Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How do I choose the best Real Estate agent?

THE RIGHT CHOICE

One of the most difficult choices to make when thinking about selling a home is, how do I choose the best Real Estate agent?  It has always been important to choose a good agent, but in today's rugged Real Estate market, it has never been more crucial to find an agent who has the right experience, work ethic, marketing plan and market savvy to get your home sold at top market value.

 A common myth is that all agents at a given company are the same!  Not only is this not correct, but the fact of the matter is that the company an agent is with really makes little difference.  The real truth is that every agent has their own approach to selling Real Estate.  They have their own marketing plan and way of doing business that is unique and can be quite different, not only from other agents in the market area, but from other agents in their own company. Individual company's may have some influence on how the agent does business, but it really ends there. 
 Rule #1, "Don't choose and agent based on the company they are with!"  

When interviewing agents you may also find a difference in the fees that individual agents charge for selling your home.  The brokerage fee is negotiable and it certainly may vary from agent to agent.  It would seem that you could save a great deal of money by going with an agent who charges a lesser fee.  This is a fact that can be very misleading.  In fact most times, just the opposite is true.  Instead of looking at the brokerage fee up front, look at the agents performance record.  Ask them to show you statistics as to how they stack up against the other agents in the market as far as average sales, sales price, average days on the market and percentage of sales price vs listing price.  At the end of the day, these are the numbers that will truly influence how much money you receive from your sale.
Rule #2, "Never choose an agent based on brokerage fee!"

The majority of agents in any market place use the same home marketing techniques that Real Estate professionals have used for years.  In today's world this most likely will not give your home the exposure it needs.  National statistics show us that last year over 89% of all people who purchased homes in the country used the internet as their primary way of searching for homes. Traditional methods of marketing homes such as open houses, newspaper ads, and Real Estate magazine presence combined account for less than 3% of the total number of sales nationally.  So, make sure that the agent you choose is marketing where the buyers are looking and not employing methods that worked 10 to 15 years ago and not today.  Few agents really have either the knowledge of the internet or the budget to adequately promote your home. So, be careful here.  Be selective with agents and their marketing and go online and pretend you are the buyer.  You will be surprised at the difference you discover from agent to agent.  
Rule #3, "Do not hire an agent who does not have a high profile internet marketing plan!"

Just because an agent has been in business for a large number of years does not always indicate that they are the best choice.  Some seasoned agents are outstanding while others may fall short of your expectations.  Experience is important, but should not always be the sole reason for choosing an agent.
Rule #4, "Always get references from an agent you are interviewing and check those references!"  Reliable people who have had experience with the agent are the best source for getting a true feel for what the agent can do for you and for what kind of experience you can expect.

With so many agents to choose from, finding the right one can be confusing. By following these simple rules, you should be able to find the agent who will do a great job for you and represent you well with the sale of your home.