A real estate agent is paid good commissions for selling a property and for helping a buyer find his / her dream home. So it is natural for clients to have expectations of their real estate agent. The top 3 requirements from any agent are:

  1. Guide the seller to price their property competitively
  2. Assist the seller to prepare their home and market it effectively
  3. Find the best buyer and sell the home in a reasonable time frame

To help achieve these goals, a real estate agent requires the following top 3 skills:

  1. People skills to ensure every person in a sale is positively interacted with
  2. Technical skills to help position a home and market it effectively
  3. Personal competence to follow the process and get the expected results

Property is a people business

The Market Appraisal Meeting

When you are selecting a real estate agent for helping you to sell your property or to buy a property treat it like a job interview by assessing the agent’s attitude and actions right from the moment you call and establish a connection. When you are embarking on a mission to find the right real estate agent for you, it can feel a bit overwhelming since there are so many agents in the market and you have no way of knowing who is the best agent for you.

You can expect a good agent to ask you some qualifying questions on the phone before agreeing to meet with you unless they are already familiar with you and your home.

You should definitely get for some positive and negative feedback from your agent about your home or you might be speaking to the wrong agent. Remember that real estate agents don’t get paid to just list and show your property to buyers. They only get paid when they sell a property. So if you have a spectacular house in a good location, some agents may be desperate for your listing and may try to incentivize you to try and give them the property to sell. Every agent is in competition with other well known agents in the area to get your listing in your local area.

Female Realtor Mumbai

Most importantly you should not sign with the agent who just puts the highest yet unsubstantiated price on your house. Rather you should sign with the agent who tells you and shows you in detail what they will do to sell your home for the best price. It’s a simple logic – if you like a person chances are that others will also like them. A real estate agent needs to be trusted by buyers so that they can get offers for a seller’s property. If you don’t like an agent chances are that buyers will not like them either!

A great agent can influence a buyer to pay more while a poor agent could help your home sell for less

During a call or an interview with a real estate agent you should be sizing up the agents and checking their personal strengths and general attributes. Things to place value upon are their knowledge, the tone of their voice, how they present and conduct themselves, whether they arrive on time, whether they ask questions and listen attentively and whether they are articulate and friendly. You should also be looking at their experience and whether they have a genuine knowledge and understanding of the local real estate market and whether they have sold homes like yours in the past and whether they can identify the positive aspects and benefits of your home and finally whether they will clearly define what they will do for you and how they will meet your needs and wants.

You also should find out whether the agent has some current buyers who they have met recently who may also be suitable buyers for your home. Agents like us at any point of time always have a list of current buyers for all top areas in Mumbai. In the past we have found buyers for properties without even marketing the property online – by simply connecting with our current and past lead database! This proves the strength and power of the real estate agent’s hold over the market. You definitely want to work with such agents if you want to sell your home quickly.

While a database of potential leads and buyer contacts is a great starting point, what is more important is the list of active buyers who are recently active in the market. There is no point in simply having a long list of names because old databases of buyers are of no use in the current market. Professional and highly active real estate agents meet and work with new sets of buyers every week. The very best prices are always achieved by real estate agents who manage sellers expectations and find highly motivated and qualified buyers early in the sales process so as to drive excellent outcomes.

Listing with Realtors India

Should You List with One Agent or Many

Your goal whether you are in the market to sell or buy property should be to choose a single agent to work with. It is wrong to assume that appointing more than one agent will help you get a better deal. If you are dealing with multiple agents, communication can become a big challenge and buyers or sellers will not be sure who to deal with as there are different agents from different companies who would normally be competing with each other and in your case are pretending to be happy working together. The dynamics are all wrong and the buyers and sellers know it. If you are not sure which real estate agent to choose read our earlier article here – Qualities of Great Real Estate Agents. Once you have chosen an agent go with your gut and sign a shorter agreement such as for 3 months or 45 days instead of 6 months. If you are still happy with your agent after 30 days after seeing the quality of buyers the agent has lined up you can extend the agreement. If not you can fire them and hire the other agent.

Just like all other products and service providers test real estate agents before you hire them. Call their mobile number and see how they respond. You will not sell your house if your agent does not respond promptly. Because if they don’t return calls they may miss calls from potential buyers!

Questions to Ask Female Realtors India

What to expect the Agent to Ask you

If you are a seller, a good real estate agent will want to learn more about you, your home and your motivation for selling. They should ask you some of the types of questions listed below to learn how best to help you.

Typical Questions:

  1. Why are you selling this property?
  2. Have you already purchased a new house?
  3. Where do you plan to move?
  4. When do you want to move by?
  5. Have you seen any homes that you like yet?

Questions about your home:

  1. Why did you buy this home? Are there any special qualities that attracted you to this home a or area?
  2. If you weren’t selling this home what improvements would you make? What changes have you made since you brought this place to make this home your own?
  3. What have you enjoyed the most about living in this home?
  4. What is the best feature of this home?
  5. What kind of buyer would be ideal for this home?

Questions about your Motivation

  1. Have you thought about how one can market this home?
  2. What date do you want your home to be sold by?
  3. Have you done a recent valuation of your home?
  4. Have you spoken to any other agents about your home?
  5. Do you know what other similar homes are selling for in this house?
  6. Do you have a price in mind that you want from this house?
  7. If your house doesn’t sell for this figure what then?

Everyone has a story. Since you and your agent have just met, these types of questions allows your agent to understand the history of the house and your background. You should be open and honest to your agent and allow a rapport to develop to see if your agent is a good fit for you.

New agents on the market who have enthusiasm on their side often outperform more experienced real estate agents who have lost their spark.

Female Realtor Handing Home Keys to Buyers

What you Should not Forget to Ask your Agent

You yourself should also be asking your agent some questions.

Questions About the Agent:

  1. Why should I choose you and your agency?
  2. Who will be looking after the sales of my house on a daily basis?
  3. How many properties have you sold in this area?
  4. How many properties are you selling at the moment?
  5. What other similar properties such as mine have you sold in the past?
  6. What will do to sell my property that other agents wont?
  7. What hours do you work? Can I contact you at any time?
  8. What is the knowledge of the area my property is in?
  9. What will you inform a buyer who asks – why is the owner selling?
  10. What will inform a buyer who asks – what is the final amount the owner will take

Swimming with Sharks

Why is it that some homes stay on the market for months or even years while other home sell in a matter of weeks or even days? It’s the listing price. The only thing that stops a home from selling quickly is if the asking price is too high. A good real estate agent will always advice a seller to realistically price a house before it goes on sale so that the asking price represents good value to a potential buyer. The home can then attract offers from genuine buyers and a sale should happen quickly.

So why is it that often homes have a listed price that is too high? There can be only one reason – the owner has unrealistic expectations and the agent has agreed with them. When a property seller chooses to work with an agent who offers the highest and most unrealistic price the seller is buying hope and is often the biggest loser in the transaction. The agent who is hired on false hope now has a liability listing because the property will be listed on the market overpriced and buyers will come and see the property but eventually purchase other properties that offer better value.

Some agents will tell you the truth; some will tell you what you want to hear. What type of agent do you want representing the sale of your home?

Good real estate agents will always take the time to educate property sellers about the importance of right pricing in relation to the property market and how ultimately the market determines value – no matter what the seller or the agent thinks. A good real estate agent on your side will correctly price a home as a value proposition and create a sale in a very short span of time. Property sellers should always remember that property buyers are not dumb and before buying all buyers conduct thorough research and compare your property to comparable homes in the market in order to determine value. By overpricing their house, sellers are helping other homes that are rightly priced look even better in value!

Every home has the most value the first day that it is on the market. The longer the home stays on the market the less value it is perceived to have. The passage of time causes the power to shift from the seller to the buyer!

Young Real Estate Agent India

Unfortunately in the real estate market in Mumbai, some agents to get more listings agree to a seller’s unreasonable price expectations because it doesn’t even matter to the agent if the overpriced property sells or not! This is because some of the agents are highly active on social media and finding a new property to list on their insta feed or Youtube channel makes them feel that they have achieved something! This is especially true if gullible sellers agree to paying the real estate agent cum YouTuber a sum of money for advertising or shooting their home. This ultimately achieves nothing for the seller. The YouTuber who is more interested in likes and subscribers doesn’t care whether the property is sold or not. By featuring a seller’s property the real estate agent cum YouTuber has increased their chances of attracting another seller through the exposure of the video and so on! In any case, every new video published on a Youtube or Instagram feed rather than attracting serious buyers simply sends a message to other property sellers that this agent has a listing and perhaps they are the right agent to sell their own home too!

As a property seller, remember hope is not a strategy! Always choose a real estate agent who demonstrates honesty, experience, competence and ethics. Every property market is full of overpriced homes that do not sell. Do not end up swimming with the sharks!

Real Estate Agent at Gupta & Sen
Chloe is a real estate advisor with Gupta & Sen. With a combined experience of over 15 years in varied industries, she is a vocal and knowledgeable ally for buyers and investors who want to make informed choices when buying a property in India. With superlative communication and marketing skills, Chloe handles our PR, real estate marketing strategy and client management.
Chloe Dodd