The decision to sell your home can be a source of anxiety for many homeowners.
With so many real estate agents to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which agent ultimately is the right fit for your needs.
Finding an agent that you can trust to professionally handle all aspects of the process, from marketing to finalizing the sale, is critical and, while the task can be daunting, it pays to be selective.
Do Your Research
Understanding the real estate transaction process will pay dividends when all is said and done. For starters, a thorough seller should create a list of potential agents and compare their qualifications. Experienced realtors should have a history of sales and should be willing and able to provide references from previous clients.
In addition to referencing their sales history, sellers should view prior listings and the agent’s marketing techniques, particularly staging, which can significantly influence a higher or lower price the buyer is willing to offer. The exceptional realtor is one that will present your home in the most appealing way possible. Finally, a diligent seller should understand, evaluate and compare an agent’s credentials in the real estate industry.
Examples of common industry credentials for real estate agents include:
- Seller Representative Specialist
- Certified Property Manager
- Certified Residential Specialist
- General Real Estate
Ask the Right Questions
When meeting with a potential agent, be sure to bring along a list of the questions you have, both about the process as a whole as well as the individual realtor's workflow, techniques, and procedures. Be aware of how they present themselves and compare their communication style with the other agents you're evaluating.
Questions to ask a potential real estate agent include:
- What kind of licensing does the agent have?
- Does the agent work independently or with a team?
- Does the agent charge commission, and if so, what is the rate?
- Will you be expected to pay listing fees upfront?
- What services are included in the listing?
- How knowledgeable is the agent about the market value in your area?
Communication is Key
When contacting potential agents, be aware of their communication style and efforts.
The experienced agent will respond to your inquiries in a timely fashion while providing professional, detailed responses and consistently asking for feedback to make sure you, as the seller, are comfortable and can trust them with their work.
Desirable traits in these realtors include being well-spoken, eager to share information, and straightforward with you every step of the way.
On the contrary, beware of listing agents that make big claims while providing limited evidence of success to back them up. A quick sale does not necessarily mean the best sale. Instead, consider looking for an agency that offers free consultations with potential clients to see if you legitimately "click" with that agent and can be confident in their ability to meet your needs.
Technology is Changing the Real Estate Industry
Long gone are the days of home listings posted in the classified section of the newspaper. Over the past ten years, the internet has dramatically expanded the number of options available to homeowners, improved transparency, and revolutionized the way homes are bought and sold. Companies like Clever can now offer their capabilities with nationwide coverage and also bring the critical knowledge and expertise of each local individual market right to your fingertips. Because of technology, Clever can also promise a flat rate of $3,000 to list with one of their full-service agents which can provide a savings of over $4,000 when compared to traditional listing costs.
Choose a Listing Agent Wisely
As a seller, remember that the listing agent you choose will ultimately become the face of the home selling process. They will list your home, showcase it online, host open houses, and gather offers for you. Throughout each stage, remain calm and diligent about your research, do not rush, and, most importantly, interview each potential agent thoroughly. Owning a house is a substantial investment of time, money, and resources, and you owe it to yourself to choose a competent agent that will ensure that your investment pays off.
Looking for the Exceptional Real Estate Agent?
If you’re searching for the right listing agent, look no further. With partner agents nationwide, Clever can connect you with a top rated, full-service agent who is local to your market for a flat fee of $3,000 or 1% on homes over $350,000. Homeowners who list with Clever save an average of $8,000 when selling their home.