7 Strategies for Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent
When it comes to selling a home, choosing the right real estate agent is key to ensuring that you get the strongest offers and the least amount of hassle. The ideal REALTOR® should have a perfect mixture of credentials, motivation, and communication, and sorting through all of your options may seem daunting. Luckily, there are a few simple strategies you can use to narrow down the field and find only the most qualified real estate agents to handle your property.
Reach Out to Recent Clients
Any legitimate real estate agent should be willing and able to provide you with contact information for some clients whose homes they have sold recently. Once you have gotten in touch, focus on finding out crucial information such as what the asking price was compared to the final sales price, and how long the property was on the real estate market. And of course, it does not hurt to ask about a client’s experience with the agent.
Check Their Credentials
As with many other professions, real estate agents can have specialties or areas of advanced training that make them more or less suitable for certain situations. Look for designations such as CRS, which indicates that the real estate agent has specific experience in residential real estate, or SRES, which suggests that the agent has received additional training to help buyers and sellers over the age of 50. As well, keep in mind that real estate agents get licensed by province, so you can check with the Real Estate Council of Ontario “RECO” to ensure that their license is valid and that they have not faced any disciplinary actions.
Look for the Right Marketing
Always look to see how an agent markets other homes they are selling, because it is very likely that your home would get the same treatment. Do they advertise open houses, put up flyers, advertise it on the best homes for sale web sites, send direct mail to nearby neighborhoods, or offer virtual tours? Do the photographs in their listings look as if they were done by a professional real estate photographer? If the agent’s real estate marketing strategies appear ineffective, or if the marketing seems like it is more focused on the agent than the properties they are selling, you are likely going to lose out on potential home buyers.
Inquire about Support
Many real estate agents operate in small teams that help handle the logistics and ensure that the agent is not overwhelmed by multiple clients, but in some cases a support team is used as an excuse to pass the client off onto someone else who might not have the same level of expertise or work ethic that you were expecting. Before taking on a real estate agent, clarify what role the team will be playing in the process.
Seek Clear Communication
You will be spending a considerable amount of time in contact with your real estate agent, so it is critical to find someone who offers clear, open, and honest lines of communication. A charismatic agent with strong negotiating skills is a major plus when it comes time to talk to buyers. However, you also want someone who is going to keep you updated on any changes or trends in the real estate market, provide feedback from open houses, and take the time to find out what your goals and priorities as a seller are.
Gauge Local Expertise
Although understanding the US mousing market is important, it is even more important to realize that not every real estate agent will have a strong understanding of the local market in which you are trying to sell. Some REALTORS® represent expansive regions, sometimes even traveling to other out of area towns to make a sale, while others may be recent transplants who have plenty of experience but have not had time to establish familiarity with the neighbourhood. Try to gauge an agent’s knowledge of the local market by asking about some homes that you know have been sold or are currently for sale. If the agent can not tell you any details, they may not be the right choice for selling a home quickly at the best possible price.
Selling a home in today’s market can be stressful, and a mediocre real estate agent can compound that stress through poor management and communication, often costing you precious time and money. By using the strategies above, you can weed out the unqualified REALTORS® and ensure that the real estate agent you choose will bring their experience and knowledge to work in your best interests.