Treat the sale of your home like a business transaction. This approach helps you to avoid making rash or emotional decisions. This includes choosing a real estate agent to list and market your property. In fact, your selection of real estate agent brokers constitutes one of the most important decisions you will make in the entire process.
It really makes a difference when you work with a real estate professional who has the experience and knowledge about the neighborhood. Making the right choice of real estate agent enhances your chance of getting your home sold quickly, at the best price possible and with a minimal amount of stress.
Agents vs. REALTORS®
Decide if you want to work with a licensed professional real estate agent versus a real estate agent who has the designation that allows them to market himself or herself as a “REALTOR®”. Generally, most people use the terms in an interchangeable manner, but the expressions do not have the same meaning.
Both professionals have a license to sell real estate sell real estate. However, a REALTOR® has a membership in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). NAR members adhere to the organization’s REALTOR® Code of Ethics, which contains 17 articles.
Finding a Real Estate Agent
With so many people acquiring real estate licenses to earn extra income, just about everyone have family members or friends who have become real estate agents. Nonetheless, possessing a real estate licensed does not automatically qualify one when it comes to credentials.
Allow them to present their qualifications and compete for your listing along with other qualified real estate agents. Make it clear to them that you will make a purely business decision.
Ask family members, friends and associates who have sold homes for the names of real estate agents they have worked with to compile a list of candidates. Narrow the list down to three games and schedule interviews with the agents.
Questions to Ask During the Interview
Following are a list of questions to help you through the interview process. The process should take about 30 minutes to complete. Note each candidate’s response and compared the answers before choosing a realtor.
1. How long have you work in residential real estate sales? Do you sell real estate full-time?
The answers to these questions do not mean you will get the desired outcome, but reveals the agent’s experience level, and if the person should have the time to market your property.
2. What credentials do you have besides a state real estate sales license?
A real estate license signifies an agent has met the state’s minimum requirements for education, training and testing. Additional credentials such as Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Graduate Real Estate Institute (GRI) or Senior Real Estate Specialist, (SRES) indicate specialize training, undertaken by about 25% of agents.
3. How many of your listings have you sold over the past 12 months?
These questions provide insight into the agent’s marketing of homes listed. Obtain the addresses and selling prices for the homes. Compare the answers to the market averages in your area.
4. What is the asking price to selling price ratio for your listings?
Look for discrepancies and question the agent about any variances.
5. How do you plan to market the home?
Most real estate agents can list your property in the multiple listing services and put a sign in the yard. Look for an agent who makes use of the Internet and social media will ensure your property gains maximum exposure.
6. Do you represent both seller and buyer in the transaction?
Depending on the state where you live, real estate agents must disclose “dual agency”, which means they represent both parties in a real estate transaction. Some jurisdictions have made dual agency illegal. Choose an agent who will represent your interests only during the sale of your home.
7. How will you communicate with me?
Establish the best method of communication, such as telephone or e-mail, and the frequency.
Choose a realtor who you feel you can work with to get your home sold. After making your choice, you will need to sign a listing agreement. Make the term of the agreement as short as possible – preferably 3 to 6 months. You should feel free to negotiate the real estate commission after choosing a realtor to sell your home.