Is There Any Value In Going Local?

Often the question in any seller’s mind is whether to use the local agent or to use someone they know and trust and who has the experience but is not local.

There are aguments for and against.

From a personal point of view as a practicing real estate agent with over 25 years experience and over 1000 sales under my belt, I find it doesn’t make much difference if the agent is local or not.

I have sold properties from Yanchep to Mandurah, although I would usually refer the business to a local agent, these days, where the property is more than 30 minutes from our office in Mount Hawthorn.

In cases where the property is more than 30 minutes away it becomes more a question of efficiency and economics rather than local knowledge as this can be picked up very quickly in these days of instant information.

Going for a local agent for its own sake doesn’t necessarily bring with it experience or competancy. If the local agent is only selling one property a month it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, does it?

Also because of the internet, today buyers prefer to deal with the agent who has the listing, all things being equal, as opposed to simply contacting a local agent to view a property just because they happen to be in the area.

As for a local agent having better knowledge of values in a particular area, in this age where information is instantly accessible an agent can, with a bit of on-line research, establish a property’s value even if they are an “out of area” agent. Licensed valuers do it all the time.

So what are the main qualities to look for when choosing an agent, whether they be local or out of your area?

  • Do you like them and can you work with them?
  • Do you trust them?
  • Do they have good communication skills?
  • How long have they been in the business and how many properties do they sell every year?
  • Can they produce testimonials from happy customers?
  • What sort of internet presence do they have? (e.g. website, Facebook etc)
  • Are they in regular contact with their database by way of newsletters, blogs, Facebook?
  • Do they offer an unconditional written guarantee for their services?
  • Are they confident enough in their own marketing skills to pay for the marketing?
  • If you can satisfy yourself on most of these questions, it doesn’t really matter whether the agent is local or not, to a large degree.

    I would be really interested in your thoughts on this. Please feel free to comment here.

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