Although pouring money into your home is probably the biggest investment you will make, few people know how to choose a good real estate agent when it comes down to selling it.
What makes a good real estate agent?
Experience: No other characteristic indicates a defined quality like experience. Although experience alone is not enough, an agent who has weathered the recent storms of the marketplace is a survivor.
Track Record: Learn how the agent works. Ask about recent sales. Get statistics about their successful tactics and potential failures.
References: Previous clients can tell you a lot about the agent’s performance. Rather than simply relying on the online ratings, ask the agent to share a few references. When you are speaking with the clients directly you will learn a lot.
Communication: When in the middle of a housing transition, the move dominates your mind. Finding an agent who will always keep you in the loop about the latest developments is priceless.
Listening Skills: Whether you are a buyer or seller, being heard is critical. Many agents are good talkers, but bad listeners. Does the agent mirror back what you are saying to confirm understanding? Do you feel heard when you talk to them?
Proactive Approach: You want confidence your agent takes action when needed. During this stage of your life you don’t want someone representing you with a passive approach by waiting for things to happen.
Client as Priority: When you talk to a prospective agent, ask questions to find if they are focused on a commission or your ultimate satisfaction. Too many agents have an end goal of earning money rather than developing lifetime relationships. Good agents know long-term success comes from client satisfaction.
Adaptability: No two real estate transactions are alike. Each day is totally unpredictable. With constantly changing situations and challenges, evidence of the ability to adapt makes a huge difference.
Attention to Details: A successful real estate closing is the result of hundreds of little details falling into place at the right time. Good agents have systems to keep everything on track.
Relationships in Industry: Beyond the relationship with the client and meeting their needs, other types of relationships matter too. First, a good agent is trusted and respected by their peers. Second, the agent has built relationships with affiliate companies who are involved in the transaction process.
Community Knowledge: All available communities offer different amenities and challenges. An agent able to compare the pros and cons of varied neighborhoods will be your best ally.
Construction Details: While a good real estate agent will not try to take the role of an inspector, they have a clear understanding of construction qualities. Knowing the most popular design features is useful. You also want to know which features are timeless and retain value over the years.
Choosing a good real estate agent is an important decision you should carefully consider. These twelve characteristics can be your checklist.
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