5 Ways to Choose a Real Estate Agent to List Your Home

Choosing a real estate agent in what is often one of the most important transactions in your life is sometimes a difficult decision as a homeowner.  Some sellers think they must interview three to five agents, while others are content to hire an agent who was referred by a trusted friend or relative.  The proliferation of online real estate information makes it easier when buying or selling a home.  Yet the digital revolution has not lessened the importance of choosing the right real estate agent to work with you.

My business has grown over the last three decades due in large part to referrals and continued relationships with my past clients who often become good friends.  I don't run out to interview every time I'm asked.  I work by referral.  Those nice people I worked with in the past send people typically just like them in attitude and demeanor, pleasant and appreciative of my expertise and work.  I actually had a homeowner call me last Friday, before Memorial Day weekend and tell me that if I couldn't come out that day, the next day or Sunday, they would just hire one of the other four agents they were interviewing.  It was all I could do not to laugh out loud. 

I don't enjoy being interviewed as if I need a job.  I followed up on a listing I didn't get, back when I thought I had to interview every time the phone rang, and this was how the sellers made their decision:  "She gave me a price on the spot, and you told me you had to do some research."  Alrighty then.

I think it should be a two way street with the real estate agent also asking questions of and listening to decide whether or not it's going to be a good fit for both parties.  For whatever reason, many sellers think real estate agents are desperate to get a listing.  If an agent is desperate for a listing, and willing to cut commission rates to get a listing, you might pause to consider what you're getting.

If you don't have the luxury of having someone refer you a trusted real estate agent, here are some tips for finding your real estate agent online.   Since more than 90% of buyers start their search for homes online, it's important that you are aware of your agent's online presence.

1) Look for reviews and testimonials from past clients.

2) Make sure the agent has a website and take a look at it.

3) Contact the agent via the website to make sure it works, as that's how many buyer prospects will be contacting the agent.

4) Be certain the real estate agent is a full-time agent, not someone working in real estate part time, or on the side while working another full time job.  This may sound like a no-brainer, but I'm amazed at how often people I know call me to ask for advice because their real estate agent has another job and can't talk at the moment.

5) Review the agent's other listings making sure the listings have great photos.  Are they similar to your property as to area and price range?

While I use a professional photographer at listing shoots, I enjoy photographing my listings and always end up using a combination of my photos along with those of the professional photographer.  High resolution, in season photos are important in depicting the attributes of a property, as most buyers will decide whether or not to visit the property based on how the property appears in photographs.

The Norton Agency


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