Real Estate Agents are among the least trusted of all professions. A 2016 Roy Morgan survey slammed real estate agents, rating them 3rd last in terms of their ethics and honesty. Only car salesmen and the advertising industry ranked lower. With these damning statistics, it’s no wonder that people are constantly looking to change their usual agent or property manager.

Changing agents or property manager might seem daunting, but it’s not as hard as you think. In this post, we’ll talk about some of the things to think about when changing a real estate agent, as well as the importance of using a local agent.

Changing Real Estate Agents

I recently spent 40 minutes on the phone with a commercial property investor who had a horrible experience with their management agent. She spoke of over-charging, unreported property damage, even dishonesty. But still, she stuck with them. So it got me thinking, why are people so reluctant to make the switch?

Myth 1: It’s too much hassle.

Actually, it’s very easy to change agents. Depending on who you move to, it can be a simple as signing a new agency agreement. Your new agent will handle everything else for you. They will contact the old agent to collect any files, speak to the tenants, arrange a property inspection and even redirect your mail.

Myth 2: My current agent holds all the property files.

If you are worried about your current agent objecting to this new arrangement, you needn’t be. Did you know it’s actually illegal for your old agent to be uncooperative? NSW Fair Trading have clear rules that all agents must follow. And in these rules, it says that agents should not only hand off any records but also help in the handover of the agent’s duties.

Myth 3: It’s going to make for an awkward conversation with my agent.

For most people, sitting down across a table to fire their agent sounds about as fun as a short spell of food poisoning. But don’t worry. Your new agent should take care of this for you. In some cases, you’ll be asked to sign a letter addressed to your old agent, but leave that awkward conversation to you new agent.

Affordable Property Management

So you’ve decided to make the switch. One of the most important things you’ll need to look for with your new agent are affordable property management fees. This is your investment, and you don’t want over-the-top property management fees chipping away at your ROI. Always shop around and make sure you get a few quotes.

The Advantages of Having a Local Agent

As well as appropriate fees, being local is a huge benefit. Let’s talk about the advantages of having a local agent.

Local Agents Have Local Market Knowledge

A local agent should live and breathe the local area. On the weekends you’ll find them in a t-shirt and shorts drinking a flat white in the local cafe. With this intimacy comes a knowledge of the local area that will help them deliver maximum value to you as a client.

However, don’t get caught up on the office location. As long as the agency has staff that specialise in your area, that is what we are talking about here.

The value a local agent can provide is most evident when it comes time for market reviews or rental appraisal. To get a true idea of a property’s rental value you need a record of comparable leases in the area. A local agent will have this kind of information.

It’s true that information has never been accessible as it is today. With a few clicks you can get a fairly good estimate of your home’s market value. But for now, no universal database of commercial leases exists. So it’s down the agent to manually source the right information when reviewing a commercial property for lease.

Local Agents Have a Local Network

Local agents will have a network of connections in the area. Tradespeople for quick maintenance jobs, advisors for tricky council applications, even contacts at other agencies for access to lease information that’s not publically available.

Changing agents is not as hard as you might think. Your new agent will handle all the work for you. And when the time comes to make the switch, consider using a local agent for their market knowledge and local network.

Looking for Property Management in Marrickville?

Nutshell has the resources to cover all of South Sydney and the Inner West. One of our specialities is property management in Marrickville. If you’re thinking of moving away from your current agent we’d love to chat. Get in touch with us today.

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