When you start telling people that you’re thinking about selling your home, you will naturally get several recommendations on real estate agents to use. But please, heed my advice and interview a couple of agents and do your homework before choosing one. Remember, this person is going to be a part of your life until your home’s sold.
When I say, do your homework, I mean for you to get on the web and use Google to search for the best websites in your area. For instance, if you’re in the Kansas City area, you would do a Google search on Kansas City real estate. Now, check out the websites of the ones that come up first in your search criteria. Is the site easy to use? Do they have an office near your area? Do you already know any of the agents in that office? Do you recognize the name of the company? Etc, etc. Also, now is the time to do a little searching for the people that were recommended to you. Are they on one of these major sites? How’s their personal website page? Do they have homes listed? How are their pictures? The reason all of this is so important is because you really need for your agent and their company to be current with technology. 94% of buyers begin their home search online.
Next, you can either pick up the phone and call the agent or just email them (to test their response time). Tell them you’re interviewing agents. Don’t know who to choose from those companies that you found on the internet? You can always call the main office number and chat with the broker. I’m always happy to talk with a potential customer about their property, their needs, and who I think would be a good fit for them.
Here they come!
A few tips here: Don’t make your choice based on their commission rate. Do ask them about their marketing. Don’t let someone force you into a decision. Let go of your emotional ties to your house. Do look at the comparable sales they bring and make an informed decision. Do go with your gut feelings.
Nobody can tell you exactly what your home will sell for, or how quickly it will sell. They CAN give you stats from their MLS about the current market. When you choose your agent you’ll sign a contract with them for a certain number of months. I highly advise you to ask your agent if they’ll take you through the comparable homes on the market. This can give you a good feel for how your priced and how your home stacks up in comparison to the competition.
Also, a common misconception is that the real estate agent you’ve chosen should be showing your house themselves. This isn’t always the case. Trust me, if they have buyers in your price range…they will bring them through. For the most part, other agents from their office or from other offices will be showing your home. Our MLS system & websites match the buyers with the homes, and the buyers are usually under contract with their own agent.
Next time: Your house is listed, Now What?