How to Pick a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty 91362

When Selling Your Home: How to Pick a Realtor

Are you thinking about selling your home? When you are thinking about selling your home, you will be surprised how many things you need to take into consideration. The first thing that you may ask yourself is if you should list your home yourself to try to avoid paying commission. In general, this is not a good idea.

Most homes that are sold quickly, and at a fair price, are done so using a professional real estate agent. Sure, it may cost you a little bit extra, but you are also likely to achieve a much better price.

The question then becomes how to pick a Realtor. Frankly, this is where a lot of people fail. A large percentage of folks never take the time to properly vet the real estate agent they hire. Instead of hiring based upon track record, many sellers choose an agent to work with because they give them a great price or they like their personality.

Both of these real estate agent selection methods are a recipe for disaster. When selling your home the real estate agent you select will have long term consequences. Be mindful of this fact when choosing your real estate agent.

Without further ado here is how to pick a real estate agent to sell your home.

Setting the Price of Your Home

Establishing the right selling price is just one of the things that a real estate agent can help you with when it comes to selling your home. When marketed at the right price for the area, you can expect your home to sell within 30 to 45 days, maybe sooner.

The best real estate agents have a strong grasp of how to price a home correctly. One of the most important skills a listing agent can have is the ability to price a home right the first time. What seller wants to be told a month in that they need to reduce their price. Not many!

Most people who try to sell their home themselves often find that they have to wait for a much longer time to achieve a sale.

Make sure that you pick a real estate agent who has a clear pricing plan based on comparable sales data. Does the comps provided look like your home or are they pie in the sky? Lots of unprofessional real estate agents will give you an unrealistic price to get you to sign a listing contract with them. Don't be fooled!

They Don't Practice Dual Agency

Real Estate agents that put their clients interests ahead of their own never practice dual agency. Dual agency occurs when the real estate agent you hired works as a dual agent with the buyer. In dual agency the agent becomes a neutral party in the sale. They no longer represent your best interests. The agent also is not allowed to give you any advice by law. Sounds awesome right?

When interviewing real estate agents to help sell your home, make sure you reject any agent that practices dual agency. The goal should not be to close a sale at any cost which is exactly what happens with dual agency. Always work with an exclusive seller's agent.

More or Less Commission

When a real estate agent offers you a low commission rate, you should really think twice. If this is the only way they feel they can compete with other real estate agents in the area, you really need to ask yourself why. Perhaps they do not spend as much money on marketing as other agents.

The agents staff matters as well. If an agent does not have adequate administrative help, the sales process can take much longer and be less efficient. A lot of resources go into running an estate agency well, and you should bear that in mind before you list with an agent.

The saying "you get what you pay for" has never been more true when it comes to selling homes. There are significant reasons why discount real estate agents never have any market share.

Marketing Your Home

The art of marketing your home is something that you should not underestimate. Some agents put in a lot of extra effort in this area. They tend to be the more successful Realtors. You should talk to your agent about exactly what they will do to market your home.

Ask him or her what methods they will use. Make sure you see specific examples. Today, marketing a home online has been turned into an art form. Vibrant photography, exceptionally crafted descriptions and virtual tours should be part of any skilled Realtors marketing arsenal.

Most buyers are busy and would like to make sure that all of the "modern conveniences" are there when they are looking for a home.By proving exceptional real estate marketing consumers know what they're going to be looking at before they ever set foot in the house.

Photography matter a lot, and you should go with the agent who clearly demonstrates this skill. This is really what attracts a potential buyer to your home.

Open Houses Are Not a Focus

A significant percentage of real estate agents love to promote open houses as being worthwhile to sell a home. Here is the truth: an open house is completely unnecessary to sell your home. The benefit of an open house goes to the real estate agent who will use your home as their office for prospecting.

Real buyers always schedule showings with a real estate when they are serious. What many real estate agents fail to do is explain the pros and cons of an open house. Well, let me re-phrase that. Most will explain an open house as having all upsides and no downsides.

That is a bunch of horse poop. An open house means just that - open to ANYONE! There is a reason open houses are a magnet for crime. Yes, there is a high incidence of theft at open houses and lots of agents love to sweep that fact under the rug. You don't need an open house to sell your home!

Other Important Real Estate Agent Skill Sets

Find out what qualifications your real estate agent has got and what experience. If he has been in business for a long time in your area, he or she is much more likely to know essential local information. Buyers like to look around the area, but at the same time, they like to ask questions.

They want to know where they can find the best schools, grocery stores and other modern conveniences. For instance, they may be moving to your particular part of the town for a certain reason. Access to good schools and getting to work quickly are the two most common reasons for a move.

Giving Exceptional Advice

An experienced real estate agent can help you to sell your home in other ways as well. One of the most important things that you can do is to make sure your home looks attractive. An agent with a good track record will suggest fixing any small issues such as touch up painting and may even tell you how to make your home look more "homely". Great real estate agents understand how to increase the value of a home before the for sale sign hits the lawn.

An excellent agent may even go over your home with a critical eye and tell you where you need to declutter. Above all, people like to see themselves living in your home when they visit. Don't get offended if your agent tells you to clear clutter and clean up the yard. Curb appeal is vital in real estate sales. This is all about making your home ready for them to sell.

Finally, make sure you can get along well your real estate agent. While this is a business relationship, working together with someone you don't like may make the house harder to sell. More than anything, bear in mind that your real estate agent should a professional. I mention this because the barriers to enter the real estate industry are very low. Real Estate agents are a dime a dozen.

Some agents should never be in the business. You want a full-time skilled professional. Not a part-timer looking to supplement their income.

Evaluate them on everything they do. Have they returned your calls or emails quickly? Where they prompt in showing up for appointments? Professional real estate agents are cognizant of the fact that these things matter. That is how you can enjoy a good working relationship and a quick sale.

Never under estimate the importance of picking an exceptional real estate agent when selling your house.

Other Valuable Home Selling Resources Worth a Look

Use these additional resources to make excellent decisions when you are going to be selling your home.


Posted by

Bill Gassett is a thirty-two year veteran to the real estate industry. He enjoys providing helpful information to buyers, sellers and fellow real estate agents to make sound decisions. His work has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, RESAAS, Credit Sesame and others.

Comments (8)

MadisonMortgageGuys .com
MadisonMortgageGuys - Oconomowoc, WI
Your local mortgage company serving 47 states!

Important information for home buyers to know Bill Gassett!

Feb 19, 2019 11:19 AM
Bill Gassett

Not many more important things when selling your house than picking the best real estate agent Luke!

Feb 19, 2019 11:21 AM
Jaymie Carroll
Real Estate Spice - Salt Lake City, UT
Realtor Marketing, Sales & Goal Achievement

Excellent advice Bill!  The skills needed to properly market and sell homes in 2019 are spot on!  When sellers ask me about open houses...I share with them exactly what you state here.  If they really want an open house then we host one for them.  Agreed...spotting red flags early on regarding professionlism (calls returned promptly, showing up on time, excellent communication) is crucial. Great article!

Feb 19, 2019 11:48 AM
Bill Gassett

Thanks very much for the comps Jaymie Carroll :)

Feb 19, 2019 12:05 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Lots of things to consider in selecting an agent. Love the warning against reduced service fees.

Feb 19, 2019 11:53 AM
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Carol Williams I have never seen a great discount real estate agent in my thirty-two years in the business. It is worth pointing out that if you need to discount to get business there is a big problem.

Feb 19, 2019 12:06 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

There have been a couple of discount brokerage offices in our area, expecting to take over the market.  Neither did very well because they tended to hire new licensees and lost the good ones to the traditional brokerage offices. 

Feb 19, 2019 12:20 PM