When looking to sell your home, a real estate agent fighting in your corner can reduce your stress levels. Real estate agents, whether seller’s or buyer’s agents, are licensed professionals, who understand the intricacies of real estate transactions. There are five things you should confirm before you choose to go with an agent:
- Do they come recommended?
- Do they have the right credentials and licenses?
- Do they know the area?
- Are their previous clients happy with the experience?
- Will they be willing to fight for you?
Get a referral
The number one way that you can find a real estate agent is by asking for a referral. Ask your neighbours, friends and colleagues for recommendations. Ask your mortgage broker or banker. Other professionals connected to the real estate industry will usually make great recommendations about other professionals that they know.
According to industry statistics, good real estate agents get about 80% of the business. Why? Because they make sure that their clients are happy with the transaction and they build their network organically through satisfied clients.
Check their credentials and do your research
Once you have identified a list of referrals and/or leads, you can do some due diligence on each of the agents on your list. Check if their license is active. Check online reviews. Ask the agent to send you a CV. Ask how long they have been in business, and whether they have current listings. Test whether the agent knows the area of your property by asking a random question that only someone with knowledge of the area would know the answer to. Ask lots of questions. If the agent wants your business, they will answer.
During the due diligence process, look for warning signs. Does the agent answer your phone call during business hours? Does the agent have lots of listings but is not able to close them? Does the agent act appropriately during an open house? Does a low commission mean fewer services?
Now you can begin to compare the qualifications you have gathered. If you have a short list, but one agent still does not stand out for you, why not dig a little deeper and call the agent’s recent clients to see how happy they actually are? A candid conversation with a past client can reveal potential issues or weaknesses of an agent.
When you select an agent, make sure they have the right credentials. Once you sign with a real estate agent, it will become difficult to change your mind in the middle of a transaction. What you are looking for is someone who will fight for your interests, and who has the time for you. A good agent would be closing about 1-2 houses a month and charging between 2-5% commission.