Do you remember the nervousness you felt when buying your first home? Get ready to feel them again if you plan to sell your home. One of the best ways to keep your sale on track and take the pressure off your shoulders is to hire a broker.
When you sell your home, you want to get the maximum return on investment and find the most qualified buyer. Marketing, demonstrations, negotiations and closing must all be done in a short timeframe; You may not want to do all of this alone.
With so many different listing agents, it can be difficult to know who to trust. Here are tips and interview questions to ask yourself before choosing a broker.
FIND A REPRESENTATIVE AT HOMELIGHT
Visit HomeLight to find the right real estate agent for you. Start now to see your personalized matches.
What is a listing agent?
A listing agent, also known as a selling agent, is a real estate professional who performs a variety of duties for homeowners who have decided to sell, such as:
A realtor can help you go through the home sale process from start to finish and work on your behalf to help you get a fair price on your home.
How to find the best listing agent
Finding the right broker is like finding the right partner. While it may take some time, you will be happy if you do.
Interview at least three agents
Talk to at least three listing agents – in person if possible – to make sure they are a match for you.
Make sure the agent is trustworthy and has good relationships and connections in the real estate industry, says Erin Sykes, chief economist and real estate agent at Nest Seekers. You can find out by reading reviews online and asking previous customers about the agent.
Word of mouth is great, but not everyone who sends you a listing agent’s name has actually used the person to do it sell a house. A recommendation doesn’t carry much weight if it doesn’t accurately reflect the quality of work, the style of communication, or the way customers and others are treated during a transaction.
Check out their experiences
Make sure prospective brokers are properly licensed by searching for their names in your state’s real estate license database. Whenever you visit a realtor’s website, check their current and past listings to see if they are familiar with your neighborhood and have sold similar homes.
While a seasoned realtor is beneficial, a brand new realtor shouldn’t be overlooked, says Caroline Carter, CEO of Done in a Day, a company that prepares homes for sale. She says a new realtor can create hunger and desire for success that could help sell your home.
Ask the right questions
When interviewing potential listing agents, it is important to be prepared with a list of questions. You want to see if someone is qualified and has the right experience to not only market your home, but sell it asap and for a top dollar as soon as possible. Ask any listing agent:
What are the comparable listings in my neighborhood? Comparable (called “Comps“In the industry) are the pillars for the appraisal of your home and the asking price. A well-rounded comparative market analysis shows current offers and properties that have been sold in the last three to six months and are similar in size and features to yours.
What do you think my house is worth and why? During or before a presentation, most agents will ask you to go through your house so they can take notes and see what to work with. It also helps them compare the numbers against the comps to give you a suggested price that they think fits market conditions and your goals. You may have an asking price in mind, but your agent may disagree.
What would your home marketing plan include? A good real estate agent has a solid plan for promoting your listing in order to find the right pool of buyers. “Listed only” postcards, open days, Virtual 3D tours, professional photography, and brokerage tours for realtors (especially luxury homes) are all factors that can be incorporated into a marketing plan.
Are you a full time listing agent or is this a part time job? Ask prospective realtors how long they’ve been selling properties and how many homes they’ve sold recently. If someone hasn’t closed a deal in several months, that’s a cause for concern.
What is your commission rate? The typical real estate commission is approx. 6%; often the listing agent splits this amount with the buyer’s agent. Some agents may be willing to negotiate their commission, but don’t rely on it. After all, you are paying for professional service. Leave the commission question for last, but make sure you understand how much you will be billed for real estate agent services – and what exactly is included.
Next steps to hire a broker
Once you’ve met up with a few brokers and found one to click on, you’ll likely sign a listing agreement agreeing to a specific length of use at a set commission rate. Note that the schedule can be affected by local market conditions.
Now that the hard part is over, relax and let your listing agent take the wheel. Make sure you keep lines of communication open with your agent so you know what is happening to your home. Happy Selling!