When the time comes to sell your home, professional assistance goes a long way toward securing a good price in a timely fashion. Your choice of real estate agent makes a huge difference in how long it takes to sell your home and how much it sells for. Here are some important points to keep in mind.
Look For General And Local Expertise
It’s pretty obvious that you’ll get better service from a highly experienced agent than from one who is just starting out in the business. Expertise is measured by more than just years on the job, though! The best agent for your individual needs is the one with the most relevant experience. In other words, the person who is selling homes like yours in your neighborhood.
Be wary about working with any agent who hasn’t done any buying or selling in your neck of the woods. They simply won’t be as familiar with the concerns of potential buyers as someone who has spent plenty of time close to your residence. Think of your price range as another neighborhood; the same concerns apply. An agent who spends most of his or her time selling $200,000 tract homes is not going to be prepared to help you sell a multi-million dollar condo.
Agents Vs. Agencies
Is there a difference between a freelance agent and an agent working with a company? Yes there is. Agents that work under the aegis of a large brokerage have access to a number of advantages that can help them do a better job of selling your home. From ongoing professional training to bigger marketing budgets, they have a lot of tools to use that are simply unavailable to independent operators.
This doesn’t mean that freelancers aren’t worth your consideration, though. An independent operator with plenty of experience has probably stayed in business by delivering outstanding service to his or her past clients.
Whether you go with a company or an independent, make sure you’re working with a full-time agent. Being a real estate agent is a common “secondary” career for many people. While part-timers can be highly skilled, they’re simply not as dedicated as agents who have built a career exclusively in real estate.
Commissions And Finances
Real estate agents earn money by charging a commission on the sale of your home. This is then split between your agent and the buyer’s agent. A lot of agents try to drum up business by advertising lower commissions. This is problematic because you’re saving yourself money by asking for a lower level of service. Any agent is naturally going to prioritize his or her attention based on the earning potential of each home being sold, and taking a low commission puts you at the bottom of the list.
Investigate any promotional offers carefully before you count them in an agent’s favor. An agent who makes guarantees like “I buy your house if it doesn’t sell” will likely weave a host of terms and conditions into any contract you sign. These are rarely advantageous to you; as an example, most sales guarantees demand a certain pattern of price reductions that will cut the price of your home significantly before the agent buys it.
Always Play The Field
In order to find the agent who will do the best possible job of selling your home, it’s important to cast a wide net. This doesn’t just mean looking through a lot of advertisements; you should carry the process through and talk in-depth to multiple agents before making a commitment. Don’t be afraid to talk to agents that you know personally or who come recommended by friends and relatives. Just vet them as you would any other agent.
Try to be as consistent as possible when interviewing agents. (Keep in mind that the first agent you speak to will have a significant advantage because that person sets your expectations). It’s an excellent idea to develop a written list of questions you want each agent to answer and to push them (if necessary) to answer them in a way you can directly compare to other agents.
Not all real estate agents can deliver the same level of service! Take your time to explore your options wisely and pick out the agent who has the tools needed to sell your home properly. It will make a significant difference in the long run.