PART 1 of 2
The time is right!
You’ve decided to sell your home and transition into something new. And now it’s time to find the best real estate agent to represent you in the sale of your home.
Research shows that the average homeowner knows 10+ agents! Whether you know 5, 10, or more agents – or none at all – you need to pick the best possible agent to meet your needs.
Too often, sellers make the decision on whom to hire based solely on one or two criteria:
- The agent who offers to list at the highest possible price
- The agent who offers to list for the lowest possible commission rate
In my industry, we refer to agents with high price projections and low commission rates as agents who are “buying” listings. That’s because those of us who earn business based on results know that we don’t have to resort to cheap tactics to persuade sellers we are a good fit for them.
While price and commission may play a part in your decision-making process, they should never be the drivers of your decision. Don’t fall for either of these tricks, which are often used by inexperienced and/or desperate agents.
You’re probably wondering what questions and issues you should be focused on to find the best possible agent.
Here are the questions I believe are the most likely to help you discover the best agent to represent you in the sale of your home.
Question #1: How are you going to get me the most possible money for my home?
If the agent has a vague answer such as “We do great marketing!” or “We’re really good at pricing!” you need to push for specifics. What does that mean exactly? How do they quantify their efforts, and can they provide documentation of that work? Can they show you that their strategies have been effective in the past? If the agent you’re interviewing can’t provide specific answers, keep interviewing until you find one who can.
Question #2: How much work is involved on my end?
Ideally, your agent should be able to identify things he or she will need you to do while your home is on the market. This could include suggestions for preparing the home, as well as time required to meet with the agent, completing various documents, and having regular updates with the agent.
Question #3: Have you done this before?
Everyone is new at some point in their career. However, you are not going to have the same results with a new agent that you will with one who has years of experience and dozens of happy clients.
Ask agents for details on their performance, which should include their time in the business, the number of homes they’ve listed, their list-to-sales price ratios, their average days-on-market numbers, and the percentage of homes they’ve listed which have successfully closed. With the exception of “days-on-market”, the higher these numbers are, the better.
Question #4: Who is on your team?
There’s a huge difference in the service provided by solo practitioners and those who are part of a team, where each team member has an area of expertise. Real estate sales are complicated and time-consuming. Are you sure that a solo agent can effectively manage the transaction?
Although there are dozens of other questions you might ask an agent you’re interviewing, these four questions should provide a good foundation for your meeting with a potential listing agent.
And watch for our upcoming blog post, where we discuss questions you need to ask a buyer’s agent before beginning to work with just any old agent or one you happen to stumble across at an open house.
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