Selling your house is a big decision and one that has major financial consequences in most people's lives. Once you decide to sell your house, the most important choice you will make is the real estate agent to work with.
Finding an agent who can sell your house for the price it deserves is harder than it first seems. Not that there is a dearth of real estate agents in any part of the country; in fact, you will have plenty of agents to choose from. The challenge is to find an agent who has the right experience to sell your house.
Once you know what you're looking for in a real estate agent, it becomes a lot easier to whittle down the options in front of you and make a final choice.
What Makes a Top Realtor?
Before we can discuss ways to find a great realtor, let's first find out how to identify one.
It's obvious that you need to work with an agent who's licensed and doesn't have repeated disciplinary actions on their record. Assuming that the basics are covered, there are a few qualities you need to look out for while choosing a real estate agent to work with.
There's no better indicator of an agent's ability to sell your home than their track record of selling homes similar to your own. Your first question to any real estate agent should be about their experience in the field and specifically in the city where you're selling your house.
A good way to gauge the quality of a realtor's experience is by talking to their previous clients. An agent being hesitant to connect you with some of their recent clients is a red flag.
Local Market Knowledge
The dynamics of the real estate market vary in different parts of the country. Success in the industry takes a deep understanding of the market conditions — not just in the present, but also in how it varies from season to season.
Any top real estate agent will tell you about the state of the real estate market in your neighborhood. That includes information on inventory, median prices, Days on Market figures, and so on. Your real estate agent should be able to provide hard data regarding all of those things.
You will spend a lot of time interacting with your real estate agent over the course of the few months it takes to sell your house. There is a lot of key information that needs to be exchanged between sellers and agents, and it's important that that happens as smoothly as possible.
This facet is easy to gauge by having a conversation with a prospective agent. A good agent will ask you questions about your motivation to sell your home and listen to what you have to say. They aren't driven only by the numbers and choose instead to understand clients' expectations before kicking off selling a house.
Standard Real Estate Agent Commissions
There are costs that come with working with a real estate agent. Most agents work on a commission model and charge a percentage of the selling price of your home.
The standard commission that real estate agents charge is 3%. Sellers also pay the buyer's agent, which adds another 3% to the cost. So you can expect to pay 6% in commissions to real estate agents.
It's important that sellers know what services an agent offers before signing a contract. Some agents are full-service agents and will do everything from listing to marketing to negotiations. Others may have a more limited range of services. Make sure you know exactly what to expect from your agent so you can avoid friction later on.
How to Find a Top Realtor Near You
Many home buyers turn to the Internet or their personal network to find a real estate agent. These are good options, but you will still have to put in the work to vet each agent and determine whether they're a good fit for the house you're looking to sell.
Clever eliminates all the uncertainty involved in hiring a real estate agent to sell your home. We source our agents from the country's top brokerages after vetting their credentials. Every Clever Partner Agent has over five years of experience in the industry and extensive knowledge of the local market.
Our realtors are all full-service agents, and you know what to expect when you sign up to work with one. Your agent will help market your home with professional photographs, craft a listing, schedule open houses, and negotiate with buyers interested in your property.
Clever Partner Agents do all of those things while saving sellers thousands of dollars in commissions. That's because they charge only a 1% commission instead of the 3% that other real estate brokerages charge. That brings the total cost of commissions to 4% (including the cost of a buyer's agent) instead of 6%.
Let's say your home sells at $400,000. With a 6% commission rate, you would spend $24,000 on real estate agents. At 4%, that goes down to $16,000. That's $8,000 in savings for choosing to work with a Partner Agent.
If you would like to work with a top-rated real estate agent and save thousands of dollars, fill out your details on this page.