The majority of home sellers take on the task with an ally: a Real Estate Agent. They feel that it is better to entrust the sale of their biggest investment to a professional, rather than attempting to learn about selling a house in a trial and error method. In addition, many people would rather use an Agent due to the complexities of modern Real Estate transactions since they usually incorporate legal and financial attributes, which takes them well beyond more simple transactions, such as the sale of an automobile.
Some of the other advantages of working with Agents that home sellers will list include: access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) so that large numbers of buyers will have access to the seller's property, the fact that the Agent absorbs all of the cost of advertising and marketing, and the screening that will be done of potential buyers by Agents. In addition, the Agent handles the lion's share of the details of negotiation.
Deciding whether to use an Agent or not has a great deal to do with what you feel the level of your capabilities are. If you feel fully confident that you can handle all of the details, then you may well want to attempt selling your house on your own. If not, you most likely will want to use an Agent and leave the details to them.
So how do you choose an Agent who will be effective? What is important to know about an Agent to determine whether you feel they will do a good job? The following questions should be asked of any prospective Real Estate Agent in order to assess their capabilities and philosophies.
What to look for in an Agent
- A sense of professionalism.
- A full time Agent who is committed to the profession (and who will be committed to getting your house sold!)
- A familiarity with the area in which your home is located.
- A familiarity with the price range in which your house will be listed.
- Evidence of advertising and marketing ability.
- References from previous sellers.
Where to find an Agent
- Ask family, friends and co-workers about Agents they have used--for selling a home, not buying--to get positive (and negative) input.
- Check your local newspapers and homes magazines. An Agent with a number of advertisements most likely has a fairly extensive marketing budget and experience. Be certain, though, that the Agent does not have too many listings to service the sale of your home effectively.
- We have 2 additional options available here for locating Agents. You can either have an Agent in your area contact you directly, or you can anonymously evaluate Agents by years in the business, marketing plans, qualifications and fees.
Locating and Evaluating Agents
Questions to ask a prospective Agent
- Are you a full time Agent?
- How long have you been in the Real Estate business?
- Are you an MLS (Multiple Listing Service) Member?
- How familiar are you with the area where our home is located?
- How many homes did you sell in this area in the last year?
- Can you supply 3 names and addresses of recent clients for whom you sold a home that we can contact for reference purposes?
- How did you arrive at the suggested listing price for our home?
- What is your specific marketing plan for our house?
- How do you plan on keeping us informed of the progress of the sale of our home?