With all the costs associated with selling your home, it can be tempting to choose the agent with the lowest rates. These agents try to justify cheap marketing campaigns by telling you that the savings will leave you with more profit at the end of the day.
Cheaper rates and free marketing appear attractive on the surface – but is there a catch? Will a cut-price agent be willing to go the extra mile in representing your most valuable asset?

Every property owner deserves a fair chance in the market. Will a low-rate agent take the time to make sure your property stands out from the crowd? You need an agent who knows their craft, who gives you individualised attention, and who stands strong on your behalf in dealings with potential buyers.

Frequently at open homes you’ll hear buyers ask, ’what can I get it for?’. When this question is posed you want to be confident that your agent will operate on your directives and respond with the listed price. You don’t want an agent who immediately shares your willingness to negotiate; all so they can make a quick, convenient sale. Will their willingness to work for lower rates be paired with a willingness to sell at a lower price?
Let’s say your property is priced at $499,000 but the agent knows that you might take $480,000. If your agent states right from the outset, ‘oh look, I reckon they’ll take $480,000’ then this agent has lowered the listing price before offers even start coming in, leading the buyer to think, ‘well, if they’ll take $480,000, I might just offer $470,000.’ What you saved on agent rates you’ve just lost because of an agent who has not stood their ground on the value you have set.

A quality agent, when faced with the same query, will respond with: ‘I understand why you’re asking that but we believe the list price is fair. However, if you’re willing to make an offer, I’m happy to present it.’ Your agent should be your advocate; their everyday practice should include attempts to extract at least one or two increases from the buyer prior to taking offers to the seller.
A good way to assess a potential agent – cut price or otherwise – is to attend one of their current open homes. Be the one to pose the question, ‘what can I get this for?’ and observe their response. If they immediately advise you of a figure that is below the list price, then you can only assume that this is what they will do when it comes to selling your property.

Another way to assess a potential agent is to look at their recovery rate. Recovery rates are used by agents to measure the increase in profit from the first offer to the eventual sale price. So if you have a property that was listed at $499,000 and the first offer came in at $470,000, a good agent will try and defend the seller’s list price and get an increase on the offer. If the agent then gets the offer up to $485,000 as the first increase, and then has the seller agree to a countersign at $495,000; ending with the buyer at $490,000 – the recovery rate would be $20,000. Look for an agent with a consistently good recovery rate.

In certain industries, you get what you pay for. When it comes to selling your property don’t just go for the cheapest rates. Be willing to invest a bit more to ensure that your property and your final sale price is in the hands of someone who will fight for you.

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