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How to Find the Right Seller’s Agent

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market this year, the first and most important thing to consider is hiring the right agent to sell your home.

Some people are quick to just hire their friend, their cousin, or any agent they see advertised without actually doing any research on them.

You’re hiring this agent to sell your home for top dollar, so you should ask them the following questions to find out if they have the right experience and if they will be able to do the job right:

1.       What is Your Marketing Plan to Sell My Home?

A good real estate Agent can market your home effectively through more than one medium such as television, online, and social media. Each one should complement the other by driving traffic to your home and creating more interested buyers. A good agent can also commit full-time to giving your home more exposure on major listing engines like Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Zillow, and many other free and paid search sites.

Successfully marketing the home should also include appropriate preparation and staging. A good agent will be able to view your home more objectively—as a buyer would—to give you helpful suggestions for details you may not notice, such as making small repairs, brightening a room with a fresh paint job, and giving you information on how to stage your home for maximum viewing impact.

2.    How Many Homes Have You Sold In the Last 12 Months?

Finding out how many homes an agent has sold—not how many years they’ve been in real estate—will give you an idea of how much experience they have. According to the National Association of Realtors®, the average Realtor® has 12 years experience selling homes. However, this doesn’t mean they’ve sold a lot of homes during those years. Selling one or two homes a year does not count as real experience. Since there are so many moving parts in a real estate transaction, experience is key when handling issues like financing, home inspections, lead paint, etc. You don’t want to be part of an agent’s learning curve for what is probably the largest financial transaction of your life.

3.    At What Price Should I List My Home?

We want to emphasize that only the market can set the price for your home—an agent doesn’t arbitrarily decide what the right price will be. Instead, your agent should be able to give you a list of comparative homes for sale in the area, and more importantly homes that have recently sold.

They will also do a complete walk-through of the home, as well as have them do a thorough investigation of the exterior. Once the agent gathers the data you both will collectively decide which price the current housing market is showing your home will sell for.

Pricing your home accurately right from the beginning will always allow for increased buyer activity and higher offers. Remember, only the market will tell you the price your home will actually sell for.

4.   How Often Will I Hear From You?

A good real estate agent must be a strong communicator. Find out how they will stay in contact with you: will it be with phone calls, texts, emails, or a combination? Are they part of a team or are they just working on their own; we all get sick and take vacations and have events in our lives come up. Make sure they are available to answer any questions or concerns you have and keep you updated on prospective buyers. With housing inventory levels so low, there is increased competition for homes, so your agent should be on top of all offers and interest on your home.

5.  Is This Your Full-Time Job?

Selling your home should be the real estate agent’s number one priority. Don’t waste your time with part-time Agents who aren’t fully committed to bringing buyers to your home. It’s important to know that your real estate agent will give your home the time and attention it requires to sell it. A part-time agent means part-time marketing, part-time negotiating, and full-time headaches.

Hiring the right agent can make the difference between selling your home for top dollar and having it sit on the market with no activity. Make sure you ask these questions to get the right agent to sell your home.

In addition to hiring an agent, sellers should take the time to properly stage their home, which can dramatically improve a Buyer’s first impression of your home. Staging a home improves your home’s chances of selling for the best price, too. According to a survey done by HomeGain, staging a home increased the selling price of a home $3000-$4000 and had a higher return of investment compared to updating the kitchen or bathroom. Homes also sell faster than non-staged homes so it’s well worth your time. A good agent should be able to give you staging tips.

Sources: National Association of Realtors Members Profile 2014