Updated May 22, 2019
Everyone knows a Realtor. The world is full people with a real estate license. Be especially cautious working with family or friends simply due to obligation, especially if you wouldn’t choose them otherwise. For a checklist of pitfalls to avoid, check out this article: Should I Use my Family or Friend as My Realtor?
The ideal Realtor to represent your best interests is more than just a real estate agent, they are a trusted advisor, offering strategic advice and risk avoidance every step along the way. Realtors who work as part of a collaborative team offer additional strengths from the collective knowledge, wisdom and experience that a solo agent cannot bring to the table.
See through the sales pitch. There are a few steps you can take to properly assess past performance and potential success for you. First, we suggest you GOOGLE THEM to learn more about an agent or team’s track record, experience, and level of customer service. Then review these 7 tips for choosing a Seller Specialist.
7 Tips For Hiring A Real Estate Agent To Sell Your Home
1. Check Past Client Reviews
Were their past clients happy with the service they received? There is a difference between doing a good job and doing such a good job that clients feel compelled to share their experience with others. You want the agent who creates raving fans of their experience, offering strategic insights and guidance during every step, including contract terms, negotiations, inspections, and analyzing financing of buyers. We’ve all enjoyed a good meal at a local restaurant, but we don’t feel compelled to review it until it was terrible or amazing. A quick glance at Zillow Reviews should give you an idea of the level of service the agent and team provides.
2. Do they have a track record of success?
You want an agent with experience so they can help you navigate the obstacles on the path to your goals. However, years in the business are not how you should judge experience. You want an agent who has been involved in a lot of transactions in the current and recent years. The real estate market is constantly changing based on external factors such as the economy, mortgage rates, job market, industry shifts, etc… Pick an agent who has listed and sold many homes in your local market. Zillow does a nice job of reporting how many Recent Sales an agent has completed in the past 12 months.
3. Check Current Listings
The quickest way to see how an agent will market your home is to see how they are currently marketing other homes. If they don’t have other listings, then think twice before interviewing. Are the listing details complete? All the little detailed checkboxes about the features and benefits a home offers are critical to being found in the right buyer search. The listing description should be clear, concise, and compelling. Photos tell the story more than any other detail. Is the agent using professional photography or snapping them with their mobile phone? Photos are how buyers evaluate homes and they do it from many different devices. Today’s digital first marketing demands professional photos, drone photos, twilight photos, and 3-D video tours.
4. Are they using modern technology?
Speaking of many different devices, does the agent’s website work well on a laptop, tablet, and mobile phone? You’re looking for a fluid responsive experience across all platforms. Just as important, is the information on their website up to date? You should be able to see all the local listings updated within an hour of hitting the market. Agent’s who don’t invest in a proper digital consumer experience are not in touch with how real estate is searched and sold in today’s market. Use their website as a ‘buyer’ would so you know first-hand how well their technology and systems work. How many page views and new registrations does the agent or team’s website capture each month?
5. Ask about their follow-up process.
While it’s easy to think about your needs and goals, pause for a moment and think about how the buyer of your property will be treated. Does the agent have a well-defined process for capturing, qualifying, and following up with leads they generate? If they can’t answer with a succinct and confident process, then look elsewhere. You want to be certain that every effort possible is being made to create and capture opportunities to sell your home. You also want that experience to be pleasant and rewarding for your potential buyers. Is the agent or team using modern techniques like re-targeting and predictive smart searches to put the right listings in front of buyers?
6. Do they have proper support?
Some agents boast about how much work they do as a solo practitioner, but pause and think deeper. Do you really want an agent to represent you who is also trying to be all things to all people at all times? Working with Buyers requires lots of time in the car, on the phone, and inside houses. When will they focus on you and your goals? Assistants can help manage marketing, calls, and paperwork, but you’ll want to be sure you get a true expert when it comes to negotiations. What happens if your agent goes on vacation, gets sick, or becomes inaccessible for some reason? Teams are often a good solution as they have more people to help service your needs, but not all teams are created equal. Treat them as you would any other agent and make sure you understand how their team model works.
7. What do you expect of me?
A good real estate agent will have expectations of their clients. Whether it’s preparing your home for the market, how to show your property, or how communication will flow, you want an agent who is confident in their values and asks things of you in addition to performing their tasks with expertise.
Our Path & Post Team is happy to answer any of these questions and encourage you to compare us to others. If you’re wondering what it’s like to work with us, here is a video sharing more.