Choosing the right real estate agent is key to getting a quick and easy sale, but how can you know who is the right person for you? Here are five ways to find out.
Ask About the Marketing Plan. Good marketing sells homes, even in a tight market. Ask potential agents what methods they will use to advertise your house. Does their plan include print, online, in-person, and networking media? How will it be listed, and how often will listings be updated? What special options are available, such as virtual tours or financing flyers? How many open houses are planned?
Talk with Other Clients. Recommendations from other sellers are ideal. If you don't have recommendations, ask the agent for a list of recent home sales and contact information for the sellers. Look for homes that are similar to yours in price, location, or amenities. When talking to clients, ask how well the agent helped to price the properties, how long it stayed on the market, and what was their biggest challenge in dealing with the agent.
Check Licensing. States operate their own licensing boards for real estate agent, so make sure you look up the credentials of anyone you plan to do business with. Check out their company and their reputation through associations, online review sites, and state disciplinary bodies.
Look for Relevant Experience. You don't want an agent who is still learning the ropes. Opting for one who has been in the business at least five years is a good way to ensure that they know how to get the sale done and closed. In addition, look for someone with experience in the specific market you're selling to — either in the community around your property or in the type of property that you will be listing.
Trust Your Instincts. Listen to your gut when choosing someone to trust with this large and important transaction. If you get a sense of any red flags, don't ignore them. Be wary of agents who make pie-in-the-sky promises, who seem to tell you only what you want to hear, or who quote costs that seem unusually low. If in doubt, keep looking for someone else.
Use these five tips to help find a great real estate agent who will not only help to make the selling process fast and simple, but who will also give you the confidence to tackle this new chapter in your life.