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T​ips on Choosing the Right Listing Agent

Whether you have a luxurious estate or a starter home, selling your property is a big decision. With your investment at stake, you want to get the highest possible price for your home and sell it as quickly as you can.

To achieve the result you want, you need to work with a Realtor who has the knowhow and skills in selling a home successfully.

With your many choices out there, how can you tell if a Realtor is the right one for you? Consider the tips below:

  1. Ask the Realtor how they will price the property
    In order to get your business, many real estate agents will name an unrealistically high listing price for your property. Unfortunately, this can ultimately backfire and you may end up selling your home at a discount just to find a buyer.

    Overpricing is the single biggest reason a house sits on the market longer than necessary. Eventually, you may have to lower the price, and if you need to do this several times, buyers might think there’s something wrong with the property and stay away from it completely.

    A reliable Realtor will suggest a listing price based on “comps”, or the prices of similar homes that recently sold in your area. In addition, they’ll consider market conditions, as well as your home’s unique features and desirability.

    Ask potential agents how they arrived at a listing price for your property. Look at their list of comps. If the homes they based their figure upon are in a different location, or if they can’t provide any data to back their suggested listing price, that could mean a lack of diligence and truthfulness on their part.

  2. Consider where a Realtor’s commission is based upon
    The standard commission rate in real estate today is 6%, but this is always negotiable. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that a lower commission is not necessarily the best deal.

    Some agents who charge a lower fee may simply offer to take charge of listing your home on the MLS, then expect you do the rest of the work, such as advertising and marketing your home, scheduling buyer showings, and so on.

    If a full-service agent asks for a lower commission, this can be a red flag, as well. It could mean the agent is desperate for clients, which is not a good sign.

    On the other hand, there are good reasons why a Realtor would agree to a lower commission. For example, you may be working with the agent to sell and buy a home at the same time, which means they get a commission from selling your property and bringing you as the buyer for another property. It could also be that the Realtor want your business mostly to promote their services, or they want to match another Realtor’s fees.

    Ask potential agents what services come with their fees then weigh if what you’re getting is worth what you’re paying.

  3. Look into Realtors’ experience and track record
    There’s certainly nothing wrong in working with a new agent, but experience greatly counts in real estate. A Realtor with years of experience would have learned from their past mistakes and successfully navigated through various market conditions.

    The agent’s specializations matter, as well. As the adage goes, real estate is local.

    Median prices can vary greatly within the same city or even the same neighborhood. Likewise, each property type, such as a luxury home or a waterfront property, comes with its own nuances. You’d like to work with a Realtor who has experience and knowledge in your area and the type of property you’re selling.

    A good indication of how a Realtor has performed in the past is industry awards and recognitions. This is a quantifiable achievement given by their peers and those who know the real estate industry best, so it’s a highly objective measure of an agent’s accomplishments.

  4. Review their marketing strategy
    Ask potential Realtors how they plan to market your home. In this highly competitive market, it’s not enough to simply have your home listed on the MLS and put up a “For Sale” sign on your yard.

    A reliable Realtor will customize a marketing plan specifically for your home. They’ll know which features to highlight and which ones to downplay in presenting your property. They utilize professional photos and make sure their listing descriptions are impeccable.

In addition, they have highly-effective marketing tools in their arsenal, including:

  • Virtual tours
  • Syndication to major real estate websites
  • Professionally-made flyers
  • Digital marketing
  • Direct mail
  • Advertising on appropriate publications
  • Creating a website for your property
  • Social media marketing
  • Broker previews or open houses for brokers
  • Promoting your property within their own network

Selling your home in the San Francisco Bay Area? I will be happy to represent your home. I have over 30 years of experience and I’ve been recognized as a top East Bay Realtor. I can help you sell your home at the highest possible price. Get in touch with me here or call me at 510.406.4836.