NZ Real Estate Agents
There are many real estate agents throughout New Zealand with varying levels of experience, and realtor companies vary in size, from small independent outfits to larger businesses covering a whole region or with branches nationwide. Even if you live in a small town or rural area, you may have more than one choice of agents, and knowing which real estate agent to choose when selling your property can be difficult, especially if you are a first time seller.
Don't just pick the agent with the lowest fees or the highest valuation on your property – there is more to choosing a real estate agent than money. Here’s our checklist of things to do when looking for the best NZ real estate agent.
Firstly, ask any neighbours, friends, family or colleagues if they have a real estate agent they can recommend in your area. Many realtors rely on referrals and repeat businesses so tapping into this network is a great start and can be a great way to get non-biased insight into prospective agents.
If you come up empty-handed, try attending a few open homes in your area to meet the real estate agents marketing them. You’ll also be able to gain an understanding of how they operate.
Alternatively, go back to basics and use the Internet, phonebook or local papers to find a shortlist of realtors in your area.
Do your research
Once you have several estate agencies on your list, do some research to discover whether they will be the right agent for you. Have a look at their website and property listings to see roughly how many homes they have on their books at one time, how quickly on average their properties are sold, and whether they successfully sell properties of a similar type, size or value to yours. This will help you decide how much competition you will face from similar properties and how motivated the agent will be to sell your property.
Review your shortlist
Contact each of your short listed realtor agencies and ask the questions above to find out how experienced they are and how motivated they will be to sell your property. Don't be shy about asking hard and direct questions. It's better to ask these sorts of questions at an early stage rather than find yourself with problems further down the line.
It's also a good idea to ask about the specifics of how the relationship would work e.g.
- How often you will meet to discuss progress
- When they will inform you of any interest
- Whether they will hold open days and/or individual viewings
- What marketing they will undertake and where
The more understanding you have prior to committing to a real estate agent the better decision you can make.
Before you make the final decision, try to meet face-to-face (preferably the agent who will be responsible for selling your property) to ensure you have good rapport. This will be one of the most important relationships you will ever have, so you need to make sure you will get on and will both be working toward the same goal.
Negotiate the terms
Ensure your home will be targeted to the right type of buyer. If your real estate agent doesn’t market your property to the right target audience you could waste time showing your property to viewers who have no intention of buying or who are the wrong fit. Showing a small home to a family or vice-versa, or an inner city apartment to a mature couple is unlikely to result in a sale.
Make sure your real estate agent markets your property in a range of different mediums for maximum exposure. Your property should be listed in local and national newspapers and magazines, property listing rags, in the agency’s window and on their website as well as in at least one New Zealand online property search site. You could also check to see if the agent uses posters/flyers, mobile phone alerts, email marketing/newsletters etc. The more prospective buyers that see your property the more likely you will get a sale, so make full use of all the resources the real estate agent has available.
You may also want to negotiate a time limit to ensure your estate agent stays motivated. If they only have twelve weeks to find you a buyer they'll have to work extra hard to ensure they earn your commission. This also gives you the option of moving to a different real estate agent if they haven’t delivered enough viewings or marketed your property satisfactorily. Make sure you give a reasonable deadline and have realistic expectations though.
Finally, ask to see your property details so you can check the quality of the photographs and ensure your property details are correct. If you are unhappy with anything ask them to change it.
Ideal real estate agents
In summary you will probably want to consider an NZ real estate agent who:
- Will listen to you and understand your needs
- Will be honest with feedback and won’t make false promises
- Gives you a realistic valuation on your property
- Knows the area well and understands the local marketplace
- Has experience selling similar types/size of property
- Uses several different marketing resources
- Has contacts outside the local area if you want to attract commuters
- Shows real motivation to sell your property
If you're looking for a new home, the NZ Realtors Network has extensive listings of residential properties for sale throughout New Zealand.