Good real estate agents can be difficult to find if you don’t know the qualities to look for.
We had a chat to some industry experts to find out what you should be looking for when scouting around for the perfect agent.
Qualities of a good agent
1. They communicate
As a house seller or buyer it can be stressful dealing with an agent who’s not a great communicator. The real estate market is time sensitive, so you need an agent who will let you know quickly where you stand with your current buying or selling situation so you can move on quickly to another property or potential buyer.
Jean Gordon from Estate Agent Stars says that one of the biggest frustrations for people is a lack of communication from their agent.
“It’s so important that agents stay in constant contact with their clients and customers. What seems like insignificant information to an agent who’s been in the business for years can be really important to clients who are new to the real estate game,” says Gordon.
2. They’re proactive
Ben Hatch from Harcourts Real Estate in WA says a good agent should be proactively calling potential buyers, communicating with existing customers and constantly chasing new leads. The key element of being proactive is keeping the client well informed.
“If your clients keep calling you, you’re not giving them enough information,” says Hatch.
3. They listen
Most good agents will tell you to be wary of an agent who talks too much.
Hatch says that if you can’t get a word in when communicating with your agent, then you’ve got a problem.
“As a client or customer, you’re the one who should be doing most of the talking and making sure that your agent understands your special requests and needs. A good agent should be asking all the questions not the other way around,” says Hatch.
4. They’re client motivated
Put simply, if the customer gets a good a deal, the agent gets a good deal, which is why it ‘s so important to choose an agent who puts their vendors first.
Lucy White from David Murphy Real Estate in Mosman says a good agent will always have their clients needs as their top priority.
“Buying and selling houses can be stressful and it’s important for the agent to make sure that the client is feeling supported and happy.”
5. They can adapt to their clients needs
It’s also important it is for an agent to be able to ‘read’ their client.
“Some clients like to communicate via email, some prefer a quick text message and others like to receive a phone call so they can have a chat about what’s happening with their sale,” says White.
“It’s the responsibility of a good agent to suss out the clients preferred method of communication so they don’t feel either ignored by silence or pressured by too much communication.”
6. They know their clients time frame
Jean Gordon says that timing awareness is essential to a good client/agent relationship.
“You need to know if the client is in a hurry to sell. If they need to settle soon, the agent should know this and should be working to a tighter time frame. If the client isn’t in a rush the agent can shop around and advise the client to wait for a better market so they can get a decent price on their house,” says Gordon.
7. They know their customers selling motivation
Ben Hatch says a good agent always knows why their clients are selling and will ask themselves the following questions:
- Is your customer selling to buy?
- Is this an investment property?
- Are they going live in this home and then knock it down?
“These are all things that good agents need to think about. It also helps to know if there’s a sentimental attachment to a home. A client who’s selling one of five investment properties will have very different needs to a client who’s selling their family home. A good agent will know the difference and will adapt accordingly.”
8. They aren’t afraid to give you their last 20 clients as references
Jean Gordon says the best way to get a good agent is use their past clients as references.
“If you’ve lined up a new agent and you want to make sure that they’re the best fit for you, ask them for testimonials or statements from their last 20 clients. Not selected clients, literally the last 20. A good agent should be able to give you a positive reference from any of their past clients.”