Choosing a real estate agent is one of the most important steps you will take when selling your property. The key to finding a great real estate agent is Research. You should research and interview agents just as if you’re hiring them for a job – because you are. Your real estate agent works for you and you have to be satisfied with the job they’re doing.
Ask your friends for referrals
Asking your friends for referrals is a perfect starting point. Great real estate agents make customer satisfaction their highest priority and will always put their customers’ needs first. An agent who does this will be the one all your friends are recommending. But don’t hire an agent solely on a friend’s endorsement, there’s a lot more to consider.
Ring the agent first
Many people will just ring a couple of local real estate agents and arrange for them to come over and give an appraisal. Don’t do it. Real estate agents are great salesmen, it’s a big part of their job to get you to sign on the dotted line as soon as possible. Instead, ring some agents and inquire about buying one of their currently listed properties. If you are happy with the service you receive, go to a couple of open-houses. This way you can see if you like the way they work before you invite them into your home.
You need to develop rapport with the agent
You have to feel comfortable with your real estate agent and you need to be able to communicate with them openly and honestly. Real estate sales are complex legal transactions with loads of confusing terminology. Look for an agent who listens to you – one who is willing to take the time to understand your needs and answer all of your questions. And while you shouldn’t choose an agent based on personality alone, you should make sure you can get along well. You will be spending a lot of time dealing with them and it’s going to be hell if you don’t like them.
Results are a key indicator
Ask for detailed figures for the agent’s recent sales results. Particularly look for the difference between the starting sale prices and the final sale prices. This information is a good indicator of the agent’s negotiation skills. Also look at how many sales the agent has had in the last six months and the average listing time of these sales. This will tell you how hard and how well the agent is currently working. And if you really want to make sure, ask the agent for references or statements from their last 20 clients. Past results are generally the most accurate indicator of future performance.
Make sure you get a written agreement
Once you’ve made your decision, the agent should prepare an agent agreement which lays out what you will have to pay when your property is sold. You can choose from several different types of agreements, as well as options for things like advertising, fees, charges and expenses. Read this agreement carefully and seek legal advice before signing if you are uncertain about any of the provisions.
The internet is a wonderful resource when selling your home. Any number of websites can now give you data on recent local property sales. An interesting new development is online services that allow you to request and review proposals online from multiple real estate agents, making it easier to choose the right estate agent to sell your property.