Over the past few weeks, while exploring how to sell a home in our current Edmond Real Estate market, we've addressed preparing your home and pricing your home to sell. To achieve a successful sale in today's market, every aspect of the sale is equally important; from preparation, to pricing, to marketing, but one of the most critical areas is your selection of a REALTOR®. For that reason, we'll spend the next couple of weeks looking at a few of the most misunderstood or overlooked areas of hiring your REALTOR®.
Your first goal when hiring your REALTOR® should be finding one that you mesh with on a personal and professional level; one you feel you can be honest and direct with and can trust with your financial concerns. After all, you're selling your largest asset, so you have to be sure that your best interests are being protected. The best way to accomplish this is by simply interviewing about three agents in your area. I know this seems obvious, but it's very common for a seller to just hire the first agent they're referred to, or to hire their friend who just got licensed. Sometimes this approach works out fine, but all to often sellers find themselves locked into a very emotional transaction with someone who either doesn't have the experience to handle it correctly or someone they don't have a good relationship with, and they're left feeling like they don't have any control.
Treating the hiring of your REALTOR® like an interview allows you a chance to see the professional side of the agents you're considering.
- They should approach this interview as a business proposal. This is their chance to show off what they know and what they do.
- They should be able to show you how many homes they've sold in your area, how much they sold for in comparison to others in the area, how long it took them to sell those homes, and what methods they employed to sell them.
- They should have a solid understanding of your area. Very few agents are truly knowledgeable in all areas of a large metro area, so you'll want agents who have experience in your particular area. Agents who specialize tend to have more precise knowledge and are oftentimes more effective in those specialties than an agent who generalizes in an entire metro area.
- You'll want a REALTOR® who can show you a pattern of success.
- You'll likely want an agent who uses today's real estate technology to gain the most exposure for your home. Statistics show that in 2006, over 80% of home buyers searched online and found homes before they ever contacted an agent, so yesterday's methods of advertising a listing simply aren't as effective as they used to be. An agent who embraces today's technology reaches more of today's buyers, plain and simple.
The interview process should also give you a good feel for the agents' personalities. Finding an agent with whom your personality meshes is highly important.
- You'll be working closely with the agent you hire for months and you want to feel like you can be direct without hurting his/her feelings.
- You'll want to feel informed and like you're working as a team.
- Mutual trust and respect is VITAL for a successful transaction. If you don't click with your agent, you WILL experience more stress and frustration than if you have a good working relationship.
- If your personalities don't click, he/she will probably be less likely to stay in close contact with you throughout the process.
- A good agent should be in contact with you at least once a week, to keep you updated on any changes in the market and any adjustments that may need to be made to the marketing plan of your home.
These are just some of the basics of interviewing agents. When you decide to sell your Edmond home, you'll want to be fully informed of different strategies that some of the less-savory agents will employ to get your listing. It's hard to avoid the potholes if you don't see them. We'll discuss some of those strategies in the next few weeks but, as always, if you have questions, don't hesitate to call us for help.
The links below will provide you with more information from our national peers about interviewing agents: