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Tim McIntyre: Choosing An Agent

Selling your home is not always about you and, funnily enough, it’s not always about your home.

No house, unit, caravan or granny flat can sell itself, no matter how north-facing it is, or how many ‘alfresco dining areas’ are included.

Likewise, there’s no point in you trying to sell it either, no matter how many times your mum has told you how charming you are.

Most people only buy and sell property a handful of times in their life, and rarely in the same neighbourhood over and over.

Therefore, you need to pick the right agent to do it. Your home needs a well-thought out marketing campaign, which is tailored to the type of property it is and the type of buyers that are likely to be interested (there’s no point trying to sell a knockdown dump on a development-approved block to a group of single, elderly downsizers for example).

It needs to bear in mind the market conditions in your postcode and look at comparable sales, with an extra understanding of what might have changed in recent months, or even weeks.

The foremost key to finding a good agent is to get someone with local knowledge. You could be the world’s best salesperson, but that may count for little if you are in a foreign market.

Ever tried to sell two-stroke to Saudi Arabia?

So when a friend recommends you a brilliant agent who happens to be based 30km from your house, you might be best off politely declining.

You need someone with a proven track record of good results in your neighbourhood. Looking at sold properties online will show which agency has performed well, while also giving you an idea of what your home may be worth.

Don’t be fooled by agents offering the cheapest commission, or a discount on advertising costs, as the small amount spent in the marketing stage is often what gets you the best sale price.

And if the agent claims they can get you more than what the property is actually worth, you are better off steering clear. They cannot possibly make those sorts of promises with any certainty and are likely saying that just to secure the listing.

Think of it like one of those election promises by a politician that suddenly fall by the wayside once they are in government because ‘the situation has changed’.

Your agent should be open and honest, transparent, digitally savvy and in regular contact with you, to make sure you have an idea of exactly what is happening with your home.

After all, if you’re like the majority of Australians, it is the biggest asset you will ever have at any one time, so you want to treat it right.

Tim McIntyre is the senior real estate reporter for the Daily Telegraph and News.com.au. Over the past decade, he has attained widespread knowledge of Australia’s many unique property markets and is an authority on all things buying, selling and investing. His commentary appears every Saturday in the Daily Telegraph Real Estate lift out, as well as online at news.com.au

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