Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

As seen in the Edwardsville Intelligencer's "Real Estate Matters" column. Anyone who has sold a home knows just how stressful it can be. Between determining the right selling price, finding a motivated buyer, and making sure the house is ready to be sold can be a full-time job. Choosing the right real estate agent is essential to the successful sale of your home. You don't want to choose the first agent whose sign you see in your neighbor’s lawn. Instead, you want to choose someone trustworthy, experienced, confident, and someone who will always put your priorities and best interest ahead of everything else.

It’s important not to rush your selection and interview several real estate professionals so you can properly determine the right agent. There are far more important qualities a real estate agent should possess than someone who agrees with your desired selling price. The best professionals in real estate have an extensive understanding of the housing market, allowing them to determine a price that makes sense for the seller and at the same time will attract potential buyers.

It is absolutely essential to choose an agent who you can see yourself having a professional relationship with throughout the entire selling process. Not all houses will sell instantly, meaning you must be able to successfully communicate frequently over a lengthy period of time. Real estate agents who have been in the business for many years have enjoyed success because they understand the level of trust that should be present between an agent and their clients.

You can never ask too many questions during a listing meeting. You will walk away much more confident in your choice of an agent if you have an understanding of their recent selling history, if they are full or part-time, their average sale price for similar property types, their number of current listings, and why they got into the real estate business in the first place.

While a first impression is important to the selection process, don’t let the perfect meeting be the only factor when determining the right agent for you. Always contact their references to get an understanding of their previous client relationships as well as their success selling homes. Talk to several different references to ensure they have a record of selling homes for the desired asking price, were always respectful to client input, and proactively made sales that met clients’ timetables.

Never determine the right real estate agent by who has the lowest commission rate. An agent that’s offering a commission rate noticeably below what other agents are offering normally do not have the incentive, resources and marketing plan to effectively sell your home. Those who offer a low commission rate might simply just stick a sign in your yard and list your home on several listing websites, resulting in a long and frustrating sale. Unlike agents and agencies that offer discounted commission rates, experienced and trustworthy agencies will have a proven marketing plan in place before you give them your listing.

With the rise of social and digital media, it’s important to make sure your agent is up to date with the latest and most effective strategies to sell homes in today’s market. Research their ability to reach potential buyers on social media, how they are capturing different homes’ unique qualities through high resolution photos, and giving online home buyers an in depth virtual tour. Seeing their ability to creatively, neatly, and effectively market homes will help you determine if they are the right choice for you.

The majority of homebuyers will find a house they are interested in via the Internet and will immediately want to drive by to check out the house. The best agents aren't only expert negotiators, but have in depth knowledge of what unique features appeal to potential buyers of all ages. Before giving an agent your business, ask them what steps you can take to increase your home’s curb appeal and other additions or improvements you should make to allow your house to stand out from others on the market.

One of the final steps to choosing your real estate agent is determining their strategy when it comes to hosting open houses. Having a strong representation of your home online is important, but hosting the perfect open house has the potential to make a fast sale. Ask potential agents how often they would conduct them, how they will advertise them, and how to set up your home to impress anyone who walks through your front door.

Choosing the right real estate professional can impact how long your house is on the market. Real estate agents know that the timely sale of your house is essential to beginning the next chapter of your life. The right professional will prove their worth to you by displaying their level of experience, professionalism, trustworthiness, and the right personality that’s perfect for selling your home.

Don’t let selling your home turn into a stressful and lengthy process. Instead, choose an agent that will do everything they can to make the sale that will leave you both mentally and financially pleased with your decision to sell your home.

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