Comment: How do you choose an agent?

Deciding which agent is right for you is a personal matter

Deciding which agent is right for you is a personal matter - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

So you’ve decided to sell - now what? Choosing an agent is the logical first step for most of us, but with so many to choose from the options can seem overwhelming.

A friend who’s recently put her house on the market chose her agent because they were already marketing a property she was interested in buying, and this seemed the best way of achieving a seamless sale. Another friend picked the company that had impressed her when they marketed the home she went on to buy years earlier.

I can relate to that: When we were last looking to sell, our two most obvious estate agent candidates were also those that had impressed us when we had last been looking to buy.

For example, the woman whose dazzling sales skills had almost convinced us to buy a property that was wrong in so many ways - who wouldn’t want someone with those sorts of skills marketing their home? Then there was the likeable agent who stood out from the crowd for being personable and generally a pleasure to deal with throughout our house hunt. We didn’t buy from him in the end, but we knew we’d like to deal with him again in the future. The third option was the local firm that had successfully sold several very similar properties on our road in the previous year, and seemed a safe bet for a speedy sale.

Reputation matters when deciding who to go for, and sellers are only too happy to share their good - and bad - experiences. Local Facebook groups regularly bubble over with such discussions, and for someone looking at putting their home on the market, a bad review can easily influence their next move.

As with anything, selling is a personal affair, and an agent that comes highly recommended by one person can be at the top of another’s avoid list. Even the very best of agents can only do so much, and luck can also play a part in a successful sale.

All we can do is try and shift the odds in our favour by making the most informed choice possible for our own situation. Happy selling!