Selling your home is a big deal. We’ll say it again, selling your home is a big deal.
It’s one of the largest transactions of your life. When was the last time you sold something for upwards of 6 figures? It’s probably not too recent, if at all. If you are ready to sell your home and move on to the next chapter of your live, you’ll want to be very selective when hiring a listing agent.
A listing agent is a real estate agent that helps homeowners sell their home. Listing agents list client homes on the MLS and negotiate the best possible price and terms for the home seller. Listing agents represent home sellers. You should interview at least 3 listing agents. While it’s a tough decision, there are ways to determine which listing agent is right for you. Here’s how:
- Get References: Ask for references on recent sales — check up on references of recent customers. Find out how an agent’s customers feel about their selling experience. Remember that how long an individual has been in real estate isn’t necessarily all you should look for. Experienced agents can grow jaded and not work as hard – newer agents sometimes make up with enthusiasm and effort what they lack in experience.
- Commission: You get what you pay for. Paying a cut-rate commission will often get you a sign in the front yard and placement in the Multiple Listing Service, but little additional effort from your agent. Incentive plays a very important role in sales. A “full service” agent earning a full commission will often “drop everything” to handle any challenges that come along – an agent earning a small commission does not have that same incentive.
- Local Knowledge: Knowledge of the local market isn’t only acquired by living in the immediate neighborhood. Sure, your agent should have intimate knowledge of recent sales, models, schools, businesses, and so on, but that is easily achieved through extensive research. Convenience shouldn’t be the primary reason for choosing an agent.
- Proven Track Record: What is more valuable — an agent who listed 32 homes and sold 25 – or an agent who listed twelve homes and sold all twelve? So you need to ask some questions. How many of their listings did not sell? How many were reduced over and over before they sold? How long were the houses on the market? How smoothly was the process handled? How accessible was the agent when there were questions or problems?
- Suggested Selling Price: Don’t just go with the listing agent that suggests the highest listing price. Some agents tell you what you want to hear. It’s a short-term “sales tactic” in getting your listing, it is an extremely poor strategy in selling a home at the highest possible price. Make sure you fully understand and there is market research to back up the price the listing agent suggests. Ask for backup.
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