These days we tend to take for granted how easy it is to find answers to every imaginable question within seconds – all via the internet. We base our decision on where to eat or where to holiday from the reviews we read from other consumers. So it makes sense that when it comes time to sell your home and you’re shopping around for a real estate agent, you would turn to google or agent review websites for answers.
However, I think we all know that not everything we read online can be relied upon as accurate. It is up to ourselves to make an educated assessment based on the information obtained from various sources.
There are around 6 or 7 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 prompted 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 divulge this information, it gets sent out to a multitude of local agents in the hope one of them becomes your selling agent.
These review sites have an Agreement with agents who create a profile on them to pay either a one off referral fee or a percentage of the sales commission. This ranges anywhere from $200 per referral, to 20%+ of the selling commission upon success of the sale. This is a big chunk of the agent’s commission just for sending them your name and number!
However, some review sites are more forthcoming with information 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 these platforms. 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 main objective is to have you sign up with any one of the agents they put forward – no matter how suited they may or may not actually be . 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.
If you’re in the planning stages of selling 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 our Vendor Advocacy service is the perfect solution for you. 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