Questions to Ask
Make sure they are knowledgeable. Ask questions. Is this their full time job? Ask how they will communicate with you, and how frequently. How will they keep you informed? What do you consider a reasonable response time when you send an inquiry or have a question?
Make sure they have closed many properties in your area and ask for references you can contact. When you call the references, ask specific questions: how long did the transaction take? What were the best characteristics of the agent? What were the worst? How much time do you think the agent spent on your home? Did you feel the agent earned his/her commission?
What to Look For
Make sure they have a few years experience. How busy are they? Are they putting time into the search? Be sure the agent is listening to what you, as the buyer, are telling them you want in a house. A good agent will listen and focus on listings that meet your needs. Check out their listings in the MLS. How do the listings look? Examine the quality of the pictures in the listings and make sure there are enough of them. Did the agent take the time to write accurate descriptions and compelling statements in the picture captions? Are the public remarks about the house compelling? Would you, the seller, want to go see one of the potential agents listings if you were looking for a house and happened to find their listing?
Make sure they have your best interest in mind. If you want to sell your home a good agent is worth his/her weight in gold and there are objective criteria for evaluating such performance – (average difference between sales price and list price on recent sales) /(standard-deviation of difference between sold-price and list price on recent sales), average number of days to sell/standard deviation of number of days to sell home. The larger these number the more sure that the home will sell fast and for a good price.
How long does it take them to sell a house? How close was the asking price to the sales price? These are the most important things to look for in choosing an agent. Its good to choose an agent that works a lot in the area, or an agent whose brokerage does a lot of listings in the area because that agent and brokerage will know buyers who want to be in that given neighborhood. The agent will also know what items need to be fixed in the house in order to sell in that neighborhood and other information that will help the house sell fast because of the agent’s area-specific knowledge.
Do Your Research
Talk to several agents before choosing one. Go to some open houses alone. This might help you meet people, but it will also help you to go into the relationship informed. Become knowledgeable about the process before selecting an agent.
Pick up your local real estate magazine (unless you are talking about a specific magazine, this does not need to be capitalized) and see who advertises in it all the time. Give several agents a call and see if you can meet with them and interview them to see if your personalities work together.
Make sure they are online. 88% of people find their homes online. (http://www.realtor.org/field-guides/field-guide-to-quick-real-estate-statistics)
Reviews: Google, Trulia, Yelp, Angie’s List and Zillow.
Meet agents in their working environments, not at their desks. Remember the agent is a salesperson; they are not qualified as financial analysts or attorneys. If out of the ordinary issues come up, they cannot offer legal or financial advice.
Be prepared by have a real estate attorney should out of the ordinary occur. Ideally a buyers agent is a due diligence expert, researcher, and is meticulous at keeping a professional level of neutrality.
Some is Subjective
Lastly, before choosing an agent, make sure you meet them face-to-face. What amount of contact do you need to feel comfortable during this process? Every day? In person, over the phone or in an email? Ultimately, this is about you and what you want, so you need to feel good about their style of working. Is this agent someone with whom you relate? It will be a lot less painless a process if you work with someone with whom you feel comfortable.
Don’t Want to Use a Real Estate Agent?
There are options for selling your house without using an agent. At Big State Home Buyers, we specialize in seamless real estate transactions. We have thousands of qualified buyers interested in purchasing properties for cash, which enables us to close houses in less than a month. Our hassle free approach involves resolving title issues for free as well as other services such as cleaning out the property.
If you are ready to sell your house and prefer to sell it fast for cash, give us a call. We will give you a no-obligation offer within 24 hours. 713-574-0570
For more information on choosing the right agent, check out Brian’s quick presentation to the answer, how to find the right agent.