Starting Your Search for the Right Real Estate Agent
If you thought the stress of buying a home was bad, try selling one. Chances are you know exactly what we mean. Having an experienced real estate agent on call is one of the best investments you can make – the guidance, expert answers, and skilled marketing tactics are worth every penny. Of course, experience isn’t everything and the success of your agent depends on a number of factors.
This guide will help point you in the right direction so you can start hunting for the ideal agent, your secret weapon of home sales.
Finding Prospects to Interview
The worst mistake a seller can make is picking up the phone book and calling agents at random. Talk to your friends and family members first. A personal recommendation is invaluable. You’ll want to work with somebody that you can trust, who is used to working with the type of property you are selling. A personal recommendation is worth a thousand semi-anonymous testimonials.
If all else fails, look for agents who catch your eye with their marketing techniques – do not pay attention to the way they market themselves, but look at the way they’re marketing houses. If you see a home for sale that really catches your eye, whether through a spectacular open house or through neat advertisements, you might have found a good agent to interview.
Self-promotion is one thing but the ability to promote homes is the skill that you want to seek out.
Asking the Right Questions
1. What type of home is your specialty?
Every real estate agent has a different background. For example, a good Vancouver real estate agent will know all about the local market, trends, resources, and selling points – an agent who is skilled at downtown sales will be infinitely better at selling downtown than an agent who specializes in suburban properties.
2. How many sales did you close last year?
This question is an obvious one, but it sets the stage for a few questions that carry incredible importance. What you really want to know is how many homes the agent sold and (this is the important part) how much of the asking price these homes were able to fetch. You want an agent who made good sales, and in a timely manner.
3. How much time will you spend selling?
Some agents make paperwork their primary focus. They do the listing, work with you through the closing, and handle the paperwork tasks that spring up in between. Other agents are “full service” agents. Check out our recommendation, Mr. Townhouse Guy, for an example. An agent who is willing to spend a few hours each week marketing your home is a good agent, but an invaluable agent will hire cleaners and bake the cookies for the open houses.
Of course, the most important factor is your gut reaction – if you can’t trust your agent, your business partnership will not go far. In the end, you will be paying good money in fees and you deserve to work with an agent who truly understands your goals and your perspective, who inspires trust and a sense of confidence.