Do you want to know how to maximize your money at the closing table? It's easy to lose when you list your home! Picking an agent will either make you money or loose you money at the closing table.
You've decided to sell your home and it's time to pick a Real Estate Agent to list it with. How exactly are you going to choose? Everyone, including your neighbor, and your great Aunt Thelma has their license so who do you pick? I've seen some very creative ways that people pick. One woman recently sent an email out to a bunch of agents and chose the first one to get back with her. I've seen people list with friends that are also working at a fast food place until they get their career up and running. Another creative way is to go to the Internet and pull up a site and see who's featured. After all, if they know how to get featured in this website maybe they'll know how to sell your home. Probably not good strategies when selling the bulk of your net worth.
Let's look at some strategies to choose a good agent
Is the agents website easily accessible? Is it search engine optimized coming up in the first few pages of an internet search for, let's say, College Station real estate? Not necessarily the company name such as RE/MAX rankings, but the individual agents. How well does the website feature the properties listed?
Does the agent use excellent advertising? Putting your house on the MLS with appealing photos and descriptions is necessary, but a great agent will back that up with an advertising strategy. Not necessarily newspapers, cable channels or open houses (though they can be used to some avail) but optimizing your listing on Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, Hot Pads and a host of other web sites that really pack a punch!
Is the agent with a recognized brokerage name that's national? I know many clients have come specifically because I'm with RE/MAX and they are selling their home with another RE/MAX agent in their hometown.
Does the agent have a good reputation in the area? In an area as small as ours agent have a reputation of either being easy to work with or hard to work with. This can make or break your sale. The Buyer's Agent will work harder times to make a sale work with a listing agent that is easy to deal with.
Does the agent have adequate experience? I'm not necessarily talking about years in the business. An agent that only does five transactions a year for the last 10 years doesn't have as much experience as an agent that does 50 transactions a year for the last 5 years.
Does the agent use good photos with their listings? Study the agents listings, whether they have one or fifty and see exactly what that agent brings to the table. A great agent will either invest in excellent cameras with wide angle lenses or other tools to really show your property off to it's best potential OR will hire a professional photographer. I use a professional architectural photographer myself. Yes, it does cost the listing agent money but it gets their homes more exposure, more showings sold faster and for more money.
The top photos are the professional versions. Below that are examples of my best attempt at my own photography of one listing. Compare the difference and you'll see exactly why using a professional can be a great idea.
Does the agent use appealing (and accurate) descriptions of the homes they have listed? It's definitely entertaining to read some of the listings and your homes listing shouldn't be out there to amuse. Common themes are calling the house something like a "cream puff", misspellings in the description (how many minuets from a grocery store DO you need to be? I've never danced there so I don't know!) or just plain strange descriptions. One very notable listing from a few years ago enticed buyers with the verbiage "Tall ceilings for easy living and tile floors for no cleaning".
In short, it pays to interview agents and to find the agent that will market your home aggressively and get it off the market in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of hassle!
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