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Hiring a real estate agent

Making some simple enquiries before you engage a real estate agent to sell your home (or assist you to buy one) will ensure you choose the best agent for the job.

Licence check

Contact the Department of Commerce of Western Australia and check that the agent is licensed. Real estate agents must be licensed by the department.

Do your homework

Obtain several market appraisals and marketing proposals from local real estate agents. Generally agents are happy to provide these reports to prospective customers free of charge. Carefully consider the proposals of each agent.

Want to know how your agent will present your home in the print media and digital marketplace? Interrogate local newspapers and popular websites, such as realestate.com.au and reiwa.com.au, and get a feel for your agent’s skills when it comes to writing copy and crafting an advertisement.

Ask you agent for names of satisfied customers in your area and talk to those customers about their experience.

Negotiating the charges.

Real estate agents charge their clients a fee for their services, traditionally calculated as a percentage of the sale price, hence the term real estate agent’s commission. Typically an agent will add-on marketing expenses to his or her commission. Although it may be traditional, there is no particular reason why the agent’s fee should reflect the value of the transaction. After all, they provide the same or similar service to most sellers.

You have the right to negotiate the real estate agent’s fee.

Consider paying the agent a fee which represents the value of their service, not the value of your property.

Consider proposing a flat (fixed) fee for a sale up to a price that you and the agent agree represents fair market value, and possibly a bonus if the agent achieves a sale at a higher price.

Seek advice

As always, seek advice before you sign a contract to engage a real estate agent if you are unsure.  As your independent lawyers and settlement representatives, contact us to book a consultation to review your draft engagement contract.

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