What to Look For in a Real Estate Sales Person

Rachel asks: I’ve decided to sell my Hamilton home to move to Auckland. Unfortunately I don’t know a thing about choosing real estate sales people! What do you think I should look for?  Also are there any warning signs that I should avoid at all costs? 

Selling your house is a big decision. Deciding who will sell your house is almost as important. If you leave choosing a real estate sales person to the last minute, you may find your house in incompetent hands.  A poor salesperson will cost you time and money – and it sounds like you want to get out of your home as soon as possible.

The Internet is full of real estate salespeople horror stories. In fact, a guy has published a book full of terrible property photos! If you want a snippet, here are some of the photos. You may find a photo of your home included on the list if a poor sales person gets their mitts on your home.

On the other side of the coin, a good salesperson will flatter your home and show all its best angles. They will offer your home as a delicious appetiser with only the best sensations on display. A log cabin in need of a touchup becomes ‘A handyman’s dream’ and a small, unwanted home becomes ‘Hamilton’s best kept secret.’ No matter the condition of your home, a good real estate sales person will find gold in it.

The one rule you should abide by is always work with the top agents. They’re at the top for a reason.  They get the job done and their clients keep coming back to them because of it.  In the Waikato, Shaun Cosgrave is the star performer with a wealth of awards including being named the region’s top sales consultant.

A top agent is also seen as a reputable seller. Because of this, a seller such as Cosgrave may have many networks who contact him about what is on the market. He may have a seller ready to buy your house before you even approach him.

There are a few warning signs you need to look out for. If a real estate sales person ticks these points, it may be time to find a more reputable seller:

  • Lack of communication: If your real estate salesperson hasn’t touched base in weeks, then they aren’t worth your time or money. A seller should be keeping you up to date about the work they’re doing for you and give progress reports
  • Lack of leadership: Salespeople shouldn’t be yesmen. If they are so eager to agree with all your ideas, they may not be capable of negotiating prices with potential buyers. If he or she says yes all the time, it is up to you to say no.
  • Unused resources: Real estate agents have a whole toolbox of tools to market your home. A great salesperson knows which ones to use and when. A poor one will use few and seem uninterested.
  • Too much pressure: While you should get the impression that your salesperson is knowledgeable when sharing opinions, you should not feel pigeonholed into decisions that you would otherwise disagree with entirely.
  • Lack of esteem: There are times and places when you should root for the underdog. Selling your home is not one of them. If your salesperson is completely unknown or has a suspiciously small amount of information about past sales, tip your hat and bid them good-day.

In short: Look for reputation and avoid salespeople who cannot sell themselves.