As a real estate agent, you have an obligation to your clients to do everything you can to smooth the process of selling their home. You are their advocate, the professional they are turning to for help. Most people want an agent they can not only trust but will do all they can to get the most money for their home in the least amount of time with the fewest headaches along the way.
Because some home sellers know so little about the sales process, it is easy enough to do the bare minimum and get by as an agent, but you will never build your business by doing the least possible. When you do your best – cover all the bases of a smart sales process – you will gain a reputation for great work, and enjoy the referrals that come along with that reputation.
Home sellers reading this article should understand that like every other industry, there are those who are exceptional and others not so much. When selling a home, it is very easy to choose a wrong agent, after all, the odds are stacked against you.
How can you increase the chances you will make the right choice in picking a real estate agent? First, you need to understand what it is that real estate agents should be doing for you.
Fair selling price
The most important task that your real estate agent can do for you is help you set a fair and competitive selling price for your home that will increase your odds of a quick sale.
Understanding how to price a home is one of a real estate agent’s most valuable skills.
While some agents will intentionally misrepresent a home’s value to get business, others lack the skill to price a home correctly. Exceptional real estate agents avoid giving in to the desire to say what will make sellers happy just to attract business. Top notch real estate agents will price each home using their training, understanding of the market and comparable sales.
A Comprehensive Marketing Plan
Marketing is one area where your real estate agent should shine. Your agent should be taking great pictures of the property – hiring a professional photographer if necessary. The photography on your home is absolutely one of essential elements in selling homes today.
Your real estate agent should be well versed on how to get the word out using all available marketing channels and include tactics such as their own personal website, their own personal blog, and active social media profiles to spread the word.
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!
Marketing material should be exceptional, from photographs to videos to the brochures used to market the home. Invest in a quality real estate agent who understands how crucial the marketing is and you will reap considerable benefits.
Communication is key
The #1 complaint from consumers with towards real estate agents is a lack of proper communication! Selling a home is stressful, and lack of communication from your real estate agent can make it even worse.
There are some clues you can observe before you hire a real estate agent that will give you a good indication of how things will be moving forward. Do they return your calls or emails promptly? All phone calls or emails should be returned within an hour unless you are already with another client.
There is no excuse for poor communication. Staying in touch is something all sellers have a right to expect from their real estate agent.
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 offer. Do they have real estate attorneys to suggest? Do they have brokers to suggest to potential purchasers? Do they have movers they can suggest once the house is sold? A real estate agent should be able to provide a list of services and business recommendations without batting an eyelash.
A good real estate agent will make sure that buyers are pre-approved – not just pre-qualified. A pre-qualification in most instances is not worth the paper it is written on. You want buyers who have already submitted all information, including a credit report, and been given the go-ahead for a loan.
Strong Negotiation Skills
The job of a real estate agent who is representing a seller is to get the most money for their clients home in the least amount of time.
The best agents will go out of their way to fight hard for the best terms and conditions for their clients. This, after all, is what they are paid to do. They should know what to say to a buyer’s representative and when to say it. Real estate agents who advocate for their clients are always striving for the best possible terms for the transaction. A seller’s real estate agent should not send a counter-offer from their client back to the buyer’s representative without any dialogue.
Show up and show out
“To not show up is lazy.” A seller client may or may not expect a real estate agent to attend the home inspection, but they should do it regardless. By being there for the inspection, the agent gets to hear all the feedback from the inspector first-hand.
Your agent can keep track of everything that is said and keep things in perspective should the buyer ask for concessions based on the inspection. Some requests may be reasonable. Others may not. When a seller’s agent is there and can see everything in person, they can protect a seller from unreasonable requests.
Attend the home appraisal
A good real estate agent will attend the home appraisal, so they can answer the questions the appraiser has and make sure they understand the facts about the home. Appraisers may need feedback from someone who knows the house to do their job. Your real estate agent should be there to help clarify any confusion. In many instances, your realtor will be the best qualified to answer an appraiser’s questions.
Finalising the deal
Selling a house involves a lot of work. There are so many little details that must be taken care of. As the closing draws near, a top shelf real estate agent will take care of all the loose ends for you.
In short, the traits you should be looking for in a real estate agent should be:
- Honesty above all else. The realtor should put YOUR needs before their own.
- Excellent communication skills
- Strong negotiator
- Creative marketer
- Exceptional company and personal reputation
- Experience and proven results
At the end of the day, having an experienced and knowledgeable agent by your side when selling your home is likely to have the best possible outcome for all involved.