So you’re ready to sell your home and move on to something new—busy times are ahead!
Maybe the plan is to move to a lakeside community or to buy a larger piece of property, or maybe you’re downsizing and moving to town so you have more time to travel and play.
Regardless of why you are choosing to move, the end goal is to actually make the move—once your mind is set you’ll want to get the ball rolling by listing and selling your home.
So how do you choose the right real estate agent to work with? One method is to check out real estate listing sites like Zillow.com and read reviews of local agents.
You’ll quickly be able to compare which agents have the most listings and who has sold more homes recently—chose an agent that has listed and sold a large number of homes. They will have systems and processes in place to get the job done!
By checking out listing agents on Zillow you’ll also be able to read unbiased reviews from other home sellers who have used the agents you’re considering. Great info, right?
On the flip side, there are some very common mistakes home sellers make when choosing a listing agent. Learning from the top 3 mistakes shown below will save you tons of time (and a fair bit of stress) during the real estate sales process…so here goes.
3 mistakes made when hiring a listing agent:
- Feeling obligated to list with a family member or close friend. Selling and buying real estate is a big deal—a lot is financially at stake and emotions can run high. Working with a friend or family member can be risky in that there is a chance those relationships will be tested during the sales process. You’ll want frank and honest advice when it comes to choosing a listing price, responding to lower price offers from potential buyers and negotiating requests made during the inspection process. Partnering with a local real estate pro that is not a friend/family member will help remove emotional reactions and biased opinions from the selling process—you’ll be able to protect the personal relationships that matter most.
- Picking an agent because they agree with your listing price. If a home is priced too high it just won’t sell. It will sit on the market for too long and become a stale listing. Even if you drop the price later, your home will be flagged by buyers (and other agents) as one that isn’t worth whatever price it’s listed at. Selecting the right listing price for your home is critical, and the decision should be made based on comps…homes like yours that have sold recently, not ones that are currently listed. Know there are real estate listing agents out there that will tell you what you want to hear—they’ll agree with pretty much any listing price you suggest just to get the listing. This practice is called “buying a listing” and it’s bad for homeowners. Instead of choosing an agent that tells you what you want to hear, choose a listing agent that has a solid understand of local markets and shows you viable comps of sold homes.
- Not understanding the agent’s marketing plan for your home. Marketing a home for sale in our community for example (Bellingham, WA) goes far beyond entering the listing on the Multiple Listing Service, placing an ad in The Bellingham Herald and hosting open houses on Sunday. Today’s savvy listing agents use modern marketing tools like professional real estate photography (including aerial shots taken by drones), home staging, social media marketing, and relationship networking to find buyers. Experienced agents will have a large and diverse network of contacts they can leverage to help sell your home—they may even know a buyer looking for your type of property right now. Ask listing agents you interview what marketing tools they will use to sell your home, and if they already have a buyer in mind.
There you have it…the best tips and suggestions for choosing a real estate listing agent for your property. If you have additional questions please feel free to contact Jon Hansen Realtors. Through hard work, experience and dedication to our clients, we’ve earned the ranking of #1 real estate agent in Bellingham, WA.