Think it’s expensive to hire with a professional real estate agent to sell your home? Try hiring an amateur.
Hiring the right real estate agent can make or break your sale. Hiring the wrong person can have grave consequences on the reputation of your property and ultimately the price of your property sells for. Although you’re selling your home and it feels personal, don’t forget that this transaction is business and making the wrong decision might directly impact your pocketbook. Smart home sellers do their research up front to make sure that they’ve found the best Realtor for them. These are tips to help you interview & hire the best Realtor for you.
Can You Provide Me with 3 Recent References?
It doesn’t matter how great a Realtor tells you they are… what matters is how great their clients say that they are! Use the internet to find out what people are saying about the Realtor you’re considering working with. I also suggest requesting a list of 3 recent client references, so that you can call them and ask questions about their experience. The best way to predict a Realtor’s future performance is their past performance. Previous clients are not going to sugar coat their reviews if they didn’t have a truly wonderful experience. You owe it to yourself to work with a Realtor who cares about customer service, responsiveness, and strives to make all parties happy.
What is your Educational History, in Real Estate and Prior?
It is absolutely critical that you hire a highly educated real estate agent. Unfortunately for consumers, it’s not difficult for people to launch a new career selling real estate, and this sets a low bar for professional quality. Just because someone has a real estate license does not mean that they are qualified to guide you seamlessly through your real estate sale. You owe it to yourself to work with a go-getter who will spend the time and money investing in educating themselves, both in the field of real estate and also in higher education.
A Realtor who has earned advanced professional designations (like CRS: Certified Residential Specialist and GRI: Graduate of the Realtor Institute) is someone who cares about providing their clients with the most successful transactions possible. You are making decisions about one of your largest investments; hire a Realtor who is truly the expert you expect them to be.
How Long Have You Been Selling Real Estate Full-Time?
Does the agent work in real estate full time or is this merely a side-gig? When was the agents last sale completed? How many houses did they sell last year?
Your needs will be best served if you hire an agent who is actively and consistently working in their market, and understands the complexities unique to selling a property in that area. Someone who only sells a couple houses a year or does not live & work in the area where they’re selling properties is not someone who is trustworthy in ensuring that you’re going to have the best advantage.
How Do I Know That You’re a Local Expert?
Real estate is a local business that should be conducted by local professionals with hands-on local knowledge. From neighborhood to neighborhood and town to town, real estate conditions are unique and constantly changing. If you want to work with a local expert, you should work with a real estate agent who lives in the community where they are selling homes and can personally speak to what it’s like to live there.
How Will You Market My Property?
Your real astate agent’s marketing skills and motivation are going to be critical to your success. Ask Realtors about their marketing plan, and what marketing services you can expect to receive if you list a home with them. The Realtor should provide you with samples of their previous marketing efforts and sales successes. You should also do some independent research by searching for the real estate agent on the internet, and see what you can find to verify that they’re truly marketing properties the way they say they will.
As you look at the real estate agent’s previous listings, think about this... Was the language in the advertisement compelling & well-written? Were the photos professionally taken or did the real estate agent snap some terrible shots with their cell phone? Is the Realtor using multiple means of advertising your property, including social media?
You should also ask who pays for the marketing that the real estate agent plans to do. You’d expect that the Realtor would pick up the tab on most marketing expenses, but that all depends on who you work with and what types of marketing activities are planned. Be sure that you’re clear on responsibilities for payment up front so that you don’t get surprised later on.
What is Your Commission?
Property sellers are responsible for paying the listing agent commission and the buyer’s agent commission, and this fee is typically earned upon the successful closing of the sale. When you ask what commission rate a Realtor is charging, be sure to get clarification on how much of that will go to the listing agent and how much will go to the buyer’s agent. Once an agreement is reached regarding commissions, it will be noted in the Listing Agreement which you will sign once you make a hiring decision.
Nobody wants to overpay for a professional service, but remember that you get what you pay for. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. If you are serious about selling your home for the highest possible return in the least time with minimal stress, hire a professional real estate agent to do what they do best. Professionals may charge a little more, but you should notice the difference in the quality of service you’re receiving.
Can We Get Along? Are You A Good Personality Fit For Me?
Remember, the “best” Realtor for one client may not be the best for another. In addition to all the considerations I’ve already mentioned, personality fit is absolutely critical. You are entering into what will be a long-term (and hopefully) life-long relationship with your real estate agent, and it pays to work with someone who is responsive and attentive to your needs, has a great personality, and above all someone who makes the process fun.
As you’re considering selling your Oregon Coast property, please consider contacting me to see if we’ll be a good fit to work with each other. I look forward to hearing from you to talk about your real estate goals!