Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent
What do we mean when we talk about the so-called “right” real estate agent? Is it the agent that sells your house in accordance with the timeline set out by you and the real estate agent? Is it the agent that gets a higher-than-expected price on your property?
All of the above are probably applicable to real estate agents that do their job well, and should be “right” for any homeowner looking to sell their property as soon as possible.
But what are the signs of a real estate agent not being right for you? What should you pay attention for when interviewing potential candidates to help you sell your home?
Of course, incompatible personalities don’t always work well together, but this article will point to signs that should make you question a real estate agent’s ability to do their job well.
This is how to tell if a real estate agent isn’t right for you.
Find The Substance
Interviewing different candidates to help you sell your home is a step in the selling process that you should not underestimate. Because it gives you a chance to actually meet the person who will be assisting you in one of the biggest financial transactions of your life, and will be handling the negotiations and paperwork associated with selling perhaps your largest asset, this interview is also a chance to get to the essence of who they are.
This is not to say agent interviews are the opportunity to meet your best friend. On the contrary, interviewing real estate agents is your chance to get to the gist of potential agents’ work ethic.
Make a note to ask questions about their qualifications and experience, and remember to ask how many listings they’ve had over the last six months, and finding out what their sales ratio over this period was. Getting experience about recent sales assists sellers in two ways: it tells them whether an agent has the capacity to add another property to their list (in this regard, remember to ask how many properties they are currently marketing to sell), and also gives sellers a good idea of whether this is a real estate agent that can sell within specific time frames.
To gauge their knowledge, ask them about the property market currently at play in the city or suburb your property is selling in. Would they say it is a seller’s market, making it a good time to put your property on the market?
This is also the time when sellers should make their own expectations clear. Set out the timeframe within which you would like to sell your property and tell the agent what you would like to sell the property for. Ask them whether the price you have in mind is in alignment with what comparable properties in the area are going for.
Set out your expectations regarding communication – a good agent is one that undertakes to keep an open channel of communication with the seller, and keeps them up to date along every step of the selling process.
Ask the agent about their commission structure, and enquire about marketing costs, and whether these form a part of the agent’s fees, or will be charged additionally by the agency. Ask for references, and follow up on these, to find out whether an agent has been truthful about their interaction with other sellers.
Armed with information about the way they do their work, you will be able to assess whether a real estate agent might not be right for you.
Assess the Personal Fit with a Real Estate Agent
While interviews with potential real estate agents are meant to reveal information about the way they do their work, it is also an opportunity for sellers to assess their personal fit with a real estate agent.
While you aren’t looking for a friend, you should be comfortable with your real estate agent. Remember, this person will negotiate with potential sellers on your behalf, and thus, an open and honest reciprocal relationship should be possible. Ask yourself: do you feel that you can be honest with the agent, and are they being honest with you? Do you trust the agent to be there during what can be one of the most stressful periods of your life?
The way in which an agent communicates is another key aspect in determining whether an agent is the right fit for you. Pay attention to whether the real estate agent is paying attention to what you are saying, and gives you a chance to speak, but also says enough for you to also gather information.
Finding a real estate agent can prove one of the best decisions in the process of selling your home, as having a partner during this time takes a lot of the stress from the shoulders of sellers. Your agent should be someone who is on your team, and looking out for your best interests throughout.
Watch Out for Red Flags
Interviewing potential agents comprehensively gives home sellers a good idea of whether they’d be able to work with a real estate agent. In addition, this also reveals a lot of information about their work ethic, general demeanour and workload.
Keep an eye out for certain red flags that should signal that a real estate agent might not be right for you.
The agent is late or tardy: If an agent is already late for their appointment to discuss the sale of your home, you should question whether they are the right one to help you sell. Tardiness and untidiness should also be warning signs. This person will represent you when introducing your home to potential sellers, and someone that doesn’t look and act professionally perhaps isn’t the professional you are looking for.
The agent has too many listings: When asking about recent sales and listings, pay attention to how many houses they are currently tasked with selling. If they are already managing the sale of many properties, a real estate agent might not have the capacity to also put in the effort to get your home sold in the shortest possible timeframe. If it sounds like they have a lot on their plate, ask them whether you can expect dedicated attention.
The agent is too pushy: Does the agent seem like they are genuinely interested in helping you to sell, and are they putting in the effort to make their enthusiasm clear? Of course, agents should be excited about the prospect of helping you sell, but a real estate agent that is being too pushy about how you should sell your property should also warrant caution. After all, a real estate agent will be representing you, but will not be making decisions on your behalf.
The agent is slow to follow up: Agents should communicate with sellers in a timely and regular fashion. If you find a real estate agent to be slow in following up, take care: this way of communicating is not conducive to working with someone that is a good fit for you.
The agent is not excited about your home: If they’re not excited about selling your home from the very start, how can you expect them to be excited when introducing the property to potential sellers?
Real estate agents need to be good negotiators. As such, don’t be alarmed when they want to negotiate their own commission with you: this will give you an idea of how they will negotiate about the price of your home.
Also, you want your real estate agent to take a good look at your home and make suggestions about renovations and repairs that may add value. Unless you’re selling a recently renovated home, failure to give advice in this regard does not speak well of the agent.
Find out about the exact marketing strategy an agent wants to follow, and find out whether their agency is set up with the online resources that are part and parcel of selling a home in the 21st century. If they aren’t savvy about the online tools utilised in marketing a property today, perhaps consider someone else.
When In Doubt, Compare Multiple Agents
The best way to find an agent that is right for you is by comparing multiple agents. Interviewing more than one candidate gives you options to choose from.
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Finding out that a real estate agent is not right for you definitely isn’t the end of the world. In fact, rooting out candidates that are not the right people to help you sell gives way to finding that perfect agent. Contact Perfect Agent today to receive a list of potential real estate agents who can help you sell at the best price, quickly. Looking for a real estate agent that can sell fast? Our recommendations are tailor-made to fit your exact and unique needs.