How to Find a Great Real Estate Agent
The difference between a house that sells within a couple of weeks and one that stays on the market for months often comes down to the real estate agent. If you’re planning to sell your house, you need an agent with excellent credentials and a good track record. Fortunately, identifying the best agents isn’t as hard as you might think. It all comes down to a little research and due diligence.
Search for agent listings online.
The Internet is a great place to begin your search for an agent. You can check agent listings online for referrals and connections. While searching, you should know that the agents you find online aren’t necessarily the best. They are often people who pay to be enlisted on the website. This is why you’re better off finding agents in your area. You can check the top real estate companies for the best agents.
Keep an eye out for agents with years of experience under their belt as they usually have more to offer. However, you shouldn’t rule out new players, as they can be just as effective at selling houses. Additionally, new real estate agents are going to be more enthusiastic about your house and will most likely have more time to spend with you.
Attend open houses.
Since you’re looking for an agent that sells, it makes sense to go to where agents sell. Open houses are an excellent way for you to meet and interact with them. You can assess them, and see if they are what you’re looking for before you ever introduce yourself. Pay attention to how they talk about the house they are putting up for sale. It will tell you a lot about how they intend to handle your own house. Ideally, you want someone who has a professional mannerism.
You should attend a couple of open houses before deciding. You want to compare the agents you meet with one another and see which ones you prefer. You can collect business cards and introduce yourself to the winning prospects. The ideal picture of a winning prospect is someone who pays attention to all the attendees, shows them every detail of the house, and answers questions they might have. Patience, charisma, and polite mannerism are all qualities of a great agent.
Keep an eye on neighborhood signs.
“For sale” signs can tell you how long a house stays on the market. You should keep track of these signs as they pop up in your neighborhood. You want to go with the agent that sells their houses in short periods, as compared to the agent that has the greatest number of houses up for sale. It stands to reason that if they can sell other houses in no time, selling yours shouldn’t be a problem.
Ask for referrals.
Sometimes, you meet real estate agents who are great at their jobs, but don’t fit your profile. For example, some agents only sell commercial properties. While they may not help sell your house, they can refer you to competent colleagues. Professionals are happy to provide referrals for each other, and what’s better than finding a great agent than through another great agent?
You can also ask your friends and family for referrals. People who have sold houses in the past will still have the contacts of their agents and can introduce you. However, you should be careful about choosing an agent just because they were referred by a friend. You should still do your due diligence. Pick an agent based on an objective set of measures only.
How to Identify the Right Agent
Even though we already discussed signs like how they handle open houses and how quickly they sell, there are other markers to look out for as well. These are questions for after you’ve selected a few prospects:
How many properties have they sold in the past year?
If you don’t already have this information, you should ask your agent before you sign an agreement. Even though agents who haven’t sold many properties in the past may sell your house quickly, your chances are much better with those who have a robust track record. Also, you should assess the properties they’ve sold, and see if they are similar to your property. They probably have prospective buyers who missed the last property and are in the market for something similar.
Ask about where your home will be listed.
You’ll want your property to be on the MLS, as well as big websites like Realtor.com. Even if you want to sell your house in orange county or other localized areas, you should ensure that your agent lists it on the MLS. Wanting to keep your property off is a red flag because that’s where most buyers and agents go to look for properties.
How’s your relationship with the agent?
How well you get along with your real estate agent is also very important. “Professional” isn’t the opposite of “friendly.” You should stay away from any agent who uses their professionalism as an excuse to make you feel uncomfortable or pressured. Also, simple things like answering the phone or returning emails are crucial. It may mean that your agent is only working part-time. You need an agent who’s available and committed to the job.
Do they work alone or in a team?
The answer to this question will tell you how your interactions are going to be. Real estate agents who work alone are going to be with you every step of the way. They will personally walk you through the process and make recommendations. Teams, on the other hand, have different individuals for different processes. Whether or not your agent works in a team may not necessarily affect their ability to sell your house. However, it still tells you what to expect.
The Bottom Line
Selling your property can be as easy or as difficult as you make it. Details like the condition and location of your property and the state of the market are essential. But then, the agent you work with is also equally important. If you want to sell your house at a reasonable price and in record time, use these tips to find the right agent for you.
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