Selling a home is one of the most stressful things that someone can go through. So why do we do it? Selling your home isn’t normally out of want but instead it is typically due to necessity. Either because a family needs more space, less space, or due to moving for family, friends, or work.
Whatever the reason may be, the point is that uprooting your life and settling in somewhere new is already disruptive enough. Not to mention the fact that now you also have to deal with selling your old home which means cleaning it up, making any necessary repairs, going through the process of listing the home, showing the home, open houses, maintaining the home through this entire process, and we haven’t even mentioned the paperwork and closing process.
It is a ton of work. There are so many steps in which something could go wrong or a deal could fall through. That is why basically everyone needs a real estate agent to help them through the process. An agent’s job is to help take on a lot of the burden so that mistakes aren’t made and so that you can focus on everything else going on in your life.
An agent will simply take a small percentage of what the home sells for as their commission. That is why it’s so important to choose a real estate agent wisely. But what do you need to look for in an agent?
Never Look Simply at Commission Prices
When looking at an agent the ideal of a percentage commission price might be a little overwhelming. Understanding that the more you sell your home for the more the agent will also be taking can be a little intimidating. It’s easy to understand why most home sellers will be looking for an agent with a rather low commission price.
The issue with looking at an agent with a really low commission price is their ability to sell your home is usually directly correlated with their commission. Basically, the fact that their commission percentage is so low is most likely because they aren’t very experienced or because they struggle to get sales at all.
Now, this is not always the case. An agent can very well have a lower commission percentage and still be an excellent agent. This idea can be looked at in the reverse as well. Just because an agent’s commission percentage is higher than others does not mean that they will be able to sell your home for more. That is why it’s always important to interview several agents before making a final decision.
Never Look at the Listing Price
Never go with a real estate agent who tells you they can get you the highest listing price. The same ideology behind the agents commission can be looked at here as well. In fact, a real estate agent who tells you they can get you a higher listing price than what your home is actually worth is not being truthful with you. No agent can promise to you exactly what you will end up getting for your home. Even home appraisers can not guarantee that the value your home is appraised at will be the same amount that you actually sell your home for.
Finding an agent who is an excellent negotiator and who has a great track record is going to be your best bet at selling your home for the most that you can get for it. That is why you need to interview at least three real estate agents and ask them some very serious questions about what they are capable of.
Never Look at Just One Agent
Interview several agents and ask them about their experience. Here are just some of the questions you should ask an agent that you are considering hiring:
- How long have you been a real estate agent?
- Do you typically represent buyers or sellers?
- What percentage of listings do you sell?
- How long does it normally take for one of your listings to sell?
- How many have you sold in the past year?
- How many sell close to the actual asking price?
- What kind of references do you have?
- What would your marketing strategy for my home be?
Always Set Expectations
Explain why you want to sell and ask how they can help you sell your home considering whatever your particular situation might be. Making sure that your motive behind selling your home is clear with your possible real estate agent from the very beginning. Understanding why you need to sell your home and what makes your situation unique will help the agent to better represent you and your particular needs.
If the agent is not comfortable or not experienced enough with whatever situation you are dealing with that might be a good sign that you need to look elsewhere.
Communication Is Key
Depending on your particular needs making sure to set clear expectations about communication is also going to be important. When dealing with such a stressful process and high value sale it can become easy to expect your agent to be able to answer every single phone call or to get upset with them when you are unable to get a hold of them right away.
Being able to discuss communication practices in the very beginning will become an important part of the relationship you will cultivate with your agent. Setting guidelines to help both parties not overstep their bounds is just as important as the sale itself.
Your marketing plan is another very important aspect of your sale that both you and your agent must agree upon before you take any steps forward. Having a clear and concise plan also doesn’t mean that you have to stress out about it working perfectly the way you planned for it to. In any business you must be ready to change or adapt and it can help for you and your agent to talk about any contingencies that you might want to have prepared before starting out with your marketing strategy.