggle – including being sensitive to the tenants’ needs but also ensuring it was presented well for the open for inspections – which can be a challenge when children are involved! We made sure we had the property looking sensational in the photographs taken for advertising purposes, and Karen knew some terrific techniques for this and gave advice on presenting the property to best effect. The property sold quickly – with 28 interested parties at the first open for inspection.
Tell me about your experience throughout the sales process?
I felt very supported through the process and very excited – and it was actually such a short process! Karen had already spoken to many of the potential buyers who came to the first inspection and knew exactly how to negotiate the best price for me with this level of interest. The serious bidders stayed behind afterwards and each put in their top offer through secret ballot. The selling price well above the price we had decided was the minimum. I was delighted.
In addition to this, Karen was wonderful in communicating with my tenants. They were understandably disappointed to hear the property was going on the market, and this could have created a real challenge given how important it is to have tenants on side when presenting a property for sale. But Karen’s friendly personality and professionalism made the process easy and less stressful for them too. She even helped them to arrange their new property too!
How did you feel about the process overall?
Karen kept me fully informed and I felt very confident with her professionalism and her sales knowledge. She gave great advice as to presenting and marketing the property and really assisted me to focus on excitement rather than stress. She certainly had the ”personal touch” – we shared a lovely glass of wine to celebrate the sale.