No matter your motivation for selling your home: you want it sold quickly at the best possible price. To do so, you will want to engage the services of a licensed and experienced real estate agent to help you set the right selling price, market the property professionally and successfully negotiate and close the sale.
In today’s volatile market, choosing the right realtor has never been more important. Bankrate.com offers a wealth of helpful hints on choosing a realtor.
Choosing the wrong agent can cost you time and money. An inept agent can delay the sale of your home for months on end. A successful realtor knows the market and knows how to position your property in that market to effect a sale. Selecting a reputable professional realtor can mean the difference between a pleasant, profitable transaction and a financial nightmare.
Select An Agent That Meets Your Needs
The majority of highly successful real estate agents focus their energies on a particular type of property and price range. By doing so, they build up an inventory of properties appropriate to promote to their target market. If you have a prestige property on a suburban golf course, you don’t want a real estate agent that specializes in downtown lofts and condos. Try to limit your choice to an agent with experience selling your type of property. Determine how long a potential agent has been selling real estate and if they work in real estate full-time. If real estate is the agent’s part-time job, you will likely receive part-time service and attention.
Ask questions to verify that your agent is involved in the community, familiar with area demographics, local zoning, schools and property taxes.
Inquire if the agent has any special training or certifications that will help in the marketing of your home. Ask if the agent speaks a foreign language or if his/her office can make arrangements for an interpreter if required to facilitate a sale.
Ask potential agents what makes them better than their competitors. If they can’t sell you on themselves, they may not have the skills required to sell your home.
Interview Several Agents
Look for a real estate agent that is optimistic and engaging. Avoid agents that are loud, pushy and overly eager. You don’t want someone representing your home that comes off as an overly aggressive used car salesman. A successful real estate agent is pleasant mannered, well-groomed, knowledgeable, helpful, prompt and professional. Do not select an agent based on personality alone: prior sales records speak loudly.
Seek an agent that limits themselves to working with a limited number of clients. An agent that is “spread too thin” trying to serve the needs of too many clients cannot give your home the attention it needs and deserves. If you start to work with an agent and you are passed off to an associate, go elsewhere.
Ask potential agents for a list of recent satisfied homeowners who sold their home by listing with the agent. Call a few of the former clients to determine if they were satisfied with the way the sale of their property was handled. If problems arose in the sale of their home, were they resolved to the satisfaction of all parties?
Look for an agent that truly listens and understands your goals, wants and needs. A real estate agent that is a good listener can address any issues that may arise in the selling process before they become a problem.
A reputable realtor is truthful with clients throughout the listing and selling process. They are candid and let you know if your price goals are realistic and obtainable. Reject an agent that seems just to be telling you what you want to hear in order to obtain the listing.
Ask potential agents to explain the terms of the listing contract including starting and expiration dates, commission, and any additional fees or charges. Is the commission negotiable?
Consider A Nationally-Franchised Agency
Select an agent from an established firm that is well respected within your community. Larger real estate offices tend to have more resources for marketing and selling homes and with several agents working out of one office, a greater number of agents will be promoting your property. Consider a nationally franchised agency: they typically have a broader reach and bigger advertising budgets than small, independent offices.
Request A Marketing Plan
An experienced selling agent will be familiar with comparable properties and will know how to price your home correctly to attract buyers. A potential agent should be familiar with your target market and recommend strategies for boosting your home’s curb appeal and offer a plan to market your house using multiple media exposure. Note if your potential Realtor has a specific suggestion about your home, not just generalized advice that would apply to any property.
When selecting a Realtor to sell your home, search for an agent with extensive experience in the industry as well as selling homes in your price range. Remember to always check references. The most important factor is not how many properties the agent may have sold, but how many were sold with the fewest hassles and headaches between the seller and buyer. Check with your State Board of Realtors to determine that the agent is good standing, fully licensed and not involved in litigation or unresolved client complaints.
While all licensed real estate agents have all the same tools at their disposal to sell your property, their ability to use them makes all the difference. Make sure your realtor is technical savvy and is trained to use the Internet and social media to help market your property.
Successful agents follow up every prospect that shows interest in purchasing your home. They exhibit a “never quit” attitude. If the agent you are considering is not prompt about returning your calls and e-mails, they are likely to be as negligent in pursuing potential buyers. Look for an agent with tenacity and determination that will aggressively advertise your home and schedule open house dates to expose the property.