Once you’ve decided to sell your home, you need a trusted guide by your side. Here’s how to find a Realtor who’s right for you.
Gather referrals, but still check them out
There are a lot of agents out there. So how do you choose? Go ahead and ask your friends and family for referrals, but don’t fall into the trap of picking an agent purely because of rave reviews. The old mantra of location, location, location applies to real estate agents as much as homes.
So a better question to ask your friends than “Do you know any real estate agents?” is, “Do you know a real estate agent who’s sold any properties in my area in the past few years?”
Test their communication skills
Once you have some potential agents, email them or call their cell, then sit back and wait. This is your first test of a key component: how responsive will your agent be? Ideally, he should get back to you that same day.
Imagine if you’ve got competing offers on the table, or if some problem comes up with the home inspection. You don’t want to wonder where your agent is and whether you’ll hear back from them!
Probe their experience
Your initial conversation with a prospective listing agent should be like any job interview: Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions right off the bat. A good agent should know his stats, and any dancing around these numbers could mean he’s hiding something. According to Crouch, you should ask the following:
- How long have you been in business? Aim for Realtors with at least five years of experience, enough time to learn the ropes and finesse their marketing and selling plans. Time (on the job) is money (in your pocket).
- How many houses did you sell last year? Look for agents with double-digit sales.
- What percentage of your listings do you sell? Ideally you want an agent who has sold an average of 60% to 80%.
- What is the average list price to actual sell price ratio for your listings? This can fluctuate by market, but you should still look for high numbers.
Assess their marketing skills
Everyone knows that to sell a house quickly (and get the most for your money) you need to reach as many people as you can. And the way to check out an agent’s marketing ability is to ask these questions:
- How will you market my home? A Realtor should use their website to showcase your listing, take professional photos of your property, and tell their investors/past clients about your listing before it hits the market.
- How will you use social media? They should at least use Facebook and Twitter to market listings; where they can spread the word with photos and video about your fabulous property for sale! They get bonus points if they post photos and video on Instagram.
Don’t shoot for cheap
Finally, don’t assume the most inexpensive agent is the one for you. While agents work at different price points and some may take a lower commission, they should be confident enough in their abilities to stand by their prices. So when you’re talking terms, it is recommended that you ask agents if they’ll work on a discount. If they jump at the chance early on in the conversation, that might be a red flag.
Think about this: If the agent can’t even negotiate to protect their own money, how likely do you think it will be for them to go to bat to protect your money?
Want to buy a home in Arizona’s east valley area? Tom Smith is a full-time real estate professional at RE/MAX Infinity and has helped people buy and sell homes in Chandler, Gilbert and the Phoenix area for more than 16 years.
TOM SMITH | Common Name, Uncommon Results | RE/MAX Infinity | Call or Text 480-818-1384 | Email Tom@TomSellsAZ.com | Search TomSellsAZ.com | Follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Copy in part from http://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/find-realtor-sell-home/