Hiring an agent to sell your house:
Most of us are not used to interviewing people. Even those of us who work in the employment sector have a hard time with the “hiring the best Realtor” chore.
What is important to focus on? Are there key skills to look for? How should you recognize red flags?
These questions and observations will help you streamline the process and narrow your focus to find a great fit. They will help you discover the Realtor who is easy to work with and who can sell your house without a lot of unnecessary stress.
Evaluate The Realtor To See If They Can Sell Your Home:
How ethical is the Realtor who will sell your house?
Are they on time? Punctuality is a very good indicator of commitment and reliability. If they’re late without a good excuse then that’s not a good sign. You know this already, but try to keep it in mind when you’re interviewing.
A highly accessible and responsive agent
Ask the agent if they are going to be around and accessible throughout the process and for the full length of the contract. Are they planning a vacation and do they have a backup agent in case they get ill or they have an emergency?
If they’re on a team ask for an explanation of the roles of the team members. Who is handling the marketing? Who will be responsible for the negotiation? You want to make sure you know how the process is handled before you commit. Realtors should be able to tell you exactly what you should expect at each step in the process.
Another important thing to review is how responsive the agent is. Ask them questions about how frequently they will be communicating with you. Regular communication is imperative, so if the agent hesitates on this, they may not be a good fit.
A Realtor with a good reputation
It is easy to determine the character and work ethics of the agent based on the experiences of previous clients. Google the agent’s name and read any reviews that they have. See if the reviews mesh with your needs. If you decide to hire a real estate team, ask about what agent will be doing what, and look at the reviews for all those agents.
Are you hiring a market-savvy agent to sell your house?
The agent with market knowledge
One way to figure out how much the agent knows is to ask targeted questions. Their responses will help you determine if they’ve done their homework and know what they’re talking about. It will also help you see how they handle stress. Remember, they will be representing you so you want them to be able to clearly articulate information and defend and clarify the benefits of working with them. Questions like the ones listed below will be a good start to help you gauge the depth of their real estate knowledge.
- What is the average time on the market for a house like mine?
- Are their problems in the market place right now?
- How are home prices changing and why are they changing?
- How quickly are homes selling these days?
- Can you tell me about your worst experience when selling a home?
- Why should I hire you?
You want to see if they’re able to clearly articulate answers, explain the benefits of their experience or if they’ll just buckle under stress. Again, remember, they’re going to be representing you, so make sure you are hiring someone who is focused and has great listening skills.
The diplomatic Realtor
Diplomacy is important in sales, and it is crucial in negotiations so it is wise to evaluate the Realtor’s diplomatic skills before you hire. Ask them if they can give good constructive suggestions about your house. Almost everyone (well, maybe not Martha Stewart) has issues that need to be addressed before we put their home on the market. A good agent will be able to identify the issues in your house. They should also be able to tell you about the problems in a diplomatic manner and even give you ideas so that you can eliminate objections from buyers.
A Realtor with an effective marketing plan
Sadly if you look at the current market listings on any real estate website, you can see some homes marketed with horrible photos and some with very limited photos. Some agents even have misspellings in the description too!
Now, think about this, do you want your home to be represented by misspelled words and limited or ugly photos? Or do you want to stand out in the crowd?
If you hire a full-service agent they will be investing time and money into the sale of your home. If they are good at selling homes they will have devised a marketing plan to entice buyers.
An effective marketing plan can help you stand out from the crowd. Agents may have different tactics to get a home sold, but these days that plan should always include great photos and lots of social marketing too. It is 2019 after all!
A Realtor with great negotiation skills
You’re hiring the agent to represent you in a sale of your most important asset so you want to make sure they’re a strong negotiator.
This is one area where you can test their skills immediately. Throughout the interview and particularly when they are discussing fees the agent will be negotiating with you.
If you want to find a good negotiator you should hire the agent who can fully explain why their business approach would be best for you. They should also be capable of justifying and negotiating their fees. If they’re not a good negotiator for themselves, they will let you down too.
If they are offering you a discount be sure you understand what you will be giving up for the reduction in fees. Are you going to be responsible for all the marketing, what about the negotiation? Will the agent be able to give you any insights on offers? Will they be able to help you with negotiations for repairs?
A Realtor with market insight
Real estate is a market and the market is continually moving. Buyer’s taste, access to loans and other factors can shift a market. When you are hiring a Realtor is smart to ask for their insight into what is happening right now in your market.
Ask them to give you an overview of the market and then dig in and ask questions. They should be able to handle everything you ask. The questions above should be a good start. However, you do want to make sure that the agent can really explain how things are moving and how they position your home so that it sells in the current market conditions. The Realtor should also be able to give some general idea about where they see the market heading and what today’s buyers are looking for.
An agent who hunts for answers
When buyers look at your house, they will be comparing it with other homes that are on the market. It is crucial to hear what they said about the property, after all, they are the people who have the power to purchase. If buyers are commenting about the same thing over and over you can address it and adjust your market appeal accordingly. Your agent should have a plan to actively pursue responses so you can track and adjust the marketing as needed.
The Realtor Represents You, So You Need to Like Them:
The agent you will enjoy working with
Do you like the agent? This is crucial. You will be working closely with your agent. You’re hiring them to represent you and your house after all. So make sure to search for someone who you trust and who you feel very comfortable with.
A trustworthy Realtor
Integrity is a key ingredient in a great Realtor. It’s smart to focus on whether on not you think the agent is trustworthy. Determining credibility frequently starts as a gut feeling, and if you get a hint that they’re not on the up-and-up, then you should move on quickly. Your “spidey sense” is usually right. One of my clients told me that he hired a well-known agent when he was living in New York. He said the agent was full of smiles and had all the right answers so he hired him despite having a feeling that the guy shouldn’t be trusted. His relationship with the agent was a nightmare and he was upset with himself because he didn’t pay attention to the warning voice he heard in his head. Pay attention to your gut.
A good way to gauge personality is to ask them a tough question and watch their response. For example, ask them to tell you about a failure they experienced in their business. If they blame others for something that went wrong, or if they make excuses then you’ll know that they obviously have a problem with ownership of problems. They may be a complainer, not a fixer.
Do they seem to be easy to work with? If they are argumentative, stern or not open to listening to your opinion, just move on. You don’t need that drama in your life. Your agent needs to be a good listener, and someone who is able to look at a problem and figure out a solution.
I hope that you find this information helpful in your search to find the best listing agent. If you need any other insights you are welcome to reach out to us by emailing us directly at info@TriangleTrusted.com. We’re always happy to help.
PS – If you are located in the greater Triangle area of North Carolina, please give us a call if you or any of your friends are interested in selling. Our main office number is (919) 481-4914. You can also check out our website at www.TriangleTrusted.com.