How to choose a realtor to sell your house

When it comes time to sell your house, choose your real estate agent wisely.  I see so many people selling their houses where they take the “easy way out.”  I’m here to advise you that’s often not the best choice.

 

For most home owner, their house is their largest asset.  And, you don’t just want to entrust the task of selling it to just anyone.

 

Here are the 2 most common mistakes I see home sellers making:

MISTAKE 1:  Choosing a realtor based on the one who gives you the highest list price.  Big mistake!  In fact, this is probably the biggest mistake.  Most people do this, because they “hear what they want to hear.”  The highest price sounds the best, right?  Well, often the opposite is true.

FACT:  The realtor does not set the market price!  The market (or the buyer(s) set the market price!  Just because a real estate agent tells you they can get a higher price doesn’t mean it’s true.  Rather, the realtor usually sets (or recommends) the list price.  There is a BIG difference.

If the list price is too high, you will have fewer buyers even looking at your house…and your house will stay on the market longer and ultimately (because of this), sell for a lower price.

If your list price is in the bull’s eye area (or even slightly below), you are likely to attract the right type of buyers (i.e. those that will actually have an interest in your house and those that are likely to make offers).  And, at times, you may even be able to attract multiple buyers at the same time and get a bidding war (which can raise the price).

Selecting a list price is about strategy.  And, some agents know better than others.  They know what your house is ACTUALLY worth (and worth right now), and they know how to STRATEGICALLY price it to get it sold fastest and for the highest amount.

So, don’t be fooled by the agent who tells you the highest price.  Chances are, they are more desperate for business and telling you what you want to hear (vs. what will actually happen).  For many, the only way they can win a listing is to tell you a higher price so you’ll choose them.

 

MISTAKE 2:  Choosing a realtor because you know them (e.g. they are a friend, relative, etc.). No, no, no.  Choose the BEST PERSON for the job, regardless of whether you know them or not.  Sometimes, that may be a friend (but chances are it isn’t).

I won’t even get into the whole thing about potentially ruining your friendship (i.e. mixing business and friendship…e.g. what if the house doesn’t sell or it won’t sell for the price you want, or something goes very wrong, and do you want your friends/family to know your financial situation?).

Rather, simply choose the person that you think it the best to get the job done the best.  That may be your friend or may not be.

So interview a few agents to get opinions and advice and carefully make your selection.

 

ADVICE ON SELECTING A REALTOR:

1. Choose a neighborhood expert – someone who knows YOUR area and hence knows how to price your house well.  They know the inventory, they know what it will take to get the house sold.

 

2.  Choose someone with a proven track record – Yes, experience counts in this industry (probably moreso than other industries).  Remember, this is your largest asset.  Don’t gamble with it.  Look at the person’s experience.  Look at how well they have done in YOUR area (not necessarily the county).  Look at well they do with LISTINGS.  Look at how long their listings stay on the market (what is the average days on market?)  And, importantly, look at the ratio of list price vs sold price.  This will help you ferret out those that inflating a price to tell you what you want to hear.

 

3.  Ask them about their marketing plan.  How will they market your house.  How do they do it differently/better than the others?

 

4.  Pick someone you feel comfortable with and trust.  I’ve said this a few times, but this is your largest asset.  You need to trust your agent.  They have a fiduciary responsibility to you. You will be working with them throughout the process.

 

5.  Check to validate that they have a proven record.  Check the facts, read reviews and think thing through.

 

Don’t just go with the agent you find.  Go with the BEST agent you find.

 

I hope this info is useful. I’ve worked with so many real estate agents (as a contractor) and I can clearly see that there are great agents, so so agents and bad agents (just like any other profession).  So choose wisely.