How do you know if you have chosen the right agent when it comes time to sell your home?
With more than 86,000 real estate brokerage firms in the U.S. as of 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, you have quite a few resumes and websites to wade through.
Follow these recommendations for vetting potential real estate agents, and you’ll find the selling process much smoother.
Treat it like a job interview. Signing with a real estate agent is effectively hiring their firm to perform a service, so treat it like any job interview – where you’re the employer. Ask questions, interview more than one candidate and make a decision when you find the right person for the job.
Pay attention to how they communicate. Your real estate agent’s ability to understand your needs as a client is imperative to selling your home, and possibly finding you a new one.
How does the agent listen, respond and follow up to your questions, requests and needs? Not only should agents do all three in a timely manner, but in a way that you prefer, too, whether it’s by phone, email or face-to-face meetings.
Ask around town. As with any job interview, you should check for references. Ask the agents you’re interviewing for the contact information of previous clients, and take it one step further – call around to other professionals in the local market to get a feel for their reputation.
The ability of an agent to work with others in the business is key to the success in selling your home – if you hire someone who doesn’t play nice with his or her peers, you might find few agents willing to show your house to their buyer clients.
Talk about marketing and what you can do. In the initial meeting with a potential agent, you should expect her to present everything she plans to do to help you sell your home, including her marketing strategy and what you can do to stage and prepare your home for tours.
Expect a large portion of marketing to be online, as print advertising has largely fallen out of style in a world of to-the-minute listing updates.
Listen to money talk with a skeptical ear. Real estate agents will typically give you an estimate on your home’s value when they make their pitch, but don’t let dollar signs in your eyes cloud your judgment.
Picking a real estate agent based on promises of a higher sale price can leave you with a bad fit, and if an agent is making a higher estimate to try to lure you in, he’s probably not a great agent to begin with. A promised price doesn’t mean buyers will actually be willing to pay it.
Go with who you trust. Your real estate agent will be privy to a good deal of personal and financial information about you, so only sign with the one you are confident will work with your best interests in mind. A good agent works best when he has open communication with clients about their financial situation and reason for moving. As a result, he can secure the deal that meets their needs.
When you find the agent you feel comfortable with, you can maintain the relationship for the next time you decide to move, and refer him or her to friends who are buying or selling as well.
Sonja Bush is ready to be that agent. Call her at 661-979-9000 or email her at [email protected] to interview her for your home selling needs.