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What to Look for in a Real Estate Agent When You’re Selling Your Home

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How to you get the most for your home with the least amount of stress? Realtors McGeough and Lamacchia say you need to hire the right agent. There’s a lot to be said about those who represent you when you’re selling your home.

The biggest problem we always talk about when hiring the right agent is make sure they have enough experience because with short sales, foreclosures, or traditional home sales there’s a lot more that goes into actually buying and selling a home so you’ve got to know what you’re doing.

How do you know if this realtor has experience, as a seller how do you go about finding out?

People should question them about their experience. Some people are so quick to hire their friend, hire their cousin, hire their uncle. We hear it all the time: “well I’m selling my house and I feel like I have to go with my cousin.” They tell me who that person is and I look them up and it turns out they only sold 3 houses in the last 2 years. You shouldn’t hire people who have only sold 3 houses in the last 2 years. You need to hire people who are in this business full time.

So let’s talk about what this agent should bring to me as a seller.

First they should bring complete honesty, whether it’s through a home inspection, whether it’s through looking at purchasing for a certain price. Some agents just need that deal because they don’t sell a lot of homes and they’ll say, oh that’s a fair price or they will overlook a heating system issue.  A true experienced agent is going to represent you at a high level and if it doesn’t  make sense for their client they’re going to say, hey this isn’t the right call, this is going to cost too much, or this location isn’t good for resale: all of those things are what is needed, that honesty is absolutely critical.

On the selling end honesty is just as important. You need to tell sellers what the house is really worth. There are so many agents who say,  “so what do you want to sell for?” The seller tells them the number and the agent half an hour later says well we should list for 400,000 because that’s what the seller said when they walked in the door . That’s not what it’s about. When you go to the doctor he or she doesn’t always tell you what you want to hear —though sometimes they do!

Do Ineed to like this person, too, because I’m going to spend a lot of time with this person?

You’ve got to like them but you’ve got to respect their experience more. I mean there are plenty of doctors–to use that analogy–you may not like them but you sure respect what they can do for you.

Ok so what happens if I get this agent and they’re not selling the house and I don’t think this is working out, what should I do?

Well if you’re in a contract most of the time you need to wait for the contract to expire. You can call and talk to other agents but we simply tell people if you’re in a contract we really can’t help you until you’re out of it. But it happens a lot. One of the things I find very interesting is people will call and say, “My house has been on the market for 4 months and I haven’t heard from my agent in 3.”

That is incredible to us! We talk to our sellers every week whether there’s something to talk about or there’s nothing to talk about..

Every week we’re saying hi. And that’s a function of agents not knowing what to say. Instead of looking their seller in the eye and saying “we initially thought the house was worth 300,000 and it’s actually worth more like 260,000.” Instead of just telling them that, they’re holding back because they don’t want to break the seller’s heart.

That comes back to the honesty issue, right? Ok so we want experience, honesty, and for the agent to be pretty likable, and respectable, and if you can get that person working for you then you’ll be in pretty good shape.

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