How to Choose a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home
Selecting a listing agent is an important decision. Unlike with a buyer’s agent, you’ll need to sign an agreement with a listing agent for a fixed time. The agreement entrusts the agent with getting your home sold for the most amount of money and in the least amount of time. Here’s how to choose a real estate agent to sell your home.
1. Choose someone with local savvy
A good local real estate agent knows the intricacies of each market and how it operates. They know the building department, the tax assessor, and the local real estate customs. They have relationships with other agents that will help you. Their local experience will make the difference between a quick sale or your deal falling apart and dragging on for months.
2. Look for lots of experience
Experience matters. The agent who’s sold more homes in your town or neighborhood clearly has a track record. And they’re more qualified to sell your home than someone with less experience. They have the inside scoop on many of the recent deals. They know which agents are working with real buyers, and which to steer clear of. They know which features or finishes work best in the market, which home got the best response and which did not. That kind of knowledge is invaluable.
3. Find someone who’s a good personality match
Sometimes the agent who’s sold the most may not be the best agent for you. You want an agent who’s honest, trustworthy, and ethical. Keep in mind that the agent will represent you and your interests to the public, and you must have complete faith that they will serve you effectively. Also, you’ll spend a lot of time working with the agent, sometimes for six months or even a year. You should like your agent and find them to be easy to be around. If it’s not a good personality match, look for someone else—regardless of how successful they are.
4. Pay attention to how much attention you’ll need
Sometimes sellers ask questions like, “Will you be present for showings?” or “Will I interact with you daily, or with your assistant?”
In some cases, busier agents aren’t set up to give personalized attention or to be present everywhere for everyone. They have systems and folks in place to operate the business. And it’s that operation that makes them successful. A less busy agent might purposely choose to work with just a few clients at a time. As such, they’d be willing to do more or be more hands-on with clients than a busier agent.
If you expect a lot of personal attention, tell the agent up front. Let their answer be part of your decision-making process.
5. Ask for referrals
Getting a referral from a neighbor, friend or trusted colleague can be one of the best ways to find a listing agent. Before reaching out to an agent referred to you, check out their reviews and previous business online. (Some agents have Yelp listings, for instance.)
Ask prospective agents for references from other past clients. Good real estate agents work their business purely on referral, and the last thing they want is to cut off a referral source or kill the chance to get another.
6. Take your time
Take your time to identify the best agent to sell your home. It’s not something to take lightly, nor should it be done without serious research. And ultimately, listen to your instincts. Like many important life decisions, you likely have a gut reaction to people and situations. Let that inform you here.