Choosing an Agent

Your Reason…

Be sure your reason for selling is confidential. No-one, other than the agent you trust, should know why you want to sell. If the buyers know you have a pressing reason for selling, this could be used against you.

It is enough for buyers to know only that you want to sell. The reason is your business. Revealing it could weaken your position when you receive an offer.

Insist on a Guarantee…

The best advice to any person thinking of selling a property is to insist on an iron-clad service guarantee – one that gives you the opportunity to terminate the agent’s services without penalty if you are not receiving the service your agent promised you at the listing presentation. All agents will ask you to sign an agreement with them before you sell your property. The best agents will gladly GUARANTEE their services.

Find an Agent You Trust…

If you don’t trust the agent, don’t hire the agent. Once you decide on an agent, give the agent your trust and confidence. Do not interfere. Allow the agent to make decisions and get on with the job of finding the right buyer for your property.


Buyers who want to buy in your area know the area. It is the area that attracts them, not advertising. It is a waste of time, money and energy to place advertisements in publications that reach thousands of people who will not buy in your area. Internet marketing is the most prominent way for buyers to search for property and agents who rely on newspaper advertising are quickly becoming ‘old fashioned’.

Here is what your agent should be doing to find a buyer for you:

  • Your agent’s office should be open 7 days
  • Your agent should be sending email alerts to their buyer database to notify them of any new listings or price adjustments to keep your property relevant
  • Your agent should have large numbers of signs in the area
  • Your agent should be an expert at directing buyers to suitable listings

This will bring the best buyers to your agent and your agent will then qualify the buyers and bring the right ones to your property. That’s how most properties are sold. If your property is not selling there are usually two reasons: the agent is incompetent, or the price is too high.

Choose Skill, Not Options…

Some agents tell lies to win your business.

Be very careful that you do not choose the agent who tells the biggest lie about how much ‘you will get’ for your property. This is called ‘buying the business’.

Unless the agent is prepared to buy your property, his or her opinion is irrelevant.

Insist, also, that they charge you nothing if they sell for less than the price they estimated. They will identify the agents who are enticing you with false quotes.

Choose Skill, Not the Cheapest…

Cheap agents get cheap prices. Be careful choosing and agent purely based on their fees.

If an agent gives their own money away that easily what do you think they will do with your money?

Good negotiators rarely give discounts on their fees. If they get you the best market price, they are worth a fair fee.


Negotiation skills are vital to ensure you get the highest possible price.

Poor negotiators can cost you a lot of money.

A good negotiator can achieve up to an extra 10 percent on your selling price. This can mean thousands of dollars. If you have an attractive property you don’t need a salesperson as much as you need a negotiator. Ask your agent to prove their negotiation ability to you. Most won’t be able to do so. These are the agents you should avoid.

Choose an Agent who has Buyers Waiting…

The best agents have up to date buyer databases.

Most agents get dozens of enquiries from buyers each month. Some get hundreds. But most don’t keep records of these people – names, enquiry details, email addresses and phone numbers. Usually these agents don’t feel the need because their home sellers pay for the advertising to find more buyers.

When agents keep records of genuine buyers, there is less need for advertising.

List Exclusively…

The more agents you employ the greater your chances of getting a lower price. Do not place your property for sale with several agents. Buyers shop around, they will use the agent who can obtain your property for the lowest price.

Test this yourself, when you see one property listed with several agents, call them and ask this question: “What is the lowest price I can get this for?” The saying goes that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Is there Anything Better than Auction?…

Many agents will say, “No!” but then again, they’re trained to say that. There can be no doubt that auctions often get a high price, but can they guarantee to get the highest price?

No negotiation expert favours allowing competing parties in a negotiation to hear what another party has offered, yet this is what auction does. A better option to auction is to negotiate privately using the Buyers’ Price declaration.

With the Buyers’ Price Declaration, no competing party is privy to another party’s offer.

This means that each buyer must offer their highest price without being influenced by what somebody else may have offered.

The best agents use Buyers’ Price declarations.

Hire a Specialist…

If you follow this advice you will seek out a professional salesperson – a trained negotiator – who uses the Buyers Price Declaration to obtain the highest possible price for you.

Ask questions. Discover whether your preferred choice of agent understands the principles of negotiation and the Buyers’ Price Declaration.

Weekly Price Review…

Price is a major factor in marketing and it is important that you and your agent get it right. Since all negotiation experts say that if you want to get the highest price you should start high and then come down until the right buyer is found, it stands to reason that price is a very important factor in effective marketing.

  • Is the current price attracting interest?
  • Have any offers been made?
  • At what price should the property be offered in the coming week?

Try not to get too ‘hung up’ on price. In marketing, price is like bait is to fishermen – if one type of bait isn’t working, change the ‘bait’

To Open or not to Open…

Open inspection can make your home look smaller and they also can leave you at risk with cases of theft during the open for inspection. You will find in most cases that your home is not covered during the open for inspection – after all, the thieves are invited into the home.

From a professional selling perspective, only people who are qualified to purchase your property should have the right to inspect a property, and they should be allowed to do so at a time most suitable to them and to the home sellers, not just the agent. Although open inspections are more convenient for the agent, some agents believe in an old-fashioned concept called SERVICE.

Should we have a Sign…

No sign can mean no sale. A sign attracts buyers who are most likely driving around the area looking for a property to buy. Most buyers pick the area before they pick the property. A sign is your 24 hour salesperson and sometimes it is often your best salesperson.

Choose and Agent who is Open…

Closed offices lose buyers. Make sure the agency you choose is open 7 days. Many agents work ‘nine to five’ and close Saturday afternoon and all day on Sunday. Weekends are especially important. This is often when most buyers have the time to search for property. You never know when the perfect buyer will come along and that buyer will be attracted to an agent that is open.

Don’t use Bait Pricing…

It sounds good in theory – quote a low price to ‘lure’ buyers in, then work to get the price up from there. Then why don’t any negotiation experts favour this method?

Sure, a lower ‘bait’ price may attract more buyers but it does attract the wrong buyers. The lowest price the buyer sees will be the highest price they want to pay. And never tell anyone the lowest price you will accept because it will quickly become the highest price you will ever get.

Learn to Love early Buyers…

High prices often come early. The only problem with buyers who make good offers early in the marketing campaign is that their offers do not look so good compared to the first asking price. Sellers often expect more than their properties are worth, but this expectation should not stop you from getting the highest price. Your agent should give you an accurate estimate of the likely selling price of your property.

Low offers usually come in later – so be careful, the buyer you reject when your property is first placed for sale may be the buyer that is prepared to pay the highest price. The longer your property stays on the market, the enquiry level drops and the amount of buyer activity slows and your price often gets lower too. So treat early offers with respect and consider them carefully. A good agent should know if the offer is fair.

Sign up for our newsletter for all the latest property listings, sold properties and real estate advice.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.