Are you looking for a real estate agent to sell your current home? If you’ve opted to use a real estate agent to head up the selling process, finding the right agent could help you sell your home faster and for a better price.
A good real estate agent will not only have your best interests at heart but will also listen to you. They will want to help you reach your goals but also give you realistic expectations and timeframes.
According to the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs, an agent’s job is to:
- give an estimated selling price for your property
- advise on a method of sale (auction or private treaty)
- advertise and market the property, and provide a marketing plan
- organise and attend open house and other inspections
- attract prospective buyers
- communicate offers in writing
- organise an auction, if required
- prepare and arrange the signing of the contract
Here are a few questions to ask them before you pick one, just like a job interview.
How long have you been selling residential homes?
What are your qualifications?
Have you sold a house in my area recently?
How much do you know about my neighbourhood?
Do you have any references I can talk to?
An agent with a lot of experience isn’t necessarily a good agent, you still need to gauge if they deal well with people. Similarly, a new agent isn’t necessarily a poor choice, you may find that they will be more enthusiastic and have more time available to dedicate to your sale.
What are the upfront fees?
What’s your commission rate (or set fees)?
Can I have a free appraisal?
It’s good to aim for at least three options to compare. This will give you a better idea of what’s ‘standard’ service and what it will cost.
Where would the property be advertised – in what ways (online, newspapers, magazine) and for how long?
Is the cost of advertising included in the commission?
How much of the process do you take care of – is there anything I need to do?
Can I see an example of a property you’re selling right now?
Where to look
Go beyond the Yellow Pages – by being observant around your neighbourhood, you can take note of recent sales and who sold them. Make enquiries by researching real estate companies online, see what they specialise in and select an agent who suits your situation.
Also look in the newspapers for listings of properties in your area and who’s selling them to see your options. If you are talking to lenders or brokers about finance, ask them for a referral. Friends and family could also help with recommendations.
You could even attend other open inspections to see how agents work and possibly meet a good one!
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