When choosing a real estate agent, there is more to the transaction than just the amount of commission he or she charges. Agents often have an arsenal of other skills they can bring to a transaction to help a vendor that even they may not realise.
When you meet with your agent, here are three new things you can ask them to assess the level of service they offer:
Repairs and making your home ready for sale.
So your agent has assessed your home and pointed out the small repairs here and there that need to be done to get your home in tip top condition for sale – fix the leaking taps, paint the doors, new door knobs in the kitchen, repair the gutters, wash down the house.
Before you buy in to the additional stress that comes with trying to coordinate a multitude of tradespeople – or nagging your spouse – ask your agent whether this is a service they offer. Every real estate agent has a property management team for whom coordinating repairs and maintenance is their day job. You will need to pay the cost of the tradespeople and repairs and your agent is likely to charge you a coordination fee, but if you’re time poor and working to a market deadline, this can be a lifesaver.
Market reports and valuations.
Every agent has access to powerful databases that are constantly analysing the property market – including your property. (Whether they know how to use them properly is a different matter. Tip: choose an agent who does!)
If you are anxious about the price setting of your property, ask your agent to run you an Automated Valuation Report. This uses similar formulae used by the banking industry to give you an insight into your property’s value (which is often different from its sale price which will hopefully be higher). You can also ask your agent to see suburb statistics to give you an indication of the health not just of the property market you are selling in, but also buying in.
Ask for help buying.
So you’ve sold your home, got the price you wanted and now, you need to buy. Your first port of call should be your selling agent – after all you’ve paid them a truck load of commission and you’re within your rights to expect some love. If the property you want to buy is being sold at auction and the idea of bidding terrifies you, ask your agent if they can help you develop an auction purchasing strategy. Really good agents will not only help you understand what the home you want to bid on is probably going to sell for, but may even attend the auction with you and bid on your behalf.