Tips to Help You Choose the Right Real Estate Agent
Most people buy and sell property only a few times in their life, often with many years in-between so the industry will likely have changed quite a lot. Here are some easy tips for avoiding pitfalls so often experienced by sellers.
1. THE BIGGEST LIAR GETS THE JOB
Comparing agents on how much they tell you your property is worth is a dangerous game. All agents know that sellers want the best price for their property and that most sellers will interview at least 3 agents so they are essentially "Buying" your listing by telling you what they know you want to hear. Do your own research and ask any agent you are considering employing to "put their money where their mouth is" and guarantee a minimum sale price or else they forfeit their commission. If an agent is being honest about the value of your property they shouldn't have a problem backing that up.
2. DON'T ASSUME ALL REAL ESTATE AGENTS ARE CREATED EQUAL
Comparing agents on how much they charge is precarious. You may find an agent that will only charge to 1% commission or a flat fee which is "cheap", what you may not be considering is the lack of incentive, skill and training the agent has to get you the best price for your property. Saving $15,000 on commission is expensive if you lose $50,000 of the sale price of your home due to not hiring a skilled negotiator. Test the agent, if you can out negotiate them, don't hire them.
3. MAINTAIN CONTROL
Ask for a guarantee of the agent's service. Generally listing agreements are entered into for 60 or 90 day periods, you want your agent to keep working for you and keep impressing you all the way through. If they lied to you or are not working in your best interests you do not want to be stuck with them for 3 months. Have them sign a Service Agreement making them committed to continually impressing you and providing you with the level of service you expect or else you can fire them and nullify your previous agreement.
Every agent know that an Open House is the best way to find new listings, not necessarily the best way to find buyers. Do not fall into the trap of finding your selling agent at an Open Home. You are better off checking local agents testimonials or speaking to sellers who have dealt with the agents you are considering.
5. DON'T BE PUSHED INTO AN EXPENSIVE AUCTION CAMPAIGN
Public auctions are a good friend to agents; lock in sellers for an extensive 4 week marketing pain, relieve the sellers of "hurt" money to have them properly invested in the sale of their house, then a 4 week settlement - a paycheck every 8 weeks. This is a consistent income for agents and to top it off they use the seller's marketing money to promote themselves (and a little for the property).