Selling your home can be an emotional experience. Depending on the circumstances, you may feel various levels of excitement, anticipation, fear, anxiety, and nostalgia. That being the case, you could use someone with experience to hold your hand and guide you through the process of listing and selling your residence.
You might presume that selecting an agent is as simple as asking a new neighbor for the name of the expert they used, but this isn’t necessarily wise. In crowded markets there can be hundreds, even thousands, of available agents; and the distance between the bottom and top rungs of the ladder could be substantial.
If you don’t have a plan for finding the right person, you could end up tied to an agent who loses you money and prolongs the process unnecessarily.
Five Tips for Finding the Best Listing Agent
The essential point to remember is that you’re totally in control of the process of choosing a listing agent. If you don’t like someone, you don’t have to work with him or her.
If you do like someone, you have every opportunity to engage the person and work up a listing agreement. But what most people want to know is: How do you find the best agent for the listing?
Here five basic pointers:
- Do Your Research
The process begins with doing research and compiling a list of candidates you think might be qualified to serve as your listing agent. You can find a lot of information online by looking at various real estate websites and browsing the listings on popular pages.
Who has the most listings? Who appears to have closed a lot of deals of late? What do ratings and review reveal?
You should be able to pick up a lot about agents by doing online research. You can also ask around and get a feel for who your friends, family members, and coworkers have used in the past.
Does a particular professional garner a lot of recommendations? You may also shake out one or two you need to stay away from.
- Schedule Listing Presentations
Once your list has been narrowed down to two or three promising agents, you can ask each of them to develop a listing presentation for you. This is a presentation about how the person would price your home, market it, and ensure you are likely to attract an offer within the first 30 days.
You’ll naturally be drawn to the one who tells you he or she can get you the highest price. But make sure you evaluate all the other factors. To get the listing, some agents will distort the truth and present unrealistic numbers.
Once the house has been on the market for a while, they’ll encourage you to lower the price to where it should have been all along. You want an agent who prices the house realistically from the start.
- Ask the Right Questions
Though the onus will be on the prospective listing agents to sell themselves and make you desire their services, you have a few responsibilities of your own when you vet the candidates.
During (or after) listing presentations, you have to ask the right questions. These include:
- How many listings have you sold in my neighborhood this year? There’s a vast difference between having a listing and putting one under contact. You want to know how many listings an agent has honestly sold in your region to give you a clear idea of how well the person actually knows the market.
- How does your marketing strategy differ from others? The marketing strategy an agent chooses to implement often plays a significant role in whether you’re able to get your desired sale price. As the seller, you need to know which marketing tactics the agent will use.
- How many days on average does it take your listings to sell? A well-priced home will eventually sell in any case, but you need to know how long you can reasonably expect it to take. It could make your life a lot easier if an agent can sell your house in 10 days rather than 45.
There are other worthwhile questions, but the above are among the few for which you must get answers. Don’t be shy about probing prospective agents; they expect it.
- Consider Price, Commission, and Marketing Strategy
Three factors matter more than any others when we talk about choosing an agent: their suggested list price, the marketing strategy, and the commission structure.
The commission structure is something that hasn’t been mentioned yet. Most listing agents will charge a commission of 3 percent of the sale price. You’ll find some who charge less, but this is generally the standard.
Then you have listing agents who operate on a flat-rate commission. If your home is at the upper end of the market, this can save you a ton of money.
Other factors come into play as well, but you can simplify your decision-making process by analyzing these three elements against one another. If you find a person who checks off all the boxes, then you’ve probably located your agent.
- Trust Your Gut
If you’ve done your research and identified agents who are successful and reputable in your market, then you probably can’t go wrong with any of them. So finally, it comes down to trusting your gut.
You’ll be working with your agent a lot in the coming days and weeks. It’s going to be a bonus if you get along with the person and feel comfortable with him or her. This will make the process much smoother and eliminate any unnecessary wrinkles that could slow everything down.
Let Green Residential Help You Sell Your Home
At Green Residential, we’re committed to helping Houston-area homeowners navigate the selling process in a fast, efficient manner that allows them to maximize value and get the highest possible ROI. If you’re looking for a listing agent for your home, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Not only are we one of the most experienced realty companies in greater Houston, but we also operate on a flat-rate fee, which typically saves our clients thousands of dollars compared to the typical commission-based contract that other homeowners sign with their listing agent.