Tips on Choosing the Right Listing Agent
1. Experience – Ask about experience, experience counts. How many homes does that agent sell individually per year? How many homes does the Agent’s team or brokerage sell? Beware of the part-time agent or the agent that only sells 4-5 homes per year. Numbers and experience do count, especially when it comes to negotiating a real estate deal. Listing with the office that sells the most homes in town means that you are working with an agent that knows what’s happening in the market, what is killing deals and what is making them smooth for clients. I had more than 40 transactions in 2013 and I'm in my 10th year in the business. I'm also a Broker-Associate with Keller Williams, a title that requires more experience and testing than a realtor/agent.
2. What does the agent do that is above and beyond other agents? Every agent knows how to put up a sign and enter a property in the mls, and this is what I see majority of most agents do.
In order to get a property sold for the highest the market will bear, your agent must:
· Communicate well with you. How often will your agent update you on the progress of the sale of your home? I give weekly reports on the current market conditions, feedback on your home and what I have done to help get your home sold that week (above putting a sign in the yard and entering home in the mls…)
· Staging – Staging a home is proven to help it sell faster and for more money. I hire a stager for all of my listings.
· Professional Photography and Virtual Tour – When you bought your home, I’m sure you came across some awful real estate photos. I want your home to show like a model home and get you the most money. Professional Photography is a must!
· Prospecting – Ask your agent how many hours they prospect a week? And how many people they talk with? I’m committed to two hours a day of prospecting (M-F). This is when I call people around town (FSBOs, expired listings, neighborhoods) and ask them if they are planning to move and where they are planning to move. My job is to look for buyer for you home. I don’t know many agents that are committed to prospecting as I am.
· Internet Marketing – KW pushes your listing out to more than 350 websites, more than any other brokerage, period. My blog, facebook business page, facebook personal page, pinterest, twitter and youtube accounts are also all utilized when needed.
3. Beware of the Lone Agent - I don’t know how agents do this business on their own anymore successfully. There are too many details to listing and selling a home, and if they are successful agents with the knowledge and experience you need, then they are too overwhelmed and stressed out to handle all of them. The team format is really the best option for a smooth transaction. If your agent is on a good team with licensed assistants and an operations/transaction manager, then they can focus on the most important task: Getting you the most money for your home!
4. Beware of the Discount Agent –When I do not get hired to list the home, it’s usually because an agent came in and promised too much (to sell at too high a price) and gave a discount on commission. Do not fall into this trap! I will negotiate my commission, yet only after I have completed the job for you. I do not expect to get paid more than what you think I deserve for a transaction. When you work with an agent that discounts his commission on the front end, how can you trust that agent to negotiate for your money? And when you see how a commission is broken down, the agent that that discounts his commission on the front end of the job, does not realize he is working for free after he pays his broker, taxes, E&O insurance, marketing fees, gas and time. How hard to people work when they are working for free? The only time I will discount my commission is if a client is doing multiple transactions with me or if the client bought a property using my services, has to sell and is taking a loss on the sale.
Laura Ivy Blessing blogs about the Austin, TX known and lesser known happenings with a splash of real estate savvy for today's buyers and sellers. Please call her today to consult and advise you through your next real estate transaction.