CHOOSING YOUR SELLING AGENT
Are you ready to sell your home? If you’ve decided to have a real estate agent assist you in this process, the information below provides valuable insight to help you with the important process of selecting an agent.
The first rule of choosing an agent is to use an agent that is an expert on the neighborhood in which you are selling. What makes SPM agents experts is their knowledge of current and past trends on the sale and purchase of all different types of homes in a given community (e.g. Arlington, Bartlett, Cordova, etc.), in addition to knowing all the local facts relevant to your home sale. That means they are aware of community information, schools, taxes, how to check about local crime, and happenings.
They also have knowledge of the home market in the community. What is the typical sales price for a home like yours? The agent who is listing your home will be able to do a market analysis of your home and provide a detailed history of sales trends that lead him/her to recommend an ideal asking price for your home.
The keys to an expert agent being able to service you well are their communications skills. They will do a lot of listening and ask a few key questions. An effective agent needs to understand your needs for selling a home.
It is important to remember that good communication is a two-way street. You need to be open and honest with an agent to save both of you time and effort. If you aren’t looking to sell for an extended period of time (3 months or longer), be up front about that. Also be up front about your financial situation. You will be surprised at how innovative an agent can be in helping you find solutions to your problems.
The final criterion for an expert agent is their ability to use technology to help you with your home sale. An expert agent will be able to use electronic multiple listing services to gather information on housing trends for you. They can also give you a list of internet resources to help you investigate on your own. They will also be able to provide you with information on your options in a timely fashion. An expert agent is also familiar with how to use modern communications to market your home for sale.
A key piece to having an expert agent work for you is integrity. How honest is an agent in dealing with you? If an agent convinces you to list with them by saying they can get you more money on the sale of your home but they really can’t, they are wasting your time.
So how do you determine if an agent is an expert, and how do you know if they are honest? You never know for sure but there are some signs to check for. Many people ask friends or family members for recommendations on an agent.
Here are some points we recommend considering when choosing your agent:
- Is the agent an expert in the geographical area which you are selling?
- How long have they been in the real estate business and how long with their current company? If an agent hasn’t been there for a year they may not know the area very well.
- Find out how many homes they have listed in the area in which you are seeking to buy and find out how long it took for each of those homes to sell and close.
- Ask for references of clients they have serviced in the last 6 months and then actually call those references (get at least three references). Ask those references how effective was the agent at servicing them. Would they use the agent again?
- The agent should also be able to produce a list of on-line and community resources to help you profile a community.
- Meet the agent in their office to see if you feel comfortable and ask them why you should have them represent you with your home sale or purchase. If you get any feelings that you aren’t comfortable with that agent then choose another one.