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Top 10 Things To Look For When Hiring a Discount Real Estate Agent

December 23 2017
by Jeremy Decker

Buying or selling a home is likely the biggest financial decision of your entire life, and you need a Realtor® if you want to do it right.

A good agent can provide expert advice to make the real estate process easier, and can prevent you from making costly mistakes along the way.

You don’t need to pay the full 6% to receive these services from a Realtor. There are  highly  rated agents who will work for a flat fee in every city, and most rural areas. You just need to be able to identify them to ensure you get the best experience possible, and sell your home for the highest price.

You can save thousands by working with a Flat Fee or Discount Realtor vs. a traditional commissioned agent, but you need to make sure they will be a good fit to help you sell your home. Not all discount  agents are created equal, and some are no more than a glorified For Sale By Owner.

Here are the top 10  things you need to look for when selecting a Flat Fee Realtor to list your home and help you find your next.

1. Why Flat Fee?

Ask your agent why they are doing Flat Fee listings  Some agents do it to grow their business while others offer Flat Fee while cutting out key services.

You want to make sure you are getting a full service agent at a Flat Fee price.

Using a national Flat Fee listing company that partners with local agents like Clever Real Estate is a great way to make sure you are connected with a quality agent who will provide quality representation with all of the same services of a traditional agent.

2. Availability

Real Estate, much like life, moves quickly.  You need an agent who will keep up.  Make sure you go with a Realtor who respond to calls, texts, and emails in a prompt and timely manner. Clients should always be the number one priority to a Realtor and should never be left waiting.

3. Local Market Knowledge

Your agent needs to understand the local market, home values and emerging trends. Without this how are they going to be able to advise you on your listing price?  Having a Realtor with intimate knowledge of the local market will also be a major advantage when it comes time for them to help you find your next home.

Ask your realtor which areas have the best schools, which areas are appreciating, and which areas you should avoid.Knowledgeable realtors should be able to answer all of those questions instantly.

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4. Forward-Thinking

This isn’t your mom and dad’s real estate market and you need an agent who is on the cutting edge of technology.  Being tech savvy and innovative is important when it comes to being available for clients, using technology to better promote and market listings, and sell your home fast.

Technology is always changing and we know it’s important for realtors to stay ahead of the curve.

Technologically inclined agents can schedule showings through an app on their phone, and have you sign offers and documents electronically allowing you to view homes, and submit offers faster than clients using a traditional agent.

5. Experience Matters

When you are looking to sell your biggest investment you need to make sure you are working with a qualified Realtor who can help you get the most for your home.

Choosing a realtor just because they are a family friend isn’t a good idea when you’re selling your most valuable asset. You need to work with a professional that you can trust, with a proven track record of getting the job done.

6. Negotiation

You need a Realtor who is also a skilled negotiator when it comes to reviewing offers and inspections.

Many homes get several offers, and a good realtor will help you choose the best one, and help you through home inspections without having to do as many repairs. Ask your realtor to give examples of how he negotiated for his clients in the past.

7. Contract Assistance

If you decide to buy or sell a home, the offer to purchase contract is there to protect both the buyer and the seller.

Buyer’s can back out of the contract if certain conditions aren’t met, and sellers can keep the earnest money deposit, and in some cases, sue the buyer to perform the contract.

Your agent will help you navigate the details of the contract, and make sure the right provisions are there to protect you, and to prevent the other side from getting away with anything shady.

Ask your realtor what they’re putting into the contract to protect and, and make sure they explain in detail any special provisions in a buyer’s offer.

8. Their Network  

A good realtor will have a strong network of contractors, insurance agents, inspectors, and lenders.

They should also be able to give you a very rough estimate of repairs needed when they walk into a home. Realtors usually know which lenders are reliable and close on time.

It’s generally a good idea to at least talk to one of the lenders that your realtor recommends and compare rates and prices.

9. Financing Knowledge

If you’re selling a home, a good realtor will be able to analyze offers and see if the financing provision of the offer has a high chance of closing.

Some loans, especially FHA, require the house being purchased to pass a separate, more rigorous inspection. This inspection requires no peeling paint, and all core systems have to be functioning with a reasonable life expectancy.

Accepting an offer where your house won’t pass inspection can takes months, and end with the house back on the market. Ask your realtor to explain every offer and ask questions about how different types of financing can impact closing.

10. Experience In Your Price Range

Make sure your realtor has experiencing buying and selling homes in your price range.

If you’re selling a home a great realtor will be able to tell you what buyers are looking for, so you can present your home in the best possible light, and make any necessary repairs before you list. This allows you sell your home for the best price with the least headache.

Always ask your realtor about what other homes they have worked with in a similar price range.

The Risk Of A Discount Realtor

If you list with a discount brokerage that only does flat fee or discounted listings, prospective buyers will know that you’re saving on commission, and will build that into their offers. The last thing you want is to save on commission only to receive lower offers!

How Clever Is Different

Clever doesn’t partner with discount brokerages.

Clever works with traditional agents, who would normally list your home for a 6%. Clever partner agents list your home under their local brokerage (or national brand), and provide the exact same service that they already provide to their clients that list for 6%.

In fact, Homes listed with Clever sell for the exact same price as homes listed for 6%. The only difference is that you save thousands on commission because you went through Clever.

Why Do Agents Work With Clever?

Real estate agents spend a lot of time and money looking for new clients, and Clever solves that problem for them.

We provide agents a constant stream of quality clients that are ready to list their home.

Agents are willing to work for discount commission with Clever because we send them a high volume of clients, and that they make normal commission when they help our clients buy a home.

Our partner agents know that we will only continue send them referrals if they provide quality service to our clients.

Ready To List Your Home?

If you’re ready to list your home, Clever can connect you with a top rated local agent in your market who will list your home for a flat fee of $3,000. Clever partner agents provide the exact same services as agents that charge 6%. Homeowners who list with Clever save an average of $8,000 when they sell their home.