Real estate agents are important players in any real estate market. They help buyers find exactly what they’re looking for or recommend buying an apartment instead of a home, or vice versa, depending on the buyer’s budget and needs. They also offer invaluable help in guiding homeowners through the selling process and estimating what their homes are worth. Still, not all agents will work in your best interest, and the entire game is set up so it benefits agents more, who are often motivated to sell your home for less than it’s worth. But, what can you do to make sure you don’t get ridden over on one of the most important financial decisions of your life?
Become an expert yourself
When meeting an agent for the first time, you’re at a huge disadvantage. They know the lay of the land, they’re experts of real estate markets, and most of them have been in the business for years now. They’re supposed to be the ones with the knowledge, so if you hear explanations like, this is the way it's done, or that's how the real estate market has operated for years, you have few choices but to agree with them. Educate yourself first. Try to learn as much as you can about the real estate market in your area, and if you hear them say anything that sounds off to what you’ve learned, take it as a precaution. Knowledge plus common sense can save you from coming down with a wrong agent and losing thousands of dollars.
Give the advantage to local businesses
By understating local neighbourhoods like the back of their hand, local real estate agents can offer you much better levels of service, and sometimes even negotiate a favourable sale price. Their honesty and reputation in the community is their most important marketing channel, so they'll more likely to handle any transaction with respecting both parties. In countries with extensive and diverse real estate markets, like Australia, real estate agents must have vast knowledge of prices, local conditions and legal issues, so if you’re interested in selling a property in one of Sydney’s coastal suburbs, this reputable real estate agent in Northern Beaches is a much better choice than a downtown real estate kingpin who’s only interested in high turnover.
Find out the true value of your home
Since when the first cavemen decided to trade his dwelling for three dozens mammoth tusks, the question of the true value of the home has been one of the most difficult ones in the real estate business. When answering your question, an agent has to bear in mind what other agents have been telling you, as they don't want to lose your home to another agent who quoted the asking price way over the real one. A much better approach, provided that you did your research, is to ask the agent what they will do to get the best price for your home. Still, the best way to work out the true value of your home is to go with an independent appraiser. These people have nothing invested in the financial value of your home and can come forth completely unbiased.
Finding the best real estate agent to whom you can trust to sell your home under the most favourable conditions can seem overwhelming. However, it's important to weigh every decision carefully. Selling a home is a big financial undertaking, for most people the biggest in their life. The most important thing is to get a working knowledge of local real estate markets, as well as to recognize a local relator who puts their mouth where their money is.
By Diana Smith