One of the life’s most stressful events is buying or selling your first home – it’s said to be up there with getting married.
The REIQ offers several tips to first home buyers and sellers that will help you navigate one of life’s trickiest transactions with confidence and with a degree of certainty that you’ll achieve a great outcome, whatever you want that to be.
One of the keys to success is engaging a real estate professional that you can trust to be your guide throughout the process. You need to find that person who you can connect with; that person who is experienced and can help you with the many decisions that you are about to make.
Choosing your agent:
Interview the experts and get their views. Meet with two or three agents and talk to them about what you want to achieve from the transaction. If you’re buying your first home a buyer’s agent is a very good idea and if you’re selling for the first time then speak to a few agents from different offices to get a feel for how they each will approach the sale of your home.
1. What is your area of expertise? Many people don’t realise that real estate agents can engage in a broad range of activities, including selling residential property, auctioneering, commercial property sales, leasing and management, along with business broking. So you need to choose someone whose background is in the area that you’re seeking guidance in.
2. Feedback: You need an agent who has experience in giving feedback and having tough conversations with clients. Sometimes it can be difficult to give honest feedback to vendors who don’t want to hear that the price they want is unrealistic or the renovations are not a good idea. You want an agent who will be honest and up-front with you, so ask them about their style of feedback for vendors and what they do when they have to have the tough conversations.
3. Do you have professional indemnity insurance? This is not a statutory requirement so not all agents will have it, which is a problem if something goes wrong. All REIQ accredited agency members are required to carry a minimum of $1 million in PI insurance. It gives an added peace of mind. After all, you don’t want to be embarking on one of the biggest transactions of your career without a safety net, do you?
4. What is your dispute resolution process? Nobody wants to think that something will go awry in their property transaction but if it does, what options are available to you? If your agent doesn’t have a simple, accessible dispute resolution policy in place how will you know what to do in the event of a dispute?
5. How do you stay up-to-date with legislative changes? Not all agents maintain their professional knowledge and this can be concerning when you consider that property transactions are very heavily regulated by government legislation. You really need to make sure that the agent you choose keeps their knowledge up to date. All REIQ members are required to maintain their continuing professional development as a requirement of their membership and this gives you peace of mind to know that they are up to date.