Finding the right real estate agent to sell one of your biggest investments is easier when you do your homework and ask the right questions.
A good real estate agent can make a world of difference when it comes to selling your property, including the price you ultimately get, how quickly you sell and how smoothly everything happens. Here are the key things you need to do when choosing a real estate agent to get the best result for your sale.
Do your research
First, go local. The best agent to do the job will be the one who understands the area, and the people who are looking to buy. They will also be able to properly assess the value of your property within the current market.
Check the agency website and the profile of the agent you’re hoping will work with you. You can also ask friends, family and the community for recommendations and always check their sales results too. Have they had consistent sales and do the prices reflect current market values?
Don’t be afraid to ask for qualifications and examples of their experience. Making sure they are licensed is the first step but it’s also worth looking at what kind of continuing education they have been doing. And finally, check them out in action. One of the best ways to see whether an agent will do a good job is by going to their open houses and auctions. Make mental notes of how they interact with interested parties and how they describe the property. Did they greet people at the door? Were they able to answer questions?
Talk to the agent about their plans
Never settle on an agent until you have nutted out the details. There are a number of questions to ask a real estate agent to determine how they plan to market your home. Do they only work online, or are they going with print advertising too? When is the best time to start the marketing process? How long should the property be on the market? What will they do if there’s not much interest in your property at first? Remember, a good agent will listen to your concerns and needs, and work with you to find the best action plan.
Be sure to ask about their fee as you need to find someone who is within your budget. And discuss what realistic price the agent thinks you will achieve. Finally, figure out what happens once a deal is made. What role will the agent have during the cooling off period and how will they handle settlement? An agent’s job continues long after the buyer has signed the contract.
Listen to your gut
Remember, going with the agent who promises the highest price is not always best. Sometimes, agents will say things just to get your business and they may not be able to follow through. So do your research and listen carefully to how each candidate answers your questions to ensure the agent you choose is appropriate for your situation, qualified, reliable and honest.
How did you find your real estate agent? Share your comments below.