Selecting an agent is one of the most pivotal decisions when selling your home. It is important to seek advice about this important financial transaction from someone who “sells” houses for a living.
Working with professional real estate agents is beneficial for several reasons:
- They will help establish a fair asking price for your house.
- They will promote your house to other agents and list your property in multiple listing services so your house will receive maximum exposure.
- They will create, pay for and place advertising for you.
- They will schedule appointments to show your house to prospective buyers even when you are not there.
- They can weed out buyers who will not qualify for a mortgage.
- They can refer you to sources for insurance, inspections, legal counsel and financing.
- They will help negotiate with the buyer.
Choosing an Agent
Since you will be working closely with an agent, choose an agent with whom you feel comfortable. One who is responsive to your needs and the needs of your family, one who compliments your personality, and one who is prepared to be with you throughout each step of the home-selling process:
- Get referrals from trustworthy family and friends.
- Seek an experienced agent with a known reputation – look at credentials, track records and awards received.
- Select someone who is a member of the Board of Realtors®.
- Interview at least three agents.
- Find someone who is continuing his/her education – a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Certified Residential Broker (CRB) or a Graduate of the Realtors Institute (GRI) – this shows the Realtor has a long-term interest in the business and is willing to invest in his/her career
These questions, asked of family and friends who have dealt with a specific real estate agent, will help you learn what you need to know about agents:
- What were they like to deal with?
- How hard did they work for you?
- Did they get you a good price?
- Were there any complications?
- Did they always tell the truth?
- Were they always looking out for you or just interested in getting paid?
- Would you use their services again?
- After interviewing a few agents, ask yourself the following questions to narrow your choice:
- Which one returned your phone calls?
- Which one was most enthusiastic about selling your house?
- Which one provided a competitive market analysis – an in-depth discussion on how the selling price was determined?
- Which one provided a detailed marketing plan?
- Which one provided a time frame on how long it may take to sell your house?
- Which one explained things most clearly?
- Which one made you feel most comfortable?
What to Expect from a Real Estate Professional
- To be treated as a respectable client, not as a transaction.
- To have your best interests represented.
- To be served selflessly – your agent shouldn’t be eyeing your wallet.
- Your agent to work as hard for you as he/she would for himself/herself.
- The highest skills available.
- To have calls returned promptly and to be kept up to date.
- Your agent to go above and beyond what’s expected when dealing with problems that may arise.
- Your agent to be a trusted advisor that you can consult even when the transaction is complete.
Rely on instinct to determine which agent is right. The right person will have suitable credentials, a marketing plan you agree with and will make you feel comfortable.