One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is to hire the first real estate agent they contact or meet, assuming that all Hunter Valley real estate agents are the same.
For most people selling their home is one of the biggest financial transactions they will ever complete. For this reason alone it is important to do some research. You don't have to exhaust yourself interviewing agent after agent, but at least talk with two or three to see who you're most comfortable with. The ideal agent is not always the one with the most sales under his or her belt, or the most years on the job. The ideal agent is one who listens to you, is easy to get along with, and has the tools and skills to address your unique situation.
Professional expertise is an important criterion when choosing a real estate agent. But interpersonal skills are equally important. We all have unique personalities, and that's the way it should be. But when working with someone professionally, if helps if their personality "meshes" well with your own.
When determining who the best person is to represent the sale of your home it is important to not feel rushed or pressured into signing documentation. Before an agent can market your home, they will often ask for you to sign an exclusive agency agreement. It is important to understand that these documents are legally binding so you must know what you are signing. You are entitled to receive independent legal advice if you wish. At the very least you should be given the opportunity to read through all of the documentation and fine print. All Hunter Valley real estate agents must provide and agency agreement fact sheet before signing an agency agreement. This fact sheet explains what your rights and responsibilities are under that contract.
You can download a free copy of the fact sheet directly from the NSW Fair Trading here:
There are different levels of qualification within the real estate industry. A real estate licence is the highest qualification. A certificate of registration also enables individuals to market and sell properties, however individuals who hold a certificate, must be under the direct supervision of a licenced real estate agent. When working with a real estate professional it is important to ensure that their registration is current. This can be checked by entering the real estate agents name into the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading licence check here: www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/help-centre/online-tools/property-services-licence-check.
There are additional training and licence requirements for certain categories of property. One of the most relevant licences for Hunter Valley Real Estate Agents is the requirement to hold a Stock and Station Agent Licence to sell any type of property over 20 hectares, including residential, rural and commercial property.
A few important questions to ask when choosing your agent:
- Who will be accompanying potential purchasers to private inspections and open homes for the duration of the agency agreement? (If agents say they have a 'team' - this often means a trainee or assistant will be the person showing your home and not the agent you hired. Is this something you are comfortable with?)
- If purchasers would like to inspect my home outside of normal business hours or on public holidays, are you able to accommodate this request? (Many staff at large franchises won't work outside their allocated business hours. Find an agent that is ready to sell whenever buyers want to buy.)
- Where do you live? (Buyers commonly ask agents: "where do you live"? In cases where the agent doesn't live in the Hunter Valley, it can cause buyers to second guess themselves and wonder if they've chosen the right location.)
- What marketing and advertising strategies will be utilised to sell my home? Where do you rank on Google (the largest search engine in the world for the search term: Hunter Valley Real Estate Agents?)
- How much will marketing and advertising cost?
- Do you or your agency pay for awards and/or agent ratings and testimonals services such as RateMyAgent, CanStar Blue, REINSW and REB Awards? (Many agents use reviews, ratings and awards from websites or services that they pay as part of their marketing but don't disclose this to the homeowners)
- What are your total fees and charges to represent my home?
- If I'm unsatisified for any reason during the agency term, can I cancel at any time without penalty?
- Do you back your service and advice with a guarantee? Will you refund any costs if you don't achieve the result you've promised? (if the agent refuses to risk their own money by offering a guarantee, do you really want to trust them with your money?)
Each of the questions above are provided as a guide for homeowners when interviewing agents. Many are important questions that few homeowners ask but can make a significant difference to the outcome of a sale. Please be mindful that everyone is different and it's for each individual homeowner to determine how comfortable they are with the response of each agent.
The Hunter Valley is one of the fastest growing regions in New South Wales with many different Hunter Valley real estate agents and agencies working within the region. Remember, one of the best pieces of advice we can offer is to not assume all all agents are the same. If you would like to get an indication of what your property would be worth, simply send us a message and we'll arrange for a HVREA certified agent to contact you.