You’ve finally decided to sell your home, but how do you decide what’s the best way to proceed? Hiring a real estate agent might be the answer to all your problems, or it might not be appropriate for your situation at all. This article will help you determine whether or not you should hire an agent and, if so, how to choose the right one.
Do I Need to Hire a Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents are trained to help you make smart decisions during one of life’s most stressful endeavors. They’re equipped with local knowledge and expertise that can save you valuable time—time that you could better spend looking at actual houses. And, yes, they do get paid whether or not they sell your house. So unless you want to go it alone (and potentially miss out on some incredible opportunities), consider hiring a realtor.
The good news is that realtors don’t cost very much; in fact, if you shop around for someone who doesn’t charge commission, their services may actually end up saving you money. But even if an agent does charge commission, it will likely be less than 6 percent of your home’s final sale price.
The Advantages of Working with a Realtor
There are many advantages to working with a real estate agent. A Realtor can help you select your location, offer expert advice on your financing options, and explain what will happen at each step of buying or selling property.
With so much expertise and assistance at your fingertips, why would you choose to hire anyone else? If you’re still not convinced that hiring a realtor is right for you, consider these benefits:
1) Expertise – An experienced Realtor knows exactly how to market and sell your home quickly.
2) Negotiations – Your Realtor has access to comps (comparable sales data), which means they know how to price your home correctly from day one.
Find the Right Realtor for You
When it comes to buying and selling property, there are so many factors that you need to consider. If you’re going through a significant life change like having kids or retiring and downsizing your home, you may want to hire a realtor to help ease some of these transitions. Use the following criteria when hiring your realtor.
1) A good realtor will ask questions about what you’re looking for in a new house—and then actually listen to your answers.
2) A good realtor will be able to give you advice on how much house you can afford based on what kind of mortgage options are available in your area.
3) A good realtor will also have experience working with clients who have similar goals as yours—whether that means they have children, pets, or are active seniors themselves.
What to Look for in a Realtor
It’s important to hire a realtor who will be excited and engaged in helping you find your dream home. Here are some of their qualities that you should look for: experience, transparency and a quality reputation. Make sure they are licensed to conduct business in your area; contact your local licensing board if you have any questions.
If possible, interview at least three agents before making your decision so you can compare them side-by-side.
A few things to ask during an interview include:
How long have you been selling homes?
What neighborhoods do you specialize in?
What makes these neighborhoods desirable?
How much time do you spend with clients on average per week/month/year?
What is your commission rate?
Red Flags in Working with a Realtor
In our experience, we’ve found that agents who have issues with communication tend to be problematic. We had one agent not return phone calls or emails for six months.
In another instance, an agent failed to deliver on multiple promises and expected us to be okay with it. Trust is important in business dealings; if you don’t trust your real estate agent and he or she cannot live up to expectations, it can derail your entire transaction.
It’s also worth noting that some agents aren’t as familiar with certain areas of town as others.
The Bottom Line
Buying or Selling a home is a big decision. Make sure you hire the right realtor for the job! I can help. Contact my office for resources and a free consultation if you are thinking of buying or selling your home.