Lots of articles have been written on "how to select a Real Estate Agent". Most of the articles focus on the key elements of the past. Yes past things that are already over, gone, kaput.
Here is a novel thought, what has the agent done this year?
- Do they have listings?
- Do they work with buyers only and you are a seller and buyer?
- Have they met their education requirements? Realtors are required to have a minimum of 6 hours of continuing education each year or a total of 18 hours in 3 years. You would be shocked at how many put that off until the last minute.
- Have they filed bankruptcy? You would be surprised how many agents are in debt up to their eyeballs. That means they are going to think more about the commission and how it is going to help them than your best interests.
- Do they have a written marketing plan or do they wing it. It's your money they are winging! If your home does not sell the best advice is to lower the price. Did you know that if your home does not sell in the first 30 days it is likely it won't sell at the current price or at all during the listing contract!
- What type of market exposure to buyers is you property going to receive? A yard sign? An MLS listing, a color brochure, an Internet listing, maybe even posted to some relocation company you never heard of? The bottom line is you have to market to buyers and they have to be interested in your home.
- Have you read about curb appeal.....what type of impression your home leaves on a buyers mind as they drive up to your home? Can they help you with this?
- Do you know about staging your home so it shows all the features and benefits to it's best advantage. Does the agent think staging is important?
- Will the agent give you market updates after you list so you know what is happening to competitive homes being marketed around you?
- Do you know what happens if the buyers wants you to pay for repairs as a condition of purchase? Will the agent be able to negotiate and hold these costs to a minimum?
- Will your agent tell you to wait until you get an offer and hope the buyers won't notice a few things you have been putting off?
- Why do some listings sell and others linger on the market? Does your potential agent know the neighborhood and your school system.
- Will you want open houses or is it a waste of time according to your agent.
- Will you know when advertising is going to happen and how often?
- What will you do if your home does not sell? Stay, move anyway?
You can ask questions, you can try to make a great decision as we all do but choosing your representation is more than getting along or a smiling face. This is most likely your most valuable asset so trust the agent who is trained and is selling in todays market. If the agent hasn't sold a property in the last 3 or 6 months why do you think they can sell yours?
If you are thinking of listing your home contact an agent who closes, that sells in all markets. Your sale depends on your choice of agent. So training, education and experience count but what have they done lately?