When you’re selling a home, a Good Realtor can make all the difference.
But how do you zero in on the agent who’s best for you?
In this post, we’ll take a look at some strategies you can use to ensure that you find a Realtor who will give you a solid advantage in a competitive market.
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5 Tips to Help You Find a Realtor
1. Talk with Recent Clients
Nothing beats word of mouth, right? A reputable agent will be happy to put you in touch with their former clients. Ask for a list of properties that your prospective agent has listed and sold in the past year, including any contact information they can provide you with. These “references” will help you get a sense of your agent’s working style and marketing strategy, as well as their level of experience marketing properties like yours. If you hear complaints, take them seriously – at the very least, ask your agent about them during your consultation.
You can also ask your agent about asking and final selling prices, length of time from listing to closing, as well as your agent’s history with clients in similar situations. If you have special concerns – repairs, a rush or strict timeline, remote locations – it’s a good idea to ask for details on how your agent will manage them. This is key to finding a good Realtor.
2. Run Their License
Each state has a board responsible for licensing, supervising, and disciplining real estate agent. It’s worth taking time to perform a basic check on a prospective agent’s status – whether they are licensed and whether there have been any complaints. You may also want to see if they have won any awards, if they belong to any local professional associations, or if they have taken any role in community organizations and events. Their interactions with their local business community can help you get a broader sense of their professional presence and interests.
Photo Credit: Carealtytraining.com
3. Search for Special Qualifications
Just like professionals in every other field, real estate agents specialize. Even real estate agents who represent a diverse roster of clients and properties will often obtain additional training in some areas. You can use these qualifications to figure out whether an agent is qualified to assist you. If you’d like to learn more about a prospective agent’s skillset, ask them to tell you more about their qualifications – why they sought out special training, what they learned, how they’ve been able to use it in the intervening years, and how they think it will serve them with you.
4. Consider the Return on Experience
Newer agents may offer a premium in some areas – for example, they’re more likely to be familiar with social media advertising and other digital marketing methods. Still, years in the industry generally translates to valuable experience in your corner – so you will probably want to choose a Realtor who has been in the business for a minimum of five years.
You can also ask how long your agent has been representing clients in a particular area, since that local knowledge is crucial to evaluating offers and building marketing plans. If you have any special concerns – moving across the country, for example – you will want to ask how much experience your real estate agent has with clients like you.
5. Page Through Their Portfolios
When choosing a Realtor you should look at their real estate listings online, and they’ll probably be promoting properties across platforms. These will include their company’s website, online MLS websites, posts on aggregator sites like Trulia and Redfin, onsite blogs, and social media pages. Look through their marketing materials for other properties to see
if their current listings align with your property and your sense of the best strategy. Are they in the same area and price range? Do you see any amenities matching your property’s special features? Will your listing feature professional photographs and professionally-written copy? How does your agent feel about print vs. digital media?
You can also bring these issues up during any consultation you have with your agent, and it may be helpful to use their other listings as a jumping-off point for a discussion about your home and your marketing plan. You can get a sense of the thinking behind a particular marketing decision, and you can ask your agent about how their strategy will play out for you. If you have any preferences for your marketing plan – interest in social media marketing, concerns about open-house and showing schedules – make sure your real estate agent knows what you want.
The Bottom Line..
Trying to find a Realtor takes some time and research, but these five strategies should help guide you to the best choice. A competent agent will be receptive to dialogue and invested in helping you find a good fit.