Real estate is a diverse industry, with residential, commercial and other specialties. If you’re selling a house, you obviously want an agent who knows residential real estate, but what else should you look for?
What’s in a Name? A Lot
Holding a real estate license does not make someone a REALTOR®. The main thing that distinguishes a REALTOR® from someone who’s merely licensed by the state to sell real estate is the Code of Ethics, which requires REALTORS® to put their clients’ interests first at all times. Hiring a REALTOR® means you’ve retained someone who is committed to continuing education, professionalism, and integrity. So, before you ask a potential real estate agent any other questions, ask if he/she is a REALTOR®.
Look Beyond Dollar Signs
When considering an agent, it may be a mistake to choose your representative based solely on compensation. Agents charge differently and provide different levels of service. Make sure you know what you’re getting.
The Price May Not be Right
It’s also not always the best idea to go with an agent solely because he/she suggests the highest asking price. Yes, you want to get as much as possible for your home, but neither you nor your agent determines what a buyer is willing to pay. An agent who prices your home too high to get your listing isn’t doing you any favors.
Where are all the Buyers?
Suppose your house is beautifully remodeled and priced to sell. What good is that if no one sees it? Before you hire an agent, ask how he/she plans to market your property. Agents have different marketing strategies that may include the Internet, MLS, print ads, open houses, staging and other means. Make sure you’re comfortable with the efforts planned for your property.
Staying in Touch
Find out how an agent stays in touch with clients. Phone calls? E-mails? Posts on your Facebook wall? Tell the agent which method you prefer–and how often you want to hear from him/her. It’s better to find out now if an agent doesn’t use text messages, which may be your preferred method of communication, than to find out during negotiations with a buyer.
Don’t be afraid to interview several agents. Ask your friends and family who they’ve used. There are lots of us available to help you, and we each have our own style, personality, strengths and business models.
Source: Texas Association of REALTORS®