Tips for working with real estate agents

Posted by RachelledeBretagne on October 10th, 2010

What you get out of your real estate agent depends upon what you put into negotiations with them. The thing is that an estate agent is there to make money, and their own interests may conflict with yours if you don't approach things in the right way. There are several different things which need to be done to get the most from a real estate agent. Making sure that these steps are taken will ensure the best sale possible, and get the estate agent working for you, as well as for themselves.


When choosing a real estate agent, look around. Different deals are available with different real estate agents, but beware. Just because one is cheaper than another doesn't automatically mean you will get the best deal. Real estate agents should be active ones, and have a huge database of clients looking for the type of home you have to sell. The way to check this is to look how active they are and how many sold signs you see from their company. Pass by their offices as a potential buyer and look to see how busy they are. Is the phone ringing on a regular basis. Are the estate agents who work for them greeting the clientele in the way that encourages them?

Reputation matters more than you may think, and you can also check their listings, and see if the manner in which they display houses is advantageous. Are the photos of the houses and write-ups professional in presentation? Do they have a showing of houses for sale in the window of their offices? If so, how much room is there to place yours? Those with small display areas may struggle to show one property, and regular turnover would be needed if your property is going to get maximum exposure to advertising.

Getting the home ready.

Before the final decision is made to take on an estate agent, have your house ready. Present it to the estate agency in a ready-to-sell state. Finish off those repairs. Clean the home thoroughly and stage it for selling. If this means packing up some of your possessions to make the home look bigger, and decorating in a more neutral way, it's worth it. Remember that the estate agent will see the home as a potential investment and if they don't like it on first approach, they may actually not try too hard to sell it. Gaining their approval is every bit as important as gaining the approval of purchasers.

Be welcoming and friendly.

Listen to what the estate agent says. There may be different price structures for the sale based on them having the sole agency for selling your home, rather than the home being placed with as many real estate agents as possible. One great estate agency who are on your side is better than half a dozen apathetic ones. Ask their advice about presentation. Make them work for their money, but get them on your side, as your future may depend upon them coming up with the goods.


The agent who gives you the highest valuation for your home may just be touting for business. Look at all valuations and don't use this as the criteria for choosing your agent. If you do, your property may have been overpriced, and they may ask you to lower the price earlier than you think. Instead, go for the most realistic approach, and choose the agent based on an average price which compares well with other local property. They will have expertise in what equivalent houses sold for within your area, though it's worthwhile checking the market yourself before accepting their valuation. Work with the agency to help them to see the strong points which may add to the appeal of your home against others on the market.

Photographs and write ups.

Look at current write ups and photographs on houses already for sale with a potential real estate agent. This is part of the service they provide, and is important. A bad photograph could lose you a sale. If the photographs and write up are not up to scratch, offer them the opportunity to visit again, or produce better photographs which you feel better represent the property being sold.

When can visits be arranged?

You have to decide whether to give them your keys. Remember that visits should be arranged quickly. Often a potential buyer will be put off by having to wait. If you can find an agent who is trustworthy, it's worth working with them to provide keys and to state the times which are inconvenient to you. It's also worthwhile getting them to ring you in advance if an unexpected visit is likely, so you can ready the home.

Make sure that an arrangement exists where your key is never given to clients to visit the home alone. You are paying for a real estate agent to accompany visitors to the house, and this should be an understanding between you and the agent. If the house is unoccupied and empty, then perhaps a little more flexibility can be agreed, though it's important this is ironed out before misunderstandings occur.

Regularity of advertising.

Find out how often the estate agent will advertise your property and ask for copies of the advertisements so that you can keep a record and see if there is anything which needs changing on the adverts the next time around. How often the property is advertised is important. Do they have website coverage? Do they advertise in the local press? If so, which newspapers? This matters because the more people see the home, the more likely it is that marketing it will be successful.

Look at their website, as this gives you a clue as to how together they are with adverts. Often estate agents with websites have awkward layouts and are not user friendly.

Provide them with relevant information to help them to sell the home.

Many homes have advantages and disadvantages, but making them aware of the advantages is a good idea. They will have an idea about the neighborhood, but what do they know about how economical the house is to run? If there are special benefits to the property, let them know, and if you want to share bills to prove your point, these may be useful selling tools for the agent.

Giving them all relevant information.

To avoid any delay, make sure that they have all details necessary to help the sale go through smoothly. They will need your lawyer's details, and will also need phone numbers where you can be reached at any time. That one missed phone call could be the offer you have been waiting for. Inform your lawyer in advance so they are also ready to act when the estate agent gets in touch with them.

By working with your estate agency, you can successfully sell your home, though it does take work from both them and you, getting together for the benefit of the sale to organize visits, advertising and all the necessary paperwork to make that sale happen. Your agent, once on your side, will do the best they can to market the property, and in a market which is stagnant, it really is important that you work with them to get that house sold. By making yourself available at all times by telephone, you give them the opportunity to put forward ideas and suggestions, and also to get in touch when that final offer arrives. Their fee will be worthwhile in the end, if you can find a way of working with them to produce fast results.

Like it? Share it!


About the Author

Joined: September 18th, 2010
Articles Posted: 4

More by this author