How To Choose a Real Estate Agent
Selecting the right agent is the first and most important step in helping you sell your home for the most money, in the least amount of time, with the least inconvenience to you. So, how do you choose a Real Estate Agent? What questions should you be asking them?
The real estate universe is full of people who sell real estate. Some agents are hard working, focused and great communicators, both with their clients, other real estate agents and the public . There are others, unfortunately, that are not. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, here are 8 ways on understanding on how to assess a real estate agent’s abilities to help you achieve your buyer or seller objectives, by looking at the major events in the real estate transaction.
The 8 Major Events in a Real Estate Transaction:
- Overall Marketing Management. Experience in marketing. Ask the agent their AND their company’s history on what they do. What real estate education or Designations do they have, which will help them help you? What local and worldwide networks do they belong to? What is their local market share? How quickly did their listed homes sell? What is their Expiration Ratio (how many listings resulted in a closed sale)? Can you request and receive the agent’s references and recent clients? Why do they charge the commission they are proposing? (most importantly how do they react to this question? See more in point 8)
- Exposure to Other Real Estate Agents. What method(s) do they use to communicate with other top agents? Why do they compensate what they do to the other agent? Do they do office tours, agent open houses and agent networking? Can they show you how they have done it with their last clients?
- Exposure to The Public. What is their marketing plan, strategy and implementation for your particular home? What is their: 1) Mass Market, 2) Local Level , 3) Neighborhood exposure, and 4) In-home marketing plan? Do they have a single page flyer they can give you on the spot on some top marketing ideas they will be doing?
- Securing Buyer Prospects. How does the agent respond to prospect inquires? For example, how does the agent convert a phone call into an actual showing of your home? How long does it take to respond to a 1) Phone call or text, 2) an e-mail? What systems are used to capture prospects and to respond to questions on your home? Do they answer their own sign calls?
- Preparing Your Home For Sale. What guidance takes place to prepare the home to make it most appealing to the maximum amount of buyers without breaking the bank? Does the agent provide insurance and warranties? How will they keep you from potential lawsuits after your home has sold? How will they communicate to you the showings and interest in your home? What if you don’t want a key box safe installed on your front door?
- Their Negotiating and Closing Skills. This is perhaps the area which is the most misunderstood and least talked about when a homeowner interviews his/her prospective real estate agent. The agents skills will almost always determine what you will get in the end. For example, ask them what are the most common buyer objections, and how they will overcome them? How do they treat low-balling, or a really high offer? What do they do to get the buyer to a binding contract and stick to it until the selling process is complete? What education do they have for selling your home? Do they have the SRS—Seller Representative Specialist designation, recognized by the National Association of Realtors (NAR)?
- Getting The Deal Done. Ask how the agent manages the entire closing process. How will they respond to problems, as they are guaranteed to come out during the closing process? How do they handle the closing calendar? Do they have a licensed, experienced assistant that is an expert in doing all the important paperwork? When do they communicate with you, the seller, on what needs to get done, how and why? How and when will they update you?
- Getting Your Final Equity Payment. Once the above major events are successfully completed, you will receive your hard earned money!! Something to note is the agent should be able to discuss what they charge in commission and why. Also, what they pay for out of their own pocket to get your home sold for the most amount of money in the least amount of time.
Call me at 650 483-4932 to give you my detailed marketing management plan and for you to ask me how I will manage these 8 Major Events in selling your home, and possibly helping you with your next purchase.