You’ve decided to enlist the help of a professional to help you sell your home. Here are some tips to help you find a real estate agent that will serve your needs best.
- Find at least three real estate agents to interview.
Ask friends, family and even neighbors for recommendations. Who did they use when sold their home? Would they use that same agent in another real estate transaction? Did they feel safe and trust the agent they used throughout the selling process?
Use the internet. Buyers are using the internet in increasing numbers to find homes. An agent with a website near the top of a search engine for competitive phrases will likely hold an edge over an agent that doesn’t. Further, it is a great way to evaluate an agent before you even pick up the phone to arrange an interview. Simply go to your favorite search engine and conduct a search. Try different variations like “Your City real estate”, “Your City REALTOR” or even “Your City home for sale”.
Check out the agent’s web site to see if they include a page that discusses their own achievements, experience and years in the industry. However, it would be wise to not discount an agent simply because they are new and don’t have experience. Generally, new agents have more time to help you and are eager to please.
- Interview the top agents you’ve found yourself or were recommended to you by others. You should be prepared to ask relevant questions to help you determine if the agent will be a good match for you.
- Are you a REALTOR®?
It is usually in a seller’s best interest to find a REALTOR®, not just a real estate agent. REALTORS® generally work full time, are committed financially to their business and have been extensively trained to serve your needs. They are also members of the National Association of REALTORS®.
- How long have you worked the real estate market in this area?
Experience can certainly play an important role in helping you sell your house. New agents may not know how to deal with certain situations that occur during the transaction. An agent capable of handling difficult transactions can be the key to closing the deal.
However, remember new agents generally more time on their hands. They may be more vigorous in their mission to sell your house. In addition, they have extensive backing from their Broker during situations they may not be familiar with. Don’t discount new agents simply because they are new. Take into consideration whether the other agents you interview already have full plates.
- How quickly will you return my phone calls? Do you have a call back policy?
Some agents return phone calls during specific times each day while others will call you back as soon as they receive the message. Make sure the agent gives you one good phone number that you’ll be able to reach them with at all times.
- Don’t conduct your interview as a question/answer interview. Have a real conversation. You need to get a feel for the agent’s personality as well.
- Agents that answer your questions stating yes or no are probably not someone you want to deal with. Find an agent that will happily answer your questions extensively so you understand the details of your relationship from the beginning. This will help you avoid any problems down the road.
- Ask the agent for references and testimonials from past clients. If they’ve been in the business long enough, they are bound to have quite a few. This can help you weed out an agent that may not be well liked. Don’t just look at the testimonials… READ THEM! How enthusiastic do the sellers sound? Were they ecstatic with the agent’s service? Have they used the agent more than once?
- Compare the agents you interviewed to make the final decision of whom to hire. What do you like and not like about each? Make a list and discuss it with family and friends that have been through the process. They may have valuable tips to help you make the right decision.