The difference between choosing the right real estate agent and the wrong one when selling your property can cost you 10’s, even 100’s of thousands of dollars on the sale price.

By taking the time to carefully evaluate potential agents, you can ensure that you’ll find the agent who will best represent your interests and maximise the value of your home. 

With over 15 years in the industry, we’ve seen firsthand the impact a skilled real estate agent can have on the home-selling process.

We’ve created this guide on how to choose a real estate agent when selling your home to help you find the right seller for your needs.

Our insights today include direct quotes and advice from Luke Carter, Harcourts Caloundra’s esteemed principal agent. 

You’ll learn the key factors we recommend using and how to narrow down your top candidates to choose your ideal agent.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Research Local Reputable Agencies with Established Property Experts

The number one thing you can do to ensure your property achieves the highest possible sale price is to take the time to thoroughly research the agent and agency you choose to represent you and your property. 

For most people, their principal home is their highest-value asset so you need to refrain from settling for the agent with the lowest commission fees or betting on the first agent you come across. 

You need to spend the time to find a long-established property expert with the skills and expertise to protect you from the biggest risk in the industry which is underselling.

It’s important that you look for agents who have a long and consistent track record through changing market cycles.

With nearly 20 years of real estate experience and 17 of those as a principal business owner, I have employed a lot of sales agents over the years and one thing I can tell you for certain is the experience and ability of your chosen agent has the biggest outcome on your sale price.

One piece of advice Luke recommends is:

LC: “Ask your prospective agent whether they’ve ever sold or bought a home themselves. It’s one thing to have experience selling other people’s homes, but it’s another thing to understand the stress and anxiety of going through the process of buying or selling a property yourself. Only someone who has gone through this process truly understands the importance of being prepared, keeping clients informed and following up with both the seller and potential buyers.”

Local Market Expertise

Selecting a real estate agent with in-depth knowledge of the local market is crucial when selling your home. 

An agent who understands the unique characteristics, trends, and buyer demand in your neighbourhood will be better equipped to price your property competitively, develop an effective marketing strategy, and identify the most qualified buyers. 

Look for an agent who can demonstrate their familiarity with your area through their sales history, market insights, and understanding of the local community.

LC: “Be very careful of agents quoting exciting prices with no real credible data and recent comparable sales to back up their estimated figures. And when they do provide these comparables, it’s important to ask them why and how they think your property compares to the recent sales they’re providing. While it is important to have an agent who believes in your property, they must provide real evidence when quoting a number. It’s a huge red flag when an agent won’t give you a price or side steps around giving a price.”

Pick the Agent, Not the Agency

While it’s important to work with a reputable real estate company, the agent you work with directly will be the one responsible for handling the day-to-day aspects of selling your home. 

Focus on the individual agent’s skills, experience, and personal approach, rather than just the agency they represent. 

Choosing an agent you trust and believe will best represent your interests can make a significant difference in the overall experience and outcome of the home-selling process.

LC: “It’s vital that you still physically visit their office and see if their business is a reflection of what they are selling you. Especially if it’s a brand you’re not familiar with. It’s common for real estate agents to be disingenuous and market themselves as a large full-service agency when in fact, they’re a one-person team working from their home office. It’s not uncommon for these smaller set-ups to have minimal training and real-world experience.”

Proof They Can Sell a Property Like Yours

When evaluating potential real estate agents, it’s important to ensure that they not only have a proven track record of successful home sales within your local area, but also have experience selling homes similar to yours in terms of size, price range, and property type. 

An agent who has successfully marketed and sold properties comparable to your own is more likely to be able to effectively promote your home and achieve the best possible outcome. 

Take the time to review the agent’s sales history and ask for examples of how they have handled the sale of homes like yours in the past.

We’d also recommend that you assess the average days their listings spend on the market and the sale prices compared to the original list prices.

LC: “If you want to take it a step further, ask potential agents how many street records they’ve achieved in your area. Agents who can prove that they’ve achieved multiple sales records in streets within your community show that they’re willing to go the extra mile to sell you home for as much as possible.”

Prioritise Number of Sales Over Number of Listings

When comparing potential real estate agents, it’s important to focus on their actual sales performance rather than just the number of listings they have. 

An agent with fewer listings but a higher sales volume may be more effective at selling homes than an agent with a large number of listings but a lower sales rate. 

Look for an agent who can demonstrate a consistent track record of successfully closing home sales in your local market.

Word of Mouth Matters

Tapping into the power of word-of-mouth can be an invaluable way to identify a reliable and effective real estate agent. 

Ask your friends, family members, and neighbours for referrals and recommendations of agents they have worked with successfully in the past. 

This feedback can provide valuable insights into an agent’s communication skills, negotiation abilities, and overall commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for their clients. 

Taking the time to gather these personal recommendations can help you feel confident that you’re choosing an agent who will truly prioritise your interests throughout the home-selling process.

LC: “On top of talking to those close to you, ask prospective real estate agents for the phone numbers of the last three vendors they have sold homes for. Verify online that these, in fact, are the most recent homes they have sold and not just their favourite clients, friends or family. Any professional agent will be happy to provide this and if they have done the right thing by their clients the clients will be happy to take a call and vouch for them.”

How to narrow down your top candidates

Watch the Agents in Action

Observing a real estate agent in action at an open house or auction can be a revealing way to assess their skills and approach. 

Look for an agent who demonstrates a high level of professionalism, strong communication abilities, and a genuine enthusiasm for promoting the property. 

Pay attention to how they interact with potential buyers – do they actively engage with them, answer their questions, and highlight the home’s key features? 

An agent who can effectively showcase a property and generate genuine buyer interest is more likely to achieve the best possible outcome when it comes time to sell your own home. 

Seeing the agent in their element will give you valuable insight into their marketing prowess and negotiation tactics, helping you determine if they are the right fit to represent your interests.

Listen to your Instincts

If you’ve completed all of the due diligence above and you’re in the final stages of selecting the real estate agent who will be selling your property, Trusting your instincts is the most important thing we believe you can do.

You want to make sure the agent you choose is the person you have the most genuine connection with and will feel comfortable working with throughout the home-selling process. 

It could be an agent who says all the right things but your gut is telling you that something is just not quite right.

Or, it could be an agent from a smaller company who has gone above and beyond in answering your questions compared to the agents who have the most listings.

Whatever the situation is when you’re trying to find an agent to sell your property, listening to your instincts pays off almost every time.

Looking for a real estate agent in Caloundra to sell your property?

If you’re based on the Sunshine Coast or surrounds and are considering selling your property, we can provide you with all the information and tools you need to maximise the value of your property.

With a proven track record of over 1,000 property sales here on the Sunshine Coast, we genuinely care about achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. 

Call us on 07 5438 1177 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation or property valuation and to find out how we can leverage our knowledge and experience to tailor a solution that is unique to your requirements.