Here is what industry experts have to say when asked what characteristics make up a perfect agent.
1. Good communication skills
It can be stressful trying to selling a house if the agent you’re dealing with lacks communication skills. Because the real estate market is time sensitive, your agent must let you know as soon as possible what buyers they are working with and submit any offer as soon as it comes in. Sometimes when agents take time in communicating offers and lack asking vital questions to qualify buyers, sellers can make uneducated decisions that can affect the best result. The lack of communication from their agent is one of the major frustrations for sellers.
2. Being proactive
Being proactive in marketing your property, attracting and qualifying prospective buyers, conducting impressive open homes and private viewings, calling buyers back, staying in contact with existing customers and continuously hunting for new leads are qualities of a good agent. The critical aspect of being proactive is ensuring that the marketing of your property is well monitored, changed where needed and keeping the seller well informed. A sign that your agent is not proactive is when you are the one who is constantly calling them.
3. Knows how to listen
Stay away from agents who talk too much. It is problematic when you can't get a word in when talking to your agent. As the client, you should be doing most of the talking to ensure your agent understands your particular needs and requirements. Your agent should be asking the questions and you should be doing the talking, not the other way around. This is a clear tell tale sign of how they will work with your buyers too.
4. Put their client’s interest first
It is important for an agent to be client motivated because if the customer gets a good result, then the agent gets a good result too. It is important that the client, whether they are the seller or buyer, feels supported and is happy because the process of buying and selling can be stressful. A good agent will make sure that the client is their top priority.
5. Ability to adapt to client's needs
The ability to “read” their client is also an important quality in an agent. Some customers prefer communicating via email, some like text messaging, and others would rather get a phone call to be updated with what’s happening in the sale. A good agent will try to find out their client’s preferred way of communicating so that they don’t feel overlooked by silence or stressed by too much communication.
6. Know the client's time frame
A strong foundation of client-agent relationship is timing awareness. An agent should know if the seller is in a hurry to sell and if there is a need to settle by a particular deadline. When an agent discovers the client's time frame is short they can write the advertisements to suit the situation with a sense or urgency giving the buyers the impression to act immediately or miss out. Not knowing a time frame and having the wrong marketing could achieve a poor result.
7. Know what process the agent uses to sell property
A good agent understands marketing and has a system in implementing a successful campaign. They understand both on-line and off-line marketing, they know how to monitor the campaign and act quickly to make changes effectively when the process becomes slow or unresponsive.
8. Willing to provide you with any previous client/s as a reference
An effective way to get the best agent is to read their former customers testimonials. When choosing a new agent simply ask them if you can speak with some of their previous sellers. Not the ones they suggest but any that you choose to speak to. A quality agent should have a favourable reference from any of their former customers.
9. Willingness and ability to demonstrate their negotiation skills
And finally, put the agent to the test. Act like a buyer and play role with the agent to see how they would sell your home to achieve the highest agreed purchase price. Don't be afraid to be tough on them, if they are a good agent, they'll be used to it and will demonstrate their skills to satisfy you.