You’ve got a million things on your mind, and even more on your to-do list. When you decide to sell your house, things can get overwhelming quickly. Interviewing a hundred Realtors to find the right one? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Start by asking around. Ask a couple close friends and neighbors if they can recommend anyone. Look at the For Sale signs in your neighborhood and grab a couple of those names. Look at your local MLS and see who has homes listed in your hood.
Once you have a handful of names, check them out online to see if you can rule some out before you even interview them. I promise this takes a lot less time than making an appointment to have them come over!!
What to look for when you are checking out an agent’s online presence:
- Look at their current listings– how do their photos look? Do they appear to use a professional photographer? What about the description of the home, does it give you enough details to be able to picture the home? Are there a ton of spelling or factual errors? How long have the homes been listed, and is that number normal for your area?
- Find their FaceBook page– This can help you get a sense of their personality. Are they fun or having WAY too much fun? Does it feel like your personality would work well with theirs? Do they talk about real estate or is that all they talk about? Do they seem to get along well with others? Do they have a business page as well as a personal page?
- What does their website look like? Is it just the generic page that they were given by their company or have they taken the time to modify it? Do they have any other websites, blogs, a YouTube channel?
- Testimonials- can you find any testimonials for the agent? On the MLS, their web site, blog or anywhere? Do they have a decent client satisfaction ranking, or are they not sharing that info?
Once you do your online research, you should be able to narrow down the field quite a bit. Now it is time to set up a couple interviews. Here’s how to use the interview process to quickly figure out the right agent:
- Pay attention when you call to ask to meet them. Did they answer their phone or reply to your email quickly? Did you talk to the agent or go through an assistant? Do you have to wait 2 weeks for your appointment? Did they seem interested and ask questions?
- The agent will probably want to tour the home and have a presentation to give you about their marketing, let them.
- Ask the agent “What are some challenges that we will face in trying to get the home sold and how will you help us overcome those?”
- Tell the agent what your main goal is in selling your home, and then ask for a specific plan to accomplish that goal. Maybe it is to sell quickly, to have a closing date that works for you, to get the highest price possible, or to rent them home back from the buyers for 6 months. Whatever you need, tell the agent and have them explain how they’ll make it happen.
- Ask them if they have any additional certifications and what continuing education they have taken. Are they up to date on technology, new regulations, negotiation techniques and trends?
- When the price discussion comes up, have the agent show you exactly why they think the home is worth that amount. They should have specific data and comps showing what homes have sold for in your immediate area and which homes are most like yours.
Once you have gone through this process, I think you’ll be able to find the best agent for you. Remember, that not everyone will like the same agent, not everyone has the same goals, and not every agent runs their business the same way. Ask the right questions to get the right fit!!