How to Choose your Real Estate Agent

Choosing a real estate agent to sell your property can be quite a daunting task.

According to, in the Redlands City Region over the last 12 months, 516 real estate agents sold properties.

How do you select who is the right agent for you with such a huge range of agents to choose from?

How do you know who will get you the best contract conditions to suit your needs?

You could rely on word of mouth however, not everyone will have the same experience as their friends or family had with their agent of choice. Personality clashes, different opinions on marketing strategies, or maybe a lack of knowledge of your specific area could hinder your final sales result.

Searching on any websites which ranks agents can be quite confusing.

Some of these sites require agents to pay before they are included in the results/rankings so be very careful when relying on these websites alone.

For example, Open Agent states “*Some agents may not be considered in the results due to commercial arrangements, area or availability.” “When a property is sold, the successful real estate agent pays OpenAgent a referral fee, which is at a standard industry rate of 20% of the total commission of the sold property.” “Some agents pay us on ongoing retainer for the services we provide.” “The only way we can bring you all our research and technology for free is if we can be paid by the real estate agents who benefit from our services.”

Basically, this means if you don’t pay them, you won’t make their shortlist….and we never pay for ratings!

Despite the fact we have the highest number of properties sold in Alexandra Hills over the last 12 months ie 27 properties so far (see REA results below), we will not show in the Open Agent results for Alexandra Hills because we don’t pay for ratings. You could get agents who have sold only 1 or 2 properties in your results.

This can also be true with LocalAgentFinder, RateMyAgent, etc. is great for creating a shortlist of agents because it has filters for various parameters including type of property, sales timeframes, and you can sort by specific results within a suburb or area.

As stated before, the Simon Salm Team has sold the most properties in Alexandra Hills over the last 12 months. We are the area specialists and top sales agents based on Suburb Sales and Performance.

So, you have created a shortlist of agents, what now?

We strongly recommend you interview the agents. We will cover the questions you should ask your potential real estate agent in next week’s blog.

Yes, a real estate agent’s job is to sell your house however, not all real estate agents will put in 100% of their effort to do so.

Just like any field or career niche, there are good agents and bad agents…and you certainly don’t want to get stuck with a bad agent!

It is the individual real estate agent, their competency, motivation, skills, experience and support personnel that makes all the difference as to whether you achieve a strong result.


Any agent that tries to take another agent’s listing or “sign jump” as we call it, is lazy and unethical. It’s very different if you decide your agent is not performing as expect and, therefore, seek to move agents. This can happen for various reasons and is sometimes necessary to get the result you need.

These “sign jumping” agents use various tactic to try to convince a seller that their current agent is not doing their job. They usually start their pitch by saying the property should have sold by now and, because the current agent is doing such a bad job, they can definitely sell the property for you.

They have no understanding of your needs and wants, nor the position you are in. They have no idea of the offers that your current agent has presented to you nor the buyers they are currently negotiating with.

We’ve heard it so many times. They have a standard spiel…”I have a buyer ready to purchase your home now but you need to sign up with me before I am able to introduce these buyers to your property”. If this is the case, call their bluff. Ask them to contact your current agent to arrange a time to get their buyer through the property. Most agents are happy to “conjunct” on a sale with another agent as this works in their seller’s best interests.

These sign-jumping agents will bully, harass, lie, put down your current agent, and some have even refused to leave a property until they get the seller to switch agents. These agents should be avoided at all costs! If they are using these tactics to get your listing, you can only imagine what they would be telling potential buyers.

One thing you NEVER do is choose an agent based solely on the highest sales price estimate. We call this “buying your listing” and it’s another tactic used by bad agents. Over-pricing your home will mean that it will be on the market for a long time.

We also DON’T recommend choosing an agent who will promise the lowest commission. Top agents may charge a bit more but, by saving a small amount of commission it could costs you tens of thousands of dollars on the final sales result. The agent’s reputation in the industry and their track record will give you a clear indication as to whether or not they are worth the commission they are asking.

In summary, there are quite a number of factors to consider when choosing your agent including:

  • Area knowledge
  • Sales experience / years in the industry – remember, experience counts!
  • Sale price estimate
  • Commission
  • Marketing cost & strategies – do they have a full-time marketing co-ordinator?
  • Staging – do they have a full-time stylist on hand?
  • Quality of photography – do they just use their phone to take picture or engage a professional?
  • Availability – we don’t work from 9-5, we work from start to finish!
  • Support staff – do they have a team of professionals who specialise in their field?

Remember, if you are thinking of selling or need any help or advice, I am just a phone call away.

All the best, Simon Salm

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