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Tips on Selling Your House or Property: How to Select a Real Estate Agent!

Updated on January 28, 2018
agvulpes profile image

Peter has never worked in Real Estate however has been involved in buying and selling properties for over 50 years.

Many Real Estate Agents to choose from

Too many real estate agents to choose from !
Too many real estate agents to choose from !

Real Estate Agents Are Everywhere

It does not matter how much your home is worth, be it $50,000 or $1,000,000 you deserve to get the best price for it when you decide to sell. You have more chance to accomplish this by selecting the best Real Estates Agent to handle the sale.

This article ( the first of three) is about the steps we took in finding the best Real Estate Agent to sell our property.

There were two major things that we took into consideration:

  • One was to obtain the best price,
  • The other step but no less important was to sell the property with the minimum amount of stress.

First : A bit of history

As you may have read on a Hub 'Living as a Family - Moving on' written by my better half Oliversmum here on HubPages we have reached the decision to 'move on'.

One big task in the process of 'moving on' is the selling of the 2 acre property we share with our family.

The reasons for selling the property are many and varied but primarily it is so that Oliversmum and myself and of course our gorgeous little dog Oliver can see more of our beautiful Australia while we still have the physical capacity to travel.


Well Oliversmum and I (and of course Oliver) have finally completed the transaction of selling our House and established ourselves in the house and location of our dreams. If you would like to read more about this please visit Oliversmum's Hub 'Living as a Family "Moved On" ' it is a great read:-)

Just as a teaser we had to clear out 2 acres of property. Items such as a Ride on Mower, many parts and tools that had been accumulated over many years of running a business.

We were very fortunate that we had a friend who fixes up bicycles etc and donates to charity, but that's enough go read the Hub lol :)

Who is going to Handle the sale

Having had some experience in buying and selling houses and properties over the years the task of finding a Real Estate Agent, they may be called a Realtor in other places, was gladly handed to me. So with the support of Oliversmum we started the journey of selection.

With the plethora of Real Estate Agents in our area we decided to lay out a plan of attack based on our previous experiences with Real Estate Agents.

As this plan seemed to work I would like to lay it out in an orderly fashion and you are welcome to use this plan or any part of the plan in your own efforts in selling your House or Property.

I must stress however, that I am not a legal expert and laws regarding Real Estate vary not just from Country to Country but from State to State.  Please check you local laws before implementing any of the suggestions I may put forward .

Rules of Engagement

Preliminaries to Selecting a Real Estate Agent

You might think I'm joking here but it really is a battle. Regardless of who your agent is he will tell you certain things. I will bet that the Agent will tell you two things:
1)The first statement goes something like:
"Dear Mr & Mrs Client I am not working for the purchaser I am working for you" (They missed the important part about 'your best interests")

Oh no, stop right there, regardless of what they say they are not working for you, they are working for their office/themselves and regardless of how much they get for your home the commission will not be that much different between the bottom and top price.

Here is an example:
Lets say you have put your house/property on the market to for $500,000 and the Real Estate Agent has been contracted by you at 2% of the selling price.

At the above figure that would give the Real Estate Office a nice commission of $10,000.

Now lets say that the $500,000 is at the top end of the price range for the area and the Agent is having trouble selling at that price. (He is not working hard enough) The Agent approaches you and says

"Oh Mr and Mrs Client we are having trouble selling your beautiful house and I feel that you are expecting to get too much for your house and you may have to lower your price"

Or using more flowery and persuasive words , the experienced Agents are very good at this aspect of their job. It is easier for them to get a client to lower their price than to work harder for a purchaser to pay the correct market value.

Ok, you feel sorry for these jerks, oops sorry, Agents and agree to drop the price $20,000 to $480,000 and surprise, surprise the Agent then goes out and sells your beautiful house at this price. Earning his Real Estate Office a commission of $9,600. A paltry difference of only $400 for the agent but it just cost you $20,000.
The Real Estate Agent is doing a 'job' for you just like a 'trades person' who may come and repair you washing machine or TV.

Do you watch the Current Affairs Shows? How much do you trust these people?

I hope this proves my point that the Agent is not working for you, he is working for himself!

2) The other statement goes something like:
"Mr & Mrs Client we have a/many purchasers looking for houses in this area and want a place just like your beautiful house"
Well surely that must be stating the obvious. What Real Estate Agent worth his salt would not have a list of prospective buyers? Tell me this. If you were a 'purchaser' looking for a house, would you put all you eggs in the one basket with one Real Estate Agent? I don't think so, I certainly would not!   I would have my name registered with every Agent in the area!

Plan Plan Plan

As the old saying goe's in Real Estate there are Three Rules :

'Position, Position, Position'

I have another rule for you when you are selling Real Estate and that is :

'Plan Plan Plan'.

If you do not plan and I must also emphasis control your 'Sale' almost down to the finest degree you may find yourself having a very stressful period of time and stand to be lose a lot of money!

Having stressed the Planning I will list below the steps we carried out in our plan.

Pre Real Estate Interviews

Before you even appoint a Real Estate Agent we have some homework to do.

It may seem obvious but you need to establish the price you want to achieve for your house or property, this is not the same price as you may think it is worth. I believe that many people have an inflated figure of the worth of their house.

It never fails to amaze me how many people trust their Real Estate Agent to set the price of the Home that they are selling.

This to me is a definite NO NO NO... I cannot stress this enough!!! DO NOT tell any of the agents you are interviewing the price that you want for your Home.

The only Real Estate Agent you tell the final price to is the Agent that you select from the list of Agents that you interview!

This now leads me to the important point:

-YOU- not the Real Estate Agent must establish the Price that you want for your Home-

These are my tips on how to establish YOUR price.

  • Leave yourself plenty of time. If you can, never try to sell your home in a rush, try to allow at least two or three months.
  • Study the local market, use the internet, newspapers, agents windows etc and keep a record of the Houses that are being sold and have been sold over the last 6 months or so.
  • Compare the houses on the list above to your Home eg; Size of block and House, Number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garages, living areas etc.
  • You will soon get a feel (take emotion and sentiment out of the calculations) for the figure that your Home is worth.
  • When you have come to the decision of how much you believe your home to be worth and you both agree (I'm assuming here that there is a Mr & Mrs Client) record the figure and put it away with all of your calculations.
  • This figure is to be kept a secret, even from your closest friends and not given to any of the agents that may visit your Home for an Interview.

You have now reached the point of looking for and appointing a Real Estates Agent.

As this is an ongoing (not quite live) process stay tuned for the next installment coming soon to a Hub near you :-)

Update: Next Page: How to draw up the Short List!

For Sale
For Sale

© 2011 Peter


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