Hiring the right real estate agent is a key component to laying the foundation for a smooth real estate transaction. A quick Google search of real estate agents in your area will give you many different choices. The question is, how can you find the right real estate agent to meet YOUR needs.
That agent doesn't necessarily work at the largest brokerage or close the most transactions, empirical data that is easy to verify. It takes a little more investigation to find an agent that is an experienced professional who will listen to you, understand and address your concerns, and know your local market.
At the Chad Wilson Group, we like to say, "Anyone can list a home…a good realtor will price and market a home to SELL IT."
On a recent episode of The American Dream, co-anchor Jenn Morris asked Chad to discuss the process for how sellers should go about finding the right real estate agent to list their home for sale.
Chad laid out the following criteria and steps to vet real estate agents.
1. Referrals – Talk to past clients. Successful agents will make customer satisfaction their number one priority.
2. Online Reviews – Again, find the agents where plenty of past clients are raving about their customer service. Check out Zillow and their Facebook page for past client reviews.
3. Find an Area Expert –Look up the homes that they have sold in the past year and determine how many were in your area.
4. Interview Several Agents - Ask about their experience, qualifications, work history, and track record. Look for a realtor who has the experience to handle your transaction and one with whom you feel comfortable working.
5. Professional Photography - Make sure the agent hires a professional photographer to take pictures of their listings. Review their prior listings to ensure the photographs look exceptional.
6. Do they know how to price a home? Look at their List-to-Sales-Price Ratio to determine how close to original list price their homes typically sell.
Jenn Morris dug a little deeper, asking Chad for an example of what he meant by “anyone can list a home, but a good realtor will price and market a home to SELL it."
Chad shared a story of one of the team's recent successes in selling a home. The Chad Wilson Group was contacted by a home owner in North St Louis County. Their home had been listed with an agent for just over 100 days with very few showings and no offers, which led to them to cancel their agreement to work with that agent. Because the owners were dealing with some personal issues in their lives, they had not paid close attention to the marketing that was being done on their home.
When they finally checked out their listing online, they were disappointed to find that there were only 6 pictures of their home, not professionally taken. Our team had just sold their neighbor's home up the street, so they called us for an interview and we secured the listing.
The data indicated the appropriate listing price for their home should be $7,000 HIGHER than it previously was listed. We found that the square footage of the home wasn’t listed on the MLS, therefore excluding them from a lot of searches. Our team took professional photographs and implemented our comprehensive marketing strategy…and we received a contract in 3 days.
The takeaway lesson is this… An experienced REALTOR® will help you prepare your home for sale and market it in such a way to influence buyers’ perception of the home’s value, with the end goal of increasing the price the buyers are willing to pay for the home.
Lastly, Jenn asked Chad what criteria should NOT be weighed heavily when hiring a listing agent.
Chad indicated that sellers shouldn't make the mistake of selecting an agent just because they suggested the highest list price for your home, or who works for the lowest commission.
Just because you list the home at the price recommended by the agent you are hiring, "doesn't mean you will sell it at that price, and there is a very big danger in overpricing a house, just as there is in under-pricing a house, when you could potentially leave money on the table." Ensure that the real estate agent you are interviewing can "defend the proposed value of the home. During contract negotiations, if you receive a low offer and the listing agent cannot defend the list price of the home, that agent will not be a very effective negotiator."
Also, think twice about hiring an agent just because they will discount the listing commission. One of the things to understand is that discount agents are just as likely to reduce the value of your home to someone who’s potentially going to buy it. In other words, if they’ll give their own commission away so easily, why wouldn’t they give away yours? You should hire an agent who is a professional negotiator, one who is willing to act on your behalf because they know how to negotiate well and get you the most money for your home. Also, a discounted listing means fewer resources to market your home and service your needs.
The Chad Wilson Group's team of Listing Specialists excels at pricing homes properly from the start to maximize the seller proceeds and minimize the days on market, and our team of marketing experts makes sure YOUR home is noticed. Give us a call today at 636-229-SOLD, and we’ll set up a time for one of our Listing Specialists to conduct a pricing and marketing analysis of your home.