What about selecting the real estate agent who will be selling your home? It’s extremely important that you select the “right” real estate agent to sell your home. In most communities across the United States there are several hundred or even thousands of real estate agents to choose from! Every real estate agent has different personal traits, different selling techniques, different ways to market homes, and different skill levels, just to name a few differences. In the majority of communities there are a handful of top producing real estate agents, a fair amount of average real estate agents, and lots of bad real estate agents.
So, what should be expected of the real estate agent when selling your home? If your home is currently listed by a real estate agent and the following 10 things are not being practiced, then unfortunately your real estate agent falls into the “lots of bad real estate agent” category. If you haven’t chosen your real estate agent yet, be sure to be on the lookout for the following 10 things!
The following 10 things are extremely important for a real estate agent to possess in order to be successful in getting your home sold!
Being honest and telling the truth are extremely important (and also part of the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics) traits to look for in a real estate agent. While it’s not always possible to tell when a person is being dishonest or not telling the truth, there are other ways to tell if a real estate agent is telling the truth!
A great way to find out if a real estate agent is an honest person is to ask them for five of their recent sellers’ contact information. Keep in mind, however, any past seller must give their permission for the real estate agent to provide their contact information. Once you have five of their past clients information, pick up the phone or e-mail them to ask about their experience working with the agent. Another good idea to learn about past clients of the real estate agent is to ask for testimonials.
If a real estate agent is unable to provide past clients contact information and/or past client testimonials, it usually means either they are not being honest with what they are telling you or they don’t have any past clients. Either way, a real estate agent who cannot provide contact information of past clients or testimonials, maybe a real estate agent to not choose to represent you to sell your home.
This is a trait that most sellers’ would assume that all real estate agents have, and unfortunately, that is not the case. What kind of actions show that a real estate agent possesses professionalism? One “tell tale” way to know if a real estate agent is professional is by their image. When selling a home, a real estate agent should be well groomed and well dressed. A real estate agent who wears ripped jeans, a v-neck tee-shirt, and sneakers is less likely to be taken seriously by his colleagues as well as prospective buyers of your home.
Another extremely important part of professionalism for a real estate agent to possess, is their respect of others time. It’s very frustrating for a real estate agent who coordinates private viewings on several homes, just to have a buyer show up 20 minutes late or never show up. A seller should expect the same of their real estate agent. If an initial appointment is setup for a real estate agent to look at your home at a specific time and they show up 20 minutes late, they are likely lacking in the professionalism “department,” as they clearly don’t respect your time!
Strong Negotiation Skills
The job of a real estate agent who is representing a seller, in a nut-shell, is to get the most money for their clients home in the least amount of time! A real estate agent should know what to say to a buyers representative and when to say it. A sellers real estate agent should not send a counter-offer from their client back to the buyers representative without any dialogue. If this were the case, what is the need for real estate agents? The sellers real estate agents job is to be the voice of the seller!
Generally in life there are people who avoid confrontation and conflict at all costs. If this is the personality of a sellers real estate agent, the seller is likely to not maximize the price they receive for their house!
Real Estate Agents Must Be Creative When Selling Your Home
Selling a home is not as easy as putting a sign in your front lawn and waiting for a full price offer. There are many real estate agents who do believe this works, also known as a “post and pray Realtor.” Creativity is a very important trait for a real estate agent to have when selling a home. No two homes are exactly the same, therefore, every home has to be marketed in their own special way. A real estate agent must be creative with the use of their property description, angles they take their photos, and how they write their advertisements.
Much of the general public believes that selling real estate is a very easy career and that lots of money can be made with very little effort and time! This leads to many real estate agents entering the business, many of which don’t take into consideration what it truly takes to sell real estate! Creativity is one trait where many new real estate agents fall short because it’s not as simple as putting a sign in the front yard of a home and expecting it to sell! This ultimately leads to these new real estate agents failing in the business!
Experience & Proven Results
A very common mistake made by sellers when selling a home is not researching the real estate agents experience and past results. It’s very common that a seller will choose a real estate agent because they are their best friend or a colleagues spouse. Certainly their best friend or colleagues spouse could be a great real estate agent, but make sure you know this is really the case before choosing them! Selecting the first real estate agent you know can be a huge mistake!
When selling your home, make sure to find out how many transactions they do over the course of a year. Are they a full-time real estate agent or a part-timer? Do they have experience selling similar homes? A full-time real estate agent who sells 100 homes a year and has been doing so for the past 5 years has a better chance of selling your home than a part-time real estate agent who has been in the business for 6 months and has sold one home! The more transactions a real estate agent does, the better they will know how to handle specific situations!
A Great Company & Personal Reputation
One thing that can be detrimental to a real estate company or real estate agent is a poor reputation! The most successful real estate agents will get a large percentage of repeat and referral business. Certainly an agent with a poor reputation or a company with a poor reputation will not! When selling a home, researching the local real estate companies and agents is important. It’s very easy with the internet now to see what a real estate company or real estate agents online reputation and reviews are.
In most communities across the country, there is one real estate broker who is known as the “go-to” for real estate. It isn’t necessarily always a national company or franchise either. If unsure, a non-statistical way to find out is by driving down your neighborhood streets to see which companies for-sale signs are prominent. Another excellent way to find out which real estate company is the “go-to” for local real estate is by asking a real estate agent for the market share statistics. A real estate agent should be able to provide these statistics for each and every community in their coverage area. Remember, a great real estate company and an agent with a great reputation is important!
Large Network Of Business Connections
Great professionals align themselves with other great professionals. When selecting a real estate agent to sell a home, it’s important to find out what service and business connections they have to offer. Do they have real estate attorneys to suggest? Do they have mortgage consultants to suggest to potential purchasers? Do they have a relocation network they belong too? Do they have movers they can suggest once the house is sold? If you’re interviewing, ask the real estate agent for a list of their preferred partner or vendor list! A real estate agent should be able to provide this list of service and business recommendations in no time!
Lack of communication is one of the most reoccurring feedback topics from a dissatisfied seller! As mentioned above, selling a home is stressful, and not being communicated with from your real estate agent can make it even worse. As imagined, a seller who selects an agent with poor communication may start to wonder if their real estate agent is even selling real estate anymore!
A very important interview question to ask a real estate agent is about their communication. There are many real estate agents who don’t feel the need to follow up for feedback from private showings of their sellers property. This is a huge disservice to their clients! It’s extremely important that a real estate agent provides feedback from the buyers real estate agent, in a timely fashion. While this isn’t always possible as some buyers agent may never provide feedback, 95% of the time a seller should expect feedback from showings on their property!
It’s also important to find out how a real estate agent communicates. A real estate agent should be able to adapt to your preferred communication method. If text messaging is preferred during “business hours,” that’s how the real estate agent should communicate. If a real estate agent is unable to accommodate the preferred method, it’s very possible the level of communication is going to be sub-par.
Exceptional Technology, Marketing, & Social Media Presence Should Be Expected From Your Real Estate Agent
Use Of “Cutting-Edge” Technology
Staying current on the greatest and latest technology is extremely important for real estate agents now-a-days! It’s important to find out what technology tools that a real estate agent utilizes when selling a home! The fact of the matter is many real estate agents are still stuck in the “stone-age” and are miles behind in technology. Believe it or not, there are still real estate agents who don’t know how to utilize e-mail and still fax purchase offers!
Utilizing technology helps a real estate agent be more efficient and have more time to spend on selling homes! Some very popular technology tools that help real estate agents include tools such as digital signature software, Dropbox, iCloud, Evernote, and Buffer. There are many cutting-edge “tech” tools that real estate agents should be utilizing!
Another thing to ask a real estate agent prior to selecting them to sell your home is about the quality of their photos. Does the real estate agent take high quality photos by using a top of the line camera? Since so many buyers start their home search online, it’s imperative that the photos of your home are high quality. If a real estate agent takes poor photos, it’s possible a buyer will rule out your home before even walking through your front door!
A Comprehensive Marketing Plan
It’s important to understand that an overpriced home cannot be sold by the best real estate agent in town who has the best marketing plan! Overpricing a home is a very common mistake that sellers make. So what does a comprehensive marketing plan entail? A real estate agent needs to have a strong balance of both “older” marketing tactics and “newer” marketing tactics in their plan!
“Older” marketing tactics that you should expect from a real estate agent include tactics such as newspaper advertisements, direct mailings, and television advertising. The first thing you need to find out from a real estate agent is whether or not they utilize these forms of marketing. Many real estate agents will not because it costs them money. It’s also a good idea to ask a real estate agent about the frequency of these marketing tactics. Do they plan on putting the house in the newspaper once a month? On TV every other month? This can eliminate any frustration down the road when you don’t see your home in the newspaper on a daily basis!
“Newer” marketing tactics that you should expect from a real estate agent include tactics such as their own personal website, their own personal blog, and active social media profiles. It’s important not only for the real estate agents broker to have a prominent website but also their own website as it generates a greater chance for your home to be found online! Seeing as the majority of home buyers are now starting their search online, it’s crucial that a real estate agent has a very strong online presence.
A couple things to consider; Is the real estate agent active on Pinterest? Is the real estate agent an active blogger? Do they have a strong following on Twitter? If a real estate agent is lacking their own website, their own blog, or is not active on social media websites, you may want to reconsider selecting them to sell your home!
The above 10 things are something that you should expect from your real estate agent when selling a home! In order for a real estate professional to have a long and successful career, they must possess these things. If not, it’s likely they will not make it in the business. What other things do you think should be expected from a real estate agent when selling a home?