Selling or Buying a Home? Picking the Right Realtor is More Important than you think
You always want to be cautious while following through on a decision as important as buying or selling a home – especially when faced with the question ‘how to pick a realtor?’. Most of my clients have no idea what criteria is key to evaluating whether someone is a good match for them or not.
The reason? Knowing the right questions to ask a prospective realtor – and what kind of answers to be listening for.
There are easily-avoidable pitfalls to finding a great realtor, and if you know what to look for, you’ll know how to avoid a bad hiring decision. Read on to find out how to make the best choice.
Check their track record
It’s pretty easy for an agent to convince a buyer they’re experienced, even if they’re only selling 1-2 homes a year. A little bit of house-hunting jargon and one success story may be enough to sell you on the idea that they’ve built a reputable career, but it’s worth asking a prospective realtor for more details about his or her track record. How many homes have they sold this year? How many buyers have they worked with? How well do they know the market? Asking for specifics on their resume should give you confidence, not leave you wondering about gaps in their track record.
20% of Realtors do 80% of the business
Realty is an attractive career choice and the industry is incredibly competitive. The licensing process is low-cost, so many people do it on-the-side for extra income. Not all, but some part-time agents aren’t experienced, or educated well enough to get the job done well. Deadlines are being missed, documents are getting lost, empty promises are being made just to get hired. Compared to the true professionals (who can be relied on to do the job well), these inexperienced part-timers lack focus. As a result, the pros are the ones working more often and building more trusting relationships.
Cheap doesn’t always mean good
Consumers often exert pressure on agents to lower their commission. They’d prefer the job be done CHEAPLY, not WELL. Hiring a “hope you sell” company will get you a 1-800 number, not a personal experience with an agent who’ll be dedicated to getting your house sold. Paying your agent less will not get you more for your house. Actually, it’s the opposite. Paying your agent less puts you lower on their priority list.
Presentation isn’t just for staging houses. From top to bottom, from the first point of contact to posting the ‘SOLD’ sign – incompetent poorly trained, or part-time salespeople destroy the real estate industry’s credibility when they skimp on what’s expected. A growing number of these marginal real estate agents damage the reputation of the true professionals. Just throwing a sign in the front yard, putting a home on the MLS, and printing off some flyers doesn’t cut it.
70% of consumers hire the first and only agent they speak with.
This is a terrible idea. Although I’m an agent (and I’d love your business!), I highly suggest you do your homework when choosing an agent, and interview 2 – 3 prospects. Research and read their reviews. Don’t choose someone simply because you feel like ‘you should’ or because someone pushes you into it, and definitely DON’T hire an agent because they will cut their costs significantly to get your business – this is something that should raise suspicion. Above all, you should make sure your chosen realtor will go over and beyond for you and have YOUR best interest at heart.
Here’s a helpful checklist when interviewing potential realtors:
– Do you like this person’s character? What are their values and morals?
– Do they charge a fair commission?
– What kind of marketing collateral will they prepare during the process? What is the quality? Do they have samples?
– Do they offer staging? How much do they charge for extra services or are they included?
– Do they have references? What questions should you follow up on with these references?
– How many houses have they sold in the last year?
– Do they know the area well and understand the market?
– Are they flexible nights and weekends?
– Is real estate their part time gig or a full time job?
– Do they have an assistant, a transaction coordinator, an admin team, or anyone to help out if they get sick or leave town?
MOST importantly – make sure you feel good about your decision!
Are you thinking about hiring a realtor? I’d love to help you make the right choice! Email me at brie(dotted)fowler(at)coloradohomes(dotted)com to find out more.