8 Considerations When Choosing Your Agent
You're now at the point that you've made a decision to sell your home or need to first see what is available to buy before you commit to any decision about moving and you go to google, do some searches and call an agent. By default, and maybe a little obligation, you find yourself working with the first person you talk you. The agent is nice and away you go. But what do you know of this person? Do they have your back and are they the best match for you and your circumstances?
"While it is not debatable that price is THE single most important thing when selling your home, using that as the basis for choosing your agent is not. The agent whose price is based on what they think you want to hear in order to gain your business is going to fall short of your expectations. If that price is higher than market value, you won't achieve the goal of selling your home but moreover, you won't achieve the thing that selling your home will allow you do." ~~ Paige Gregson
Here are 8 considerations to help guide you when choosing your agent:
1) Choose the person, not the property or the price. The right price for your home will emerge with the right person so that you can take that next step toward your new plans. On the buying side, it's not just the listing agent who will have a wealth of knowledge about an area and specific property you have interest in.
2) Trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is. Good chemistry doesn't hit you in the gut, it makes you feel confident that you can trust the person.
3) Pay attention to how they demonstrate that they have your best interests at heart. The best way to determine this is to observe. Are they doing all the talking? Are they spending lots of time "building rapport" by chatting about weather, vacations and children or their own achievements and awards? Agents can only have your best interests at heart when they learn more about you and your circumstances by asking key questions and then listening to what you have to say.
4) Find out if they're competent. Success doesn't happen by accident and consistent results, over a long period of time will usually mean they are well qualified and capable of doing this complex job well. I believe that a good indicator of competency is when consistent results are coupled with positive past client endorsements. The agent whose clients talk positively about them and tell others to use their services is a more proven way to uncover the competency of the agent. If an agent does an exceptional job, people talk about it and help the agent grow their business. If the agent does a less than stellar job, no one talks about them and they are faced with constantly having to look for people to work with.
5) Seek communication that works for you. If how the agent communicates and their method of communication is not your style, imagine communicating in that way for the next 3-6 months. If conversing during the interview is just not doing it for you, know that it will not improve during an offer and through the subject removal period.
6) How they are when you first meet them is how they will be. Is the agent on time? Prepared? Leads the appointment? Organized? Clear? Dresses professionally / appropriately for the type of property you have? If you have an acreage, a dress and heals might demonstrate that the agent was not prepared to walk through a field and barn or might not be experienced in acreages, yet if you have a beautiful, upscale home you take a high level of pride in and the purchaser of your home is likely to be discerning, showing up dressed casually, might reflect a casual nature, which may or may not be your style. If they are late now or disorganzied, expect that to continue throughout working with them.
7) How they are online is what you can expect. Google the agent's name and see what comes up. Do they have a website? (Yes, some agents do not!) And from there, what's the content on it? Is it generic and minimal or relevant and up to date? Can you get a sense of who they are by the content they have, or is there little content and just a "click here to contact agent" button? Can you easily see their active listings and how they present? Do the properties have high quality professional photos or are you seeing more of the furniture with many of them dark and or crooked? How is the write-up about the home? Are there abbreviations like 2bd/2bth? With changes over the years to how properties are presented online, there is more room to write out full commentaries without the need for abbreviations. What are the online reviews like? If you're not finding any, they either don't have any, they are poor and therefore don't seek them, they may be new to the profession, or have not stayed up on the online review platform, which is now a necessity in any industry from restaurants to products to services and they're not up on that, what else are they not up on?
8) The agent should have a plan. Based on what you would like to achieve, the agent should have a plan of how they are going to help you from start to finish and can explain it clearly so you know what to expect every step of the way. Their plan speaks to trust and competency and if they stumble over this question, then they don't have a plan.
"It is only after you know they can communicate well with you, and you with them, they are competent, professional and are a good match with who you are, the stage of life you're at and you trust them to be your guide you should you proceed with working with them." ~~ Paige Gregson
If you're selling your home, it is at this time you discuss the value of your home. Without a baseline relationship using the criteria above, you won't have a measure of whether or not the value the agent is providing is something you can rely on. Be sure they are providing factual data, not just on the sold comparable properties but data regarding the market as a whole and that they can interpret and explain what the statistics mean but moreover, how they relate to your property and what they mean to you.
If you've gotten this far, thank you for taking the time to read this. My desire to raise the bar in the profession I've chosen so that we are a group of agents offering high-level service to people like you who want and deserve an exceptional real estate experience. If you'd like to meet with me and go through each of these points, I'd be happy to put it to the test! Please call me at 250-308-2928 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
CENTURY 21 Executives Realty Ltd.