Where would we be without the internet?! Gone are the days when as kids we would struggle through volumes of Encyclopaedias to find answers to our homework questions. Or searching through the newspaper classifieds to find service providers in our local area. And then there was the good ole White & Yellow Pages that were delivered to our door each year. Inside these massive directories were listed contact details of every business and individual in alphabetical order. It definitely took much longer to find what you were looking for back then!
These days you can find an answer to just about anything within seconds via the internet. However, I think we all know that not everything you read or hear can be relied upon as accurate. It is up to ourselves to make an assessment based on the information we find across various websites. For example if you want to try a new restaurant you can read reviews and see photos actual diners have taken themselves to get a really good idea of whether to book a table or not. And similarly when you’re selling your home and wondering which agents to interview, there are plenty of agent review websites to help you. So it seems like it should be pretty easy to sort out the good from the bad – or is it??
There are around 4 or 5 major agent review sites currently available to help with your search. They can provide some very useful information but there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- If you are required to enter your personal information to receive a property report, or the names of the top agents in your area, be prepared for a barrage of phone calls from real estate agents. Once you enter this information, you can pretty much guarantee it will be sent to a multitude of local agents in the hope that one of them becomes your selling agent.
- These review sites have an Agreement with agents listed on them to pay either a one off referral fee or a percentage of their commission upon success of the sale. This could range anywhere from $200 per referral up to 20% of the selling commission upon success. This is a big chunk of the agent’s commission just for sending them a name and number!
- Even if you’ve already been speaking to an agent and then one of these sites sends you the same agent’s details as being a top agent in your area, they will still try to charge the agent a fee if you sell with them.
- However, some review sites are more forthcoming with information than others and don’t require you to share your personal details to access information. You can freely browse reviews and ratings for each agent in your area. But bear in mind you will rarely find a negative review on this platform. Clients are invited by the selling agent to leave a review using a specific link and you can also leave a review via their profile page. Reviews are submitted to the agent to review prior to posting and the website reserves the right to withhold any reviews that don’t pass their ‘criteria’. So it may be considered a little biased toward the agent. After all, the agent does pay a fee to have their full profile listed on the site.
- It’s up to the agent to chase the Review from their clients – the more reviews the better the agent looks. However some agents might not chase up their reviews but are still top performing agents. Keeping your reviews up to date across the various platforms can be very time consuming and not all agents choose to participate.
- If you read their fine print, the review sites take no responsibility for the suitability of whichever agent you choose to sell your home. They are simply a conduit providing information that is predominantly supplied to them by the real estate agent. There is little care or advice provided and their sole mission is to have you sign up with one of the agents they put forward. As mentioned earlier, not every agent chooses to use these platforms. In fact majority of the top performing agents who work exclusively from repeat referrals may not appear to perform as well as others due to their review numbers being lower. So, if you rely solely on this information you may be missing out on the opportunity to work with some of the best agents.
So next time you’re planning to sell your home or investment property, it’s worth doing some offline research as well as online. Attending open homes and seeing how each agent greets you, treats you and who follows you up and how often, is an excellent way to find out who is best suited to the task of representing your home. But if you are dreading the thought of spending all this time researching and interviewing agents, then Sellers Advocacy is the perfect solution. Imagine having a highly skilled industry professional by your side to guide you through the entire process of selling your home from start to finish. And it doesn’t cost you a cent!
Click here to find out more…. or contact us on 0411 522233