6 tips for choosing a real estate agent

real estate agent with family showing house

RACV Staff

Posted June 21, 2023

Selling your home can be a big financial commitment, so you want to ensure you have the right person for the job.

Selling a home can be a big undertaking – and a sizeable financial commitment. Choosing a highly skilled and trustworthy real-estate agent to guide you through the process, and hopefully secure the highest sale price, is essential.

So how do you find an agent you can trust, relate to, and can help to get you the best price for your property? 


real estate agent and two people at a home open

Big decisions require big plans, so finding the right real estate agent is crucial.

What to look for in a real estate agent

Check their credentials

All real-estate agents must be licensed to sell property in Australia, and you should ask to see those credentials to avoid signing the wrong agent.

In Victoria, an agent must have a minimum 12 months’ experience in a licensed agency (under the supervision of a licensed agent) and must have completed an accredited course.

Once you’ve verified that the agent is licensed, check that they’re a member of the relevant industry body – in Victoria, this is the REIV. Members of this body receive up-to-date information about any new property-related legislation, and anything specific to their area of expertise.

Compare their track record

Personal recommendations are great, but it’s best to make your search a little more specific.  

A free, independent service like Agent Select has a national database of over 40,000 licensed real estate agents. You can filter to identify the top-performing agents in your area for your style of property for free and invites them to pitch for your listing.  

Once the homeowner receives the details of the highest-ranking agents, they can either contact them directly to come to inspect and appraise their property, or Agent Select can make the appointment on their behalf.

The agents will then upload their appraisal to the Agent Select website, detailing commission, suggested selling price, marketing costs, renovation recommendations and comparable sales in the area, and a report is generated for the vendor to help them make an informed decision on the best real estate agent for their property.

Good communication skills

Finding the agent with the world’s greatest sales record is one thing, but developing a good relationship based on trust is key. They will be your point of call throughout the process, so it is important to find an agent that you have a good rapport with, and who holds timely, professional, and solid communication skills.

A free service like Agent Select also looks to find you an agent you feel comfortable with, by providing a range of services including expert support and a free property appraisal including an instant estimate of your property, sales data in your suburb, recent sales history, and local growth trends and rental data. 


hands on keyboard

Find the right real estate agent from the tip of your fingers. 

Look past commissions

Agents’ commissions are usually between one and five per cent in Victoria, which can vary depending on the property, location, and if it is being sold on or off market. That said, keep in mind that the lowest commission won’t always be the best option. An agent who offers a bargain-basement commission could potentially have other clients paying a higher fee, which may command more of their time and attention.

Similarly, you don’t always need to go with the agent who puts the highest value on your property - inflated prices should raise a red flag. 

It’s important to do your own research on comparable sales through property sales websites, and question if an agent is estimating a range wider than $50,000 to $100,000 clear of their rivals.

Compare marketing costs and inclusions

Marketing budgets could be a way for agents with a low commission to get back some earnings. You need an agent who will think carefully about your property and understands the best way to reach your property’s target sale audience without overspending. 

This may include popular online real estate websites, a billboard, and a listing on their own website, but also local papers, flyer drop offs or other print or digital listings relevant to your property and area.

You can quickly calculate the estimated costs for your real estate agent fees and commissions with Agent Select here.

Remember that the total cost of selling your home will include your real estate agent fees, marketing, conveyancing, and other associated costs such as improvements to the property when budgeting for this portion of your sale.

Broaden your search

There are many benefits to selecting an agent based in your local area. They will likely have a better sense of the market, the shifts in demographics, and have developed relationships with potential buyers who have been on the hunt.

That said, advent of online auctions, virtual tours and digital marketing means you shouldn’t rule out those who live out of the area. 


Selling your home? RACV can help you navigate the journey. 
Discover more  →