When you’re selling your house, choosing the right real estate agent is a critical step. You’ll be working with your agent closely over the next several weeks, so it’s important you establish a healthy professional relationship. Here are some steps to consider for choosing the right real estate agent to sell your house.
Ask Friends & Family
Who do you know that recently bought or sold a house? Talk with your friends, family members, workmates, and associates. Discover who they worked with and whether they were satisfied with the service they received. You can also check Facebook for recommendations and reviews, so don’t be afraid to reach out on social networks.
Regardless of how you locate potential agents, through referrals, recommendations, search engines, or yard signs, research that service provider. Read reviews. Check their background. Educate yourself about what other people are saying regarding that agent’s services.
Avoid Working with Friends
Try to avoid working with friends and family. It’s tempting to try to establish a win/win by supporting your loved one’s business while trying to save a buck. But these relationships don’t always mix well with business and may not pan out.
Watch Out for Big Promises
Be leery of the agent who promises the highest selling price or the lowest commission rates. Although there may be exceptions to every rule, these promises rarely come to fruition, can indicate inexperience or desperation of the agent, and you may be disappointed with the result.
Choose a real estate agent who has experience with the type of property you’re selling; it makes a difference. Luxury homes, waterfront properties, and traditional properties all have different nuances and needs, so your agent should be aware of how to handle information for both you and your potential buyers. Furthermore, the agent should know your area like the back of their hand so they can draw attention to selling points in your community such as nearby parks, schools, and amenities.
Questions to Ask
Ask specific questions to determine the success of your real estate agent’s recent work.
- What was the asking price vs. selling price of the last three homes you’ve sold?
- How long did the last three homes you sold stay on the market before selling?
- How many price reductions did the last three sales incur?
- What is your marketing strategy for selling my house?
- What is the projected timeline from list date to close?
You can also request to see the agent’s license and certifications.
In asking these questions, you’ll have the opportunity to assess the agent’s personality. Do you feel comfortable with the answers your agent provides? Do you feel intimidated, aggravated, or hesitant to ask additional questions? Do you sense honesty? How well you do or do not get along with a person can and will influence your transaction. In essence, you have to like your agent’s personality.
Be Clear About Communication
Clarify methods of communication and what you can expect. Many sellers are frustrated when they try to reach out to an agent via phone, email, or text message and get no response. Ask your agent what method of communication they prefer, how often you can expect to hear from them, and how long it typically takes for a response if you initiate contact and must leave a message.
Check the Contract
Once you’ve established that the agent is qualified, professional, and personable, ask about their contract. Many agents have contracts that specify a duration of time before you can terminate the contract if you’re dissatisfied. Furthermore, some agents include a termination fee in their contract. Most real estate agents are clear about their terms and may be willing to negotiate.
You may also choose to investigate the company for whom the real estate agent works. Every agent works with a broker, and those brokers also have different policies, procedures, and prices that may or may not affect your transaction.
When you find an agent who is qualified, experienced, successful in recent sales, who has good reviews, with whom you feel comfortable, communicates clearly and has terms you agree with, you’ve likely found the right agent to sell your house.
When your house sells, and you complete the transaction, assess the services you received and don’t hesitate to share the love. Post a review of the agent on their social networks or review sites such as Yelp. Be willing to recommend the agent in person or online when someone asks.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Heather Fitzgerald (317-371-2622 ) a call today to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.