How to Choose A Realtor to Sell Your Home
Rule number one: find an agent who is honest with you. This starts at the very beginning: once a potential agent provides a recommended listing price, ask them to walk you through their valuation process. They should be able to show you their research – if they can’t then that could be a red flag.
Choosing a real estate agent to sell your home is one of the most important steps in selling your home. Not knowing the right questions to ask, many sellers choose a realtor based on only two factors, the lowest commission rate and the highest list price. And hey, I get it: when it comes to evaluating potential agents (and figuring out if you can trust them with one of the most important assets that you own), relying on the numbers feels safe. It’s also a huge gamble.
Selling your home for the best price is harder than just evaluating commission and proposed listing prices. Smart sellers need to know what to look for in an agent to find one that they can trust. To ensure the best outcome for the sale of your home, choose a realtor that has an effective marketing plan, strong communication skills, local knowledge and a proven track record for producing outstanding results.
To help you along in the process, I’ve compiled the top 4 things that you should be looking for in a listing agent.
1.) A Well Researched Listing Price
Rule number one in picking a realtor to sell your house: find an agent who is transparent and honest with you. This starts at the very beginning with your potential sale price. Once a potential agent provides a recommended listing price, ask them to walk you through their valuation process. They should be able to show you their research, let you review their Comparable Market Analysis, or even provide examples of similar properties that they’ve recently sold for a similar listing price.
The reason that I tell my clients to be skeptical of a proposed listing price that seems ‘too good to be true’, is that often it is. When you’re selling in a competitive market, there can be a tendency for some agents to suggest a listing price that they know the seller will be happy with, rather than what they realistically think they can get a sale for.
If you’re interviewing potential listing agents, be skeptical of any proposed listing price that is far and above any other estimate. This type of ‘estimation inflation’ is known as ‘buying a listing’ and unfortunately, you as the seller is the only one who will end up paying. Over valuing a listing not only wastes your time and money, it can also scare off potential buyers.
2.) A Realtor With Capacity
Not picking the realtor with the highest number of listings might seem counterintuitive. To be honest, when picking a realtor to sell your home, it’s about finding an agent with the right balance between successful sales and current capacity.
If you’re listing with an agent who has 50+ current listings, you might think that this alludes to experience. On the other hand, this could be a sign of an inflated pricing issue or a lack-lustre marketing strategy.
Instead, seek out an agent who has sold a strong portfolio of similar homes, but who you feel can commit the time and effort to finding a qualified buyer for your property.
3.) A Strong Network
When hiring a real estate agent to sell your house, the difference between selling your home for the highest price and not could lie in your realtor’s network (or lack thereof).
Finding a good agent with a wide network of buyer agents means that your home will get in front of the right people and your open houses will be well attended by qualified buyers.
Hire an agent with a bad track record of burnt bridges and you could find your listing struggling to get in front of the right kind of prospective buyer.
4.) Marketing Power
Gone are the days when a ‘For Sale’ sign on the front lawn is enough. A good realtor knows that buying or selling a home means that you need to reach interested parties on a variety of platforms, both online and off.
Do your research: you can quickly determine how much value a potential agent puts on marketing by looking at how they market themselves and their current listings. Do they have a website? Are they active on social media? Do they invest in advertising in local publications?
Once you reach the interview stage, you should specifically ask for potential agents marketing plan. This list should include MLS exposure, staging advice, and digital distribution plans at the very least.
Needless to say, figuring out how to choose a realtor to sell your house is a serious undertaking. But being prepared and knowing what to look for will make your home sale experience a smooth one, rather than a rollercoaster. If you’re considering putting your home on the market in the Vernon or great Okanagan area, I invite you to give me a call. I’m happy to provide my portfolio, references, and a full plan for getting the best price for your home.