Real estate agents are as different from one another as any other profession. You wouldn’t go to an eye doctor for a dental problem or a podiatrist for tummy troubles. Instead, you find the professional who specializes in your area of need. This specialization is true in real estate as much as it is in the medical field. Furthermore, just because professionals specialize in the same area doesn’t make them equal; they have different personalities! A qualified doctor may have an awkward bedside manner whereas another doctor with equivalent qualifications may be a pleasure with whom to work. Here are some useful suggestions for finding the right real estate agent.
Avoid Working with Family and Friends
Business and personal life don’t always mesh. In fact, a business endeavor gone sour can do severe damage to a relationship. You may get a discounted rate from your uncle or cousin, but at what cost? When it can be avoided, don’t work with family or friends. Keep business and personal life separate.
Ask for Referrals and Recommendations
Chances are, someone you are related to, friends with, work with, or attend church or social functions with has sold a house, worked with an agent, and has insight to share. Ask around to find out who your colleagues choose to work with in real estate.
Determine Your Needs
Your home is unique. Whether it’s a traditional home in the suburbs or a rural wonderland, a waterfront property or a home with mountain views, a condo with an urban vibe – each house sells differently and to a different set of buyers. The agent with whom you choose to share the home-selling journey should specialize in the type of home you’re selling, and the area in which your property is being sold.
You have choices, and you have the right to narrow down those choices through a process of interviews. Remember, you are hiring a professional to work for you, not the other way around.
Here are some questions you may want to ask:
Of the last six houses sold, what was the shortest time on the market, the longest time on the market, and the average selling time of properties?
Considering the same six houses, what was the initial asking price, the final selling price, and the number of price reductions?
What is your marketing strategy when selling a property?
These questions can provide you with a good idea of that agent’s success rate.
Another part of the interview process is to check ratings and reviews. Find out what others are saying about the services that agent provides.
Beware of the Largest Promises and Lowest Commissions
If an agent promises a high sales price or offers a low commission, beware. Qualified agents know their limits and their worth. Anyone promising you the moon may be desperate for clients, and the same is true about agents who work for small potatoes.
Ask About the Exit Strategy
Some agents have stipulations woven into their contracts that prevent you from terminating the relationship before a certain amount of time. However, many of those agents are also willing to negotiate those terms if you ask. Be clear about the terms of your relationship.
One of the most frustrating things the seller of a home contends with is an agent who is non-responsive. When you have a question, you want it answered. When you have a concern, you want it addressed. Find out if the real estate agent you’re considering has good communication skills. Do they prefer phone conversations, text messages, or emails? What is a reasonable timeline in which you can expect a response? Do you feel comfortable asking them questions and satisfied with the responses they offer?
When you find the right agent who is qualified, communicates well, and has reasonable rates backed by a solid marketing plan, get out of the agent’s way and allow him or her to do the job they were hired for. It’s okay to ask questions, but there’s no need to hound the agent. Remember, the agent only gets paid when your house is sold, so they’re as motivated as you are to get the job done.
Your journey into finding the right real estate agent likely began with you asking the people you know who they know in real estate. When you’re fully satisfied with the services your agent provides, rate their service, add a review to their website or social networks, and carry a few of the agent’s business cards with you, so you’re ready to share contact information with others who are interested in buying or selling real estate.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give The Pikoff Team a call today at 832-786-1644 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.