Finding the Right Listing Agent – Forbes Advisor
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So you are considering selling your home or exploring the idea given the booming real estate market. Choosing the right listing agent makes all the difference in terms of attracting potential buyers, obtaining the best possible sale price and closing in a timely manner.
They help you gather essential background information on housing market activity in your area, such as the selling price of similar properties recently sold and the most sought-after housing features. They should also advise you on the right time to list your property and relieve you of the burden of listing and marketing your home for sale.
But not all listing agents are created equal, and some charge more than others, so it’s important to do your due diligence before choosing who to work with. Here are some guidelines and steps that will help you find the listing agent that’s right for you.
Match listing agent services with your needs
Before you start researching and meeting with potential SEO agents, make sure you know the types of SEO services you need so you don’t waste time talking to an agent who can’t help you achieve your goals. Goals.
A listing agent should help you:
- Determine the best price for your home. A real estate agent will have a more complete and up-to-date list of homes sold in your area, beyond what is shown online, in addition to those currently on the market. This helps them determine the optimal price to list your property. You don’t want it selling for less than it’s worth or, on the other hand, the house languishing in the market and then you feel pressured to lower the price.
- Marketing your home. It’s the listing agent’s job to showcase your home in a way that attracts potential buyers, especially when the competition is tough. Beyond staging, they need to know how to promote your home using online and in-person marketing tactics, such as open houses and neighborhood signs. They must also list the property on digital real estate platforms as well as social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Sales transaction management. Once you start receiving offers for your home, the agent fills them out on your behalf and helps negotiate with potential buyers. They will also determine what contingencies the contract will include. This can be a stressful part of the process, so it’s important to have an agent you trust who will prioritize your interests.
- Closing of the transaction. Once you’re in contract with a potential buyer, your agent should walk you through the remaining steps of closing. This includes negotiating any in-home repair requests after the inspection and resolving any unforeseen issues to get the sale to the finish line.
How much should a listing agent cost?
Agents will have different commission amounts and structures, so it is essential to ask in advance what their commission percentage or any other fees are. Typically, the commission is 5% to 6% of the selling price of the house, which is usually split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent, so it can be as low as 2.5 % to 3% for you. If cost is an important part of your decision tree, you will need a listing agent who is willing to negotiate the amount of commission.
However, the lowest cost does not mean the best agent to be able to sell your home for the highest price and quickly. Here are some additional tips to help you find the right realtor, beyond price.
5 tips for finding the right listing agent
Go through each agent’s online presence, including social media platforms and customer reviews or testimonials. Also, browse your neighborhood to see which real estate agents are offering homes or even attend one of their open houses to get a feel for their behavior as a seller.
You can easily buy listing agents online, but referrals from family and friends can be very helpful, as a home is such a big financial and life commitment. Ask for referrals from people you know who have recently completed a real estate transaction or from neighbors in your area. You can also attend some local open houses to get a feel for what a listing agent is like as a seller.
Key selection criteria should include:
- Experience. It goes beyond mere years in the business. Having an experienced agent in your area and the type of home you are selling goes a long way towards a successful and seamless transaction. For example, if you are selling for the first time or listing a condo, you want an agent with in-depth knowledge of these situations.
- A certification and license verification. The National Association of Realtors and its affiliated groups have a variety of real estate certifications and designations that can help you determine a real estate agent’s expertise and experience. For example, there is the Seller Representative Specialist (SRS), which provides the agent with skills development, training, and resources to help them do their job better.
- Strong marketing skills. Having broad marketing tactics, especially digital and technological skills these days, is another important part of getting a good listing agent. Most potential buyers now do research online before viewing a home in person. You need an agent who knows how to create a strong first impression online using engaging written descriptions, images and videos.
- working style. Some agents work alone while others are part of a team. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. A solo real estate agent may provide more one-on-one relationships, but they may also be busy managing other clients. A team of agents can provide more expertise and availability, but you may also be dealing with multiple agents for the same transaction.
- Assess the agent’s interest and business connections. You need to be sure that your listing agent has your interests as top priority. There are situations where agents from the same brokerage are involved on both sides of the transaction. This increases the risk that the agent will not guarantee you the best possible price. Also, be careful who they recommend as a mortgage broker or home repairman, as they sometimes refer you to friends who might charge you more than you can easily find in the market. Take a quick look at lenders and repair companies to be sure.
Always limit your search to real estate agents who have experience selling properties like the one you own. That way, it’s very likely that they’ll know how to tap into the pool of potential buyers and understand what people are willing to pay more for.
You should also consider online registration platforms run by companies that leverage algorithms and other technologies to streamline the registration process for you at a lower cost. However, it can mean less hands-on service, which is especially important if you’re selling for the first time.
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