What to Look for in a Real Estate Agent: The Homeowners Guide
When you know it’s time to sell your house, one of your first steps is going to be researching your selling options.
While we focus on the advantages of selling to a professional homebuyer, a common option is using a Real Estate Agent to help you navigate through the sales process.
Qualities of an Excellent Real Estate Agent
As you begin to review the Real Estate Agents in your area, you’ll want to do a thorough review of their digital presence, as well as their personalities.
Check their Google My Business reviews – don’t trust just the reviews on their website or in their pamphlets.
Unbiased reviews will tell you a broad range, so make sure to read the good and the bad, and then compare your interactions with those of the people they’ve worked with before.
In our own experiences with real estate agents, we’ve found that these are the best qualities of a person that can help you sell your house.
This is a no-brainer.
You will need to know your agent is being honest with you at all times. This means sometimes telling you things you might not want to hear.
They should be upfront with you about what they are doing to sell your home and what to expect throughout the entire process.
Remember not to take bad news personally. It is the real estate agent’s job to be upfront with you.
Your agent should be someone who is quick on their feet. Someone who can handle a last-minute snafu with tact and grace.
They will do whatever it takes to get the job done, tackling any problem head-on before it escalates into something bigger.
Your agent should know how to draw people in. How to make them want to know more about a property.
They should have excellent conversational skills and not make you feel as if there is an alternative motive.
Their personality should shine through, and not appear robotic or to always say the right thing.
People want to feel comfortable, and working with someone who makes them feel at ease is a terrific start.
Attention to Detail
You are paying your agent for a reason. They should have all bases covered.
They should tend to things you may not have even thought of. Moving your car out of the driveway for photos, taking down your kid’s diploma during a showing, hiding the trash cans when people view the home… these are all small things, but they have big subconscious effects on your potential buyers.
A great agent will love what they do.
Some people love real estate and they genuinely love the process of helping people buy and sell homes. They are motivated beyond money, and instead simply LOVE being good at what they do.
Watch how a real estate agent interacts with potential buyers and how they interact with you. If they are not goal-oriented and motivated to make the best sales they can, move on.
Never stop learning is our motto and we believe the same to be true for top agents. They should be abreast of everything going on the real estate world, especially in your local market.
Look for an agent who is certified in many areas or who are often found at seminars and events.
An agent in your corner who really knows their stuff is one of the best assets you have in successfully selling your home.
They should always be one step ahead of you. They should also gently push you if things need to get done. They know what it takes to sell, and they should work with you to make those things happen.
Some agents will put in little effort and hope for a buyer to come along. This isn’t the strategy of a top agent!
Be Well Connected
You know the people that seem to know everyone in town? This should be your real estate agent. The more people they know, the more likely they are to be able to spread the word about your house.
They will also be able to offer great recommendations for cleaning, staging and repair work.
We all know those people who talk over you. The ones who you have a conversation with, but you know they haven’t heard a word you said.
Each situation is different and a good agent will listen to your needs, goals, and expectations from the sale. It is your house and your voice should not go unheard.
However, you are hiring a professional for a reason, and you should always factor in their opinion when making a decision about your house.
They Have References
Not just selected references, ones they have handpicked.
But rather ask them about their most recent 10 or so clients.
What would they have to say about the experience?
A top agent will have no problem providing references from their most recent clients!
What Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent
Most people aren’t involved in the selling process more than once or twice in their life – so for all of the people who are just beginning the experience of selling a house, you’re probably wondering what you should be asking.
Truth is, there’s a lot of circumstance based on the market, the house, the agent, and so forth.
But there are definitely a lot of generic questions that can get the dialogue started.
One of the questions we particularly like is “Was there any part of the process of buying or selling a home that clients were pleased or particularly displeased with?”.
Not only does this test their honesty, but it should get you a lot of discussion points very quickly. How did they handle troubles? How did they handle successes?
Ask the agent what properties they’ve worked with in the location you’re selling in. Past experiences, especially recent ones, may often indicate how your selling interaction is going to go. Ask them what the asking price was. Ask them what the sales price ended up being.
Partnering with a real estate agent means exactly that – you are partners. Opening a truthful dialog and trusting each other is an important ingredient to success.
Selling Your House Without a Real Estate Agent
Since selling with a real estate agent can be time-consuming, and even expensive, some people may choose to go with a homebuyer instead. That’s what we do.
You technically don’t need a real estate agent, and although they can be helpful, plenty of homes are bought and sold privately, sold by owners, and even immediately sold to a home buyer.
With selling directly to a homebuyer, you don’t need to worry about closing costs (we handle that), you don’t need to leave the house on the market for weeks or months (we’ll give you a cash offer immediately) and there’s no commissions or fees from selling directly to us.
Weigh your options. There are a lot of ways to sell a house – getting the most for your time and money can take a lot of different forms. It depends on your goals.
If you’re interested in learning more about selling to a home buyer, you can give us a call at 972-487-7653.