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The Agent You Choose to List Your Home Matters
Carolyn Green, The Seller's Advocate, offers these tips to help homeowners choose the BEST listing agent for your house:
(These are my own opinions based on years of working in the business)
1. Trustworthiness. This is the number one factor to consider when choosing an agent to represent YOUR home. Does the agent do what they tell you they are going to do before they list the house? Little broken promises can be a "red flag" of bigger problems down the road. Are you comfortable with the agent? Do you want to spend time talking with them? You will be spending a good deal of time with your new agent and you want to make sure that you trust them and are comfortable with them.
2. Honesty. Yes, honesty is close to trustworthiness, but it goes a little deeper. Does your agent tell you the truth or just what they think you want to hear? Remember, you are paying for their expertise, not just to have a "yes" person.
3. It's not all about the price they recommend! Sometimes an agent will agree to list a house for a price that is too high for the market. Why do they do this? To get the listing! An overpriced home can sit on the market and become "shopworn". Overpriced homes take longer to sell and often they end up going through several price reductions to get an offer. By the time the house closes, it will end up netting the sellers less money than they would have gotten if priced appropriately in the first place. If the agent you like does not have the highest price, use them and then work on the price with them.
4. Not all Agents are the Same! I once heard from a seller who told me that it did not matter who their listing agent was because it would sell from the internet listing. STOP!!! It matters. That seller ended up withdrawing with their first agent and then I listed and sold it. If the agent you select is super aggressive, they may actually have a bad reputation with other agents. Some agents are so aggressive that they have burned bridges with past sales. A buyer's agent may not go out of their way to show your home with the super aggressive agent.
5. Ask for a Marketing Plan. I bought my first investment property off of the internet in 1999. It is now 2018 and the internet is the only way to advertise to our technologically savvy buyers. Look for an agent that advertises immediately on various social media platforms. An agent willing to hold open houses is nice, but not essential. Open houses are really an excuse for agents to get more buyer leads. One thing I like to do is to hold an Agent Open House. This is typically a lunch in your house for about 2 hours on a weekday. Agents from many offices are invited. Agents love to eat, and once they have been in a particular house, they are more likely to show it again. Also, be sure to choose an agent that utilizes a professional photographer to highlight your home's best features. If your agent says they "take good photos themselves", that is a "red flag" that indicates the agent is not willing to invest their own money to sell your home! Everyone looks at pictures, make them good. I like to have the photographer shoot the pictures before the house hits the MLS. When the listing hits the MLS, it is like a Grand Opening! Roll out the Red Carpet!
6. Communication. Find an agent who will explain how they will be in touch with you about showings, buyer and agent feedback, general market conditions and internet showings. Typically communication comes via text, email and phone.
7. Commission. Agents usually start stuttering when talking about the commission. In our area the typical residential commission is 6-7%. This commission is typically split 50/50 between the listing agent and the buyer's agent. The commission is paid from the seller's proceeds at closing. Be sure that your agent is offering AT LEAST 3% to the buyer's agent. Buyer agents are not supposed to choose which houses to show their clients based on the commission amount, but it happens. Remember that the agents are independent contractors and they typically have to split their commission with their brokerage firm. So an agent who lists a house that closes will typically get 1.5% of the sale amount for their commission. That does not include their expenses.
I hope you enjoyed my tips. I would love to talk with you about selling your home. Currently, in the Columbia, SC market, we are experiencing historically low levels of inventory! Now is a GREAT time to sell your home. Please Call me at 803-331-5402 so I can provide you with a no obligation market analysis of your home.
I don't list to list, I list to sell!
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