How to Choose a Real Estate Agent – for Listing

July 23 2014

Most likely, you’ve got quite a number of real estate agents in your town. How do you choose and what are the criteria?

  • For starters, get recommendations from friends or others who have recently moved in your town. Are they friends with these agents or have they worked with them?
  • When you make the phone calls to arrange the interviews, what was your initial feeling when speaking with each agent? Keep this question in your mind during the interview process: Will this person be a good advocate for me?
  • On the interview, ask how many sales the agent had last year. If the agent is newer, how new? As in, fresh out of real estate school, or two years with a few sales? The person you choose will be intimately involved in not only preparing your home for sale, but in establishing the listing price, marketing your home and – here’s the biggie – negotiating with the buyer’s agent. Did you get the impression this person is capable of all that?
  • Going further on that point, if during your interview the agent doesn’t have constructive input about the marketing or condition of your home, ask questions about their experience. Newer agents won’t want to advertise that they are new. In addition, some agents, even the experienced ones, will refrain from giving you advice before you sign a contract. But let them know you need to find out if they have any to give! It’s important to see they know their stuff.
  • Sometimes, agents from other towns will try and break into a new market, wanting to expand their reach. However, it’s best to work with an agent who is not only familiar with your neighborhood but knows it well. Why? A big reason is that, if she knows your neighborhood, she’ll find really good comps that will direct her in pricing your home. Even more than that, she’ll have the confidence when selling. It simply doesn’t work to have a real estate agent from another town sell your home. They won’t have the true, insider knowledge about schools, recreation, information that buyers want at the ready.
  • Every agent who walks in to your home for the interview should come with a Comparative Market Analysis, which will offer you important information of recent home sales similar to yours. For example, how did the other 4BR, ranch-style homes do last year?
  • The Contract: How long should you give the agent to sell? Three months may be too short, and six months is long for a family-sized home, but consider the market, too. The best bet? Go for five months, and see where you are at the process when the contract is up.
  • Before you sign the contract, make sure you know the websites on which your home will be presented. If you go with a local company, what is their reach on the web? Will the photography be wonderful? Discuss how often you will updated by the agent. If you want updates after every showing, tell her.
  • And back to that initial question: Will this person be a good advocate?
  • Any questions about move management and getting organized for your move, email pat@sortitoutboston.com.

2 comments

  1. Your tips are really helpful for new buyers.

    Reply
  2. I am recently married to my new husband, and we are looking for a new home. We want to make sure we find someone that will help us find a place that will suit us and our lifestyle. As you said, it’s a good idea to have an interview with the potential realtors and to ask questions about their experience. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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