How can you tell the difference between a good and bad estate agent?

Estate agent shaking hands with a house buyer

When it comes to selling a home, the trusty estate agent plays a pivotal role. In fact, the role of an estate agent is not too dissimilar from that of a midfielder in a football game. They facilitate the transfer of the ball from the defenders (seller) to the strikers (buyer), ensuring that none of the other players need to cover the whole field. It is therefore important that one chooses the right person for this vital role.

But how can one tell the difference between a good and a bad estate agent? Below are some qualities that will set them apart.

Qualities of a good real estate agent

Communication skills

Communication (or lack thereof) can be the difference between a very frustrated and very satisfied client. Owing to the time-sensitive nature of the housing market, the agent should have an efficient way of quickly relaying information to their clients to keep them in the loop about their selling or buying situation. An agent who communicates efficiently keeps their customer informed and prepared, preventing last-minute frustrations that could cause promising transactions to fall through.

Understanding the needs of the client

Knowing the needs of the client ensures the agent aims not just at closing a deal but closing it in a way that is satisfactory to the buyer or seller. For example, a person who is looking to sell their family home will almost certainly have different priorities from someone who is looking to sell the home of a deceased relative.

Enthusiasm

It is always a joy being served by someone who is passionate about what they are doing. A passionate estate agent will be more willing to put in long hours to ensure their client’s gets sold. They will also be pro-active, constantly chasing new leads on behalf of their customers and keeping them well-informed. Such an agent will not only close deals but will also do so with the least hustle on the customer’s side.

Reviews

Despite what an estate agent might say about themselves, reliable feedback can only be obtained from references. Ask your agent for their last ten customers and see what they have to say about him/her. A good agent will have nothing to fear and will easily provide you with previous customers to vouch for them. On the other hand, if an agent is reluctant to let you hear from any of their previous clients, you could be dealing with a poorer quality agent who has earned only bad reviews from previous experiences. If any of your friends or family have recently sold or purchased a home nearby, be sure to ask them for their recommendations too.

You could also check what other customers have to say about an agent through online reviews. Trustpilot, The Agent Guide and AllAgents are examples of sites where clients post reviews about their agents. If one is poorly reviewed by several clients, it would be safe to run for the hills to avoid a catastrophic deal.

The above qualities will help you get a good agent who will ensure that the purchase or sale of your property is a smooth process. While it is not possible to gauge the presence or absence of these qualities at face value, interacting with your agent and asking them questions beforehand will reduce the risk of ending up with a bad egg.

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