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Why local legs are best

There’s no denying the internet is a powerful tool when harnessed correctly.

However it can be full of inaccurate information which can be potentially misleading.

It’s a great place to start when it comes to searching for the next home of your dreams, however there’s no replacement for a local agent with years of accumulated local know-how.

Abel Property Director, Claude Iaconi, says it’s important to choose an agent who is experienced in the area you’re selling in.

“An agent who works in the area will know the other properties competing in the market or that have recently sold,” he says.

“A local agent who knows the local scene can also accurately assess where your home sits in the market relative to the competition and let you know what you’re up against in terms of securing a sale.”

Recent statistics tell us that more than 90 per cent of buyers use the Internet to search for their next home.

Many just use it as a research tool before hitting the road and poking their noses in, however an increasing number of buyers – whether they be located off shore or interstate or in remote areas, or are just simply too time poor – are using the internet as their sole method of purchase and contact when buying property.

It may seem like an easy way to cut out the middle man, however as many of us will attest, what you see online doesn’t always match what it looks like in the cold light of day.

Mr Iaconi says a local agent will know the history and nuances of a particular suburb or locality and it will give a potential seller (or buyer) comfort that they are dealing with someone who is providing them with accurate, relevant, up-to-date information to make the selling/buying decision easier.

“An out of area agent simply can’t speak to sellers and buyers with the same authority.”

“Merely relying on sales figures off the Internet is fraught with disaster because there are no tangible indications of each property that will show you how each sales compares to the other,” he says.

“I see time and time again investors place the sale of their rental property with a non-local agency and agent who haven’t got a clue about the area (or complex), local sales, buyer demographics and local market trends. Especially in a challenging market, this is where an experience and successful agent is the difference between a good sale and an exceptional sale. If you’re an investor, always call in a local agent for advice.”

Mr Iaconi says there are go-to sites that are more reliable and accurate than others when doing your initial research.

“Generally, in terms of accuracy and reliability, the best sites to go to to do your research are REIWA.com.au or Landgate.

“However this will only give you raw data, while an agent is best placed to explain the different sales and put them into a local and historical context,” he says.

Mr Iaconi says the best method of selecting a good local agent is to look and see who is selling the most properties in your area.

“This is a simple case of looking up your particular suburb on REIWA.com.au and seeing who is the most active in terms of sales volumes.”

“I recommend speaking to three active and experienced agents and asking them how long they’ve been in the industry, how many and which properties they have personally sold during the last three months and asking them about the last three sales in the area and the prices they achieved,” he says. “If an agent says they have to research that information, they’re not educated with local market activity, so beware!”

Mr Iaconi says it’s also a good idea to ask for referees or client testimonials and to ask them what selling price they think they can achieve for your property.

“Ensure the agent is licensed, is experienced, is working for a reputable and local agency and has a strong personal track record of local success. Pick the wrong agent and it could cost you…”

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