During your lifetime, you buy and sell a lot of things. However, there are only a few things you buy and sell that are worth more than a house. For this reason, finding and working with the perfect real estate agent is crucial to selling your home successfully.
The right real estate agent can make a difference by adding tens or thousands of dollars to your selling price, selling your home quickly without it sitting on the market for too long, and making your selling experience an easy one.
A lot of home sellers choose a real estate agent whose personality aligns with theirs and whose working style is warm and friendly. However, the problem is that experience and likeability don’t always translate to a real estate agent who has your best interests in mind.
Every home-selling experience is unique. The needs and budget keep changing, and so does the market. So, when choosing a real estate agent, you should make sure they have experience with sellers in situations similar to yours. If you are confused about how to proceed with finding a real estate agent, here are a few tips to make your job easy.
Go Local – Find An Expert In Your Area
The real estate agent you choose will represent your house in the market. Hence, you must choose someone who knows the area you are selling (preferably someone who lives relatively close), the other properties for sale there, and the ones that have been sold recently.
Any other properties on the market for sale can be potential competition to your sale. So, it is good to begin with, an idea about what you are against. A real estate agent who understands the local market and is experienced in selling types of properties like yours can help you achieve this through proper market research and a customized strategy.
Interview Qualified Agents – Ask The Right Questions
Choosing a real estate agent is much like hiring an employee. So, much like you would interview potential candidates for a job, you must gather critical information about the potential real estate agents you would like to work with. Unfortunately, a lot of home sellers skip this step because they are unaware of the right questions to ask.
But make sure you don’t make this mistake. Here are a bunch of questions to ask the real estate agent before hiring them.
- What is your suggested listing price?
When you meet with a real estate agent, ask them what price your house should be listed. However, you are not looking for a number here. Instead, you are trying to understand how they reached that number. If the real estate agent fails to explain how they decided on a specific listing price, chances are they won’t be able to defend that price in front of the buyer and their agent.
- Have you ever represented the seller and buyer in the same transaction?
Sometimes, a real estate agent represents both the seller and the buyer in a transaction. This is done so the agent can earn two commissions instead of one. However, this results in a lower sale price for the seller. So, it is ideal to stay away from an agent who prioritizes their commission over their clients’ best interests.
- How many homes have you sold like mine in the same neighborhood?
The real estate agent should be able to give you a rough estimate of the number of sales they have that are like yours and in the same area. This includes the property type (single-family homes, condos, townhouses, etc.), the value range, and the proximity.
- How do you plan to market my house?
Not all houses should be sold using the same marketing strategy. Essentially, the ideal plan for your home should revolve around the target buyers you wish to attract. For instance, are you looking for buyers who want to downsize or upsize?
So, essentially, your real estate agent should be able to figure out who the potential buyers will be, what features of your home can be used to enhance the value, and which marketing channels will get more reach. Then, ask the agents what is included in the marketing plan. Videos? Staging? Professional photos? Brochures?
- Do you have references I can contact?
A good real estate agent will never hesitate to put you in touch with previous clients who are willing to vouch for them. So don’t hesitate to request the contact information of a few home sellers they have worked with.
Even better, ask the agent for the addresses of the last three homes they sold before meeting with them. And during the meeting, ask them to provide you with the contact information of those sellers. This prevents the real estate agent from hand-picking specific sellers for you to talk to.
Choose The Perfect Match And Sell Your Home
Remember that you will be working with your agent for over a month. So, you need an agent you feel comfortable with. Here’s a breakdown of the characteristics of good agents:
- They are experienced in the area where your house is located.
- They have degrees and certifications that add to their competency.
- They are honest with you about your house’s listing price.
- They have a network they could tap into to quicken your house’s selling process.
- They are aggressive negotiators who will get you the best price for your home.
- They have efficient communicators.
If you are still on the fence about choosing the right agent, just go with the person you trust—someone who will come into your home and help you land the biggest sale of your life. And remember that if you feel the agent you were confident in isn’t performing as promised in your home-selling journey, you can always take action.
Lastly, you are selling your home. So, don’t settle for anything less than what you believe is the best.