What to Know Before Hiring a Realtor
What Everyone Should Know Before Hiring a Listing Agent
Your relationship with a listing agent is going to last for at least a couple of months, if not longer. So, it’s important to choose an agent you like but also one that won’t spell financial disaster for your pocketbook. After all — the goal is to make money — not lose it. But with more than 300 realtors in Iron County, Utah and 250 just in Cedar City that’s a lot of resumes and websites to wade through before you find the right one. Interview at least three agents before deciding who to hire.
Here are some tips for vetting potential real estate agents that will help you find the selling process far smoother.
Treat it like a job interview.
When you sign with a real estate agent you’re effectively hiring them to perform a service so make sure they’re qualified to do the job. Ask questions, look at their resume and interview more than one candidate.
Most sellers select the first agent they meet, which often results in disaster.
You want to put the time into this as it could cost you thousands of dollars and waste tons of time if you choose the wrong agent.
Pay attention to the realtor’s communication skills.
Your real estate agent needs to be able to not only effectively communicate with you but it’s also important they know how to listen to your needs. Good communication skills are imperative to selling your home and possibly finding you a new one. Your agent should have a communication plan that includes updating you on the market, the marketing he/she is doing and provides you with feedback within a reasonable time.
Look for someone with experience.
Let new agents learn their skill on someone else’s dime. Hire someone who has experience, time in the industry and a strong network of other agents they work with on behalf of their clients.
As with any job interview, you should check the realtor’s references.
Ask the agent’s you’re interviewing for the contact information of previous clients and call around to other professionals in the market to find out even more about a potential agent’s reputation. Zillow and Google also can provide you with both good and bad reviews of the agents prior performance.
Talk about marketing
Bottom line — marketing sells homes and should be a subject discussed in the initial meeting with potential agents. What plans do they have to sell your home, ask to see previous marketing strategies they’ve used and ask them to be clear on what expectations they have of you as the seller.
Since most marketing is done online now, your agent should be skilled in using
both the Internet and social media to sell your home. Look on their web site and their Facebook page to see how they use these resources to market other homes they have listed.
Listen with a skeptical ear when it comes to money talk. Real estate agents
will usually give you an estimate on your home’s value when they make their
pitch. Don’t let this cloud your judgment. If two sales agents give you an estimate on your home that is close in price and another gives you a higher estimate you can almost guarantee they’re trying to lure you in with promises they can’t keep. An overpriced home will sit on the market sometimes for months. Make sure your agent is realistic and honest.
Likewise, hiring an agent who agrees to the lowest commission rate isn’t
necessarily a wise move either. Buyer agents, who will split the commission with the listing agent, can see the commission amount. If they aren’t going to make a lot of money they won’t be motivated to show your property. So, make sure the commission rate is high enough to make it worth their time. The more agents showing your home, the faster you’ll sell it.
Hire the agent you trust. Much of your personal and financial information will be available to your agent, only sign with the one you trust to work in your best
interest. Trust and honesty should also be important to the agent as long-term
relationships guarantee future deals either through referrals or return clients.
Lastly, make sure the agent isn't charging you junk fees or cancelation fees. Many times unscrupalous agents will call these administrative fees, compliance fees, and transaction fees. These are just made up fees the agent tacks on to make a little extra money.
If you are considering selling your home I would love a chance to interview with you and show you what I can do! All you need to do to set this up is use the contact form below.