Homeowners who are thinking about listing their home may feel sad, anxious, or overwhelmed by such an important decision. The good news is that one does not have to go through the complicated and stressful process on their own.
Trusting the right real estate agent to represent your house in the local market is key to getting the best results. The best real estate agents work with homeowners in pricing the property, marketing the house, negotiating with buyers, and closing the sale.
There are several ways homeowners can go about finding the ideal real estate agent to sell their home. Here is a practical guide to looking for an agent who is perfect for the job.
Get referrals and recommendations
- There is nothing better than a referral from someone you trust. Ask friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues for recommendations. Rather than ask “Do you know any real estate agents?” rephrase your question: “Do you know of a real estate agent who has sold properties in my area in the past few years?”
Review agents’ performance
- There is nothing more telling as to how well an agent will work for you other than their sales history. Past performance is a key indicator of whether an agent is a good match.
- Number of homes sold
- Dollar value of homes sold
- List price vs. sales price
- Days on market
- Professional ranking
- Average sales price
Here are a few statistics and figures to consider when comparing real estate agents:
Similarly, check with your state’s real estate regulator and the local Better Business Bureau to find out if an agent you are considering is licensed and in good standing.
Interview potential agents
- Online research is helpful, but the best way to choose a real estate agent is to speak to them directly. Given the times, set up an appointment for a Zoom call.
- What is the local market like?
- What is the typical price range of homes you sell?
- Will I be working with you directly or with a team?
- What sets you apart from other agents?
Find out their level of experience. Get a feel for qualitative traits, such as honesty and friendliness, as well as chemistry.
Do not hesitate to ask tough questions, such as:
The agent’s ability to answer these questions will help gauge if they are updated on the neighborhood and can successfully market and sell the house. Before the interview ends, ask for client testimonials.
Look for the hallmarks of an excellent agent
Throughout your search, consider the following traits of what sellers say they want in a real estate agent:
- Effective communication. Availability and responsiveness are key. Perhaps the agent has years of experience and a shortlist of interested buyers. However, do they return emails and phone calls promptly? Are they willing to answer any questions about the process? A real estate agent who does not do these little things may not be fully invested in getting the best deal for your home.
- Solid expertise. The ideal agent is well versed in the local area and neighborhood, and has a reputation for closing deals quickly and successfully. Find an agent with a specialty in your selling scenario (i.e., your price range, property type, and target buyers). Ask if they are a certified Realtor (a proprietary designation earned by being a member of good standing with the National Association of Realtors) or if they have specialized degrees in residential real estate, or representing clients.
- 21st-century marketing savvy. To get your home the attention it deserves, good real estate agents create a customized marketing plan. They combine traditional, but powerful marketing techniques (e.g., print advertising, signage, and open houses) as well as digital methods (e.g., online listings, social media, virtual tours). The ideal agent should also be able to talk about your likely buyers given the particulars of your home and the neighborhood it’s in and how they intend to reach out to this market.
Choose an agent who works for you and with you. Given the enormous financial and emotional toll that comes with selling a home, it is critical to be confident that your real estate agent has your best interests in mind. Working with a top agent who is skilled and trustworthy can go a long way in ensuring that your home sells in a reasonable amount of time and at the best price.
Whether you plan to sell a condominium or a house in the Bay Area real estate market, Compass real estate agent Nina Hatvany and her team of San Francisco experts can guide you from start to finish. Reach out to Nina and Team Hatvany at 415.710.6462 or email team(at)teamhatvany(dotted)com to discover how.