From the sellers stand point, the selection of the agent they choose to represent them is crucial to a smooth, successful sale. The caliber of the individual agent is far more important than any particular company or office. For the same price you may as well get the best representation possible!
Here are some realistic guidelines for sellers, to help choose a realtor to represent them. Please use a checklist when considering your agent. You can receive a copy of our "ALL POINTS CHECKLIST WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME" by contacting me by email at TOMDESMONE@REMAX.NET or by voicemail at (586) 262-5116.
1) BE SURE THAT THE AGENT YOU USE IS A CERTIFIED RESIDENTIAL SPECIALIST (C.R.S.).
Less than 5% of all agents have reached this higher level of Real Estate education. These courses teach them how to be more efficient and professional so that the inconveniences to you are minimal. Too many agents just get their license and never get properly educated. Agents apply for your employment everyday so CHECK THEIR RESUME! AND IF THEY DON'T HAVE ONE, RUN THE OTHER WAY!!!!!!
2) YOUR AGENT SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST 25 YEARS EXPERIENCE!
Think about it for a moment. Why put your trust in someone who was licensed 5 years ago and has only seen a good or bad economy. They don't have a clue as to effective sales positioning when market conditions change. The more experience your agent has, the faster your property should sell for at the highest price. Seasoned agents have been there before. They know how to screen buyers, save marginal transactions from falling through and keep your stress level at a minimum. You've heard it before. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCE!!!
3) HIRE INTEGRITY AND HONESTY!
I know this one is difficult since salespeople in all professions are taught to charm and schmooze you.
* Ask to see letters of recommendation
* Trust your instincts - you can usually determine in about a half hour if that someone in front of you is the kind of person and agent you want representing your home investment.
4) NEVER HIRE AN AGENT BASED ON PRICE!!
If you really want to know what you property is worth today, hire a certified fee appraiser. For about $350.00 they will give you a complete appraisal, in writing, estimating what today's market value is. Too many agents will tell you any price you want to hear, just to get you to sign up with them. They'll count on price reductions later. Remember; hire your agent based on experience, educational background and integrity. Not on pricing. That is the single most important factor for selling your home. 8 out of 10 listings do not sell, because the price was too high.
5) HIRE A FULL TIME AGENT ONLY!!!
You wouldn't hire a part-time surgeon to operate on you nor a part-time attorney to defend you in court. It only makes good financial sense to hire a full time REALTOR to represent one of your families' largest investments.
6) THE COLD HARD REALITY.
Sales courses instruct us as to our business percentages in many various ways. They tell us that about 5% of us Realtors sell 95% of the properties! Now that leaves 95% of the other Realtors to sell a mere 5% of the rest of the properties. Wouldn't it make sense that you would hire one of the top 5% of the agents who have better negotiating skills, work ethics, people skills, time management, etc. etc. etc? You definitely want to work with an agent that has a proven track record and can provide you with testimonials, credentials and the like. Again, usually the fee structure is the same- why not work with the best!
7) FINAL THOUGHTS
As you can see, all agents are not created equal. Selling Real Estate today is a sophisticated process with many confusing details. The hiring of an agent with industry know how, negotiating skills, and your best interest in the forefront is the key to guide you through the process. Be sure that your agent isn't just dabbling in Real Estate as a hobby, and be especially wary if they are offering you extremely low commissions just to get in your door. There's a reason for everything. Insure a successful transaction by checking their credentials and work with the most competent, hard working agent you can find, then you too will have a great Real Estate experience.
All opinions herein are those of Tom Desmone, Realtor with OVER 40 years of FULL TIME experience and thousands of successfully closed transactions.