Here an Agent, There an Agent, How do I Pick an Agent?
Real estate agents are everywhere, but finding the
right one can result in savings of thousands of dollars
or the successful closing of a deal. When we wanted
to sell our home, we immediately contacted the agent
who sold our previous home, in three days! We assumed
that he would be equally successful selling our current
place, but what we neglected to consider was the fundamental
differences between the two homes when matching the
type of sale with the sales agent. The price range of
our current home was much higher than the first, which
shrunk our market somewhat. Also, our realtor's advertising
strategies were limited to neighboring towns and his
web site was outdated. He was well known in the area,
but he had his own company which limited his networking
abilities compared to that of a larger company.
Our home went on the market in January and sat there
until July when we finally changed Realtors. Properties
in the area were not moving, there was a trend toward
inflated prices and people were not buying readily.
I noticed that the only homes that did sell were held
by the same husband/wife team; I decided these were
the people to sell my house. When we met, they did request
a slightly higher commission, but there was room for
negotiation. They suggested improvements to our home
that were never before considered, such as relocating
our entire dining room. I followed their advice, they
returned a few days later with a video crew, took lots
of pictures and had our home listed on their web site
in a couple days. Our home was sold within a week.
Much was learned from this experience; all Realtors
are not alike, and here are some things to look for
when selecting a winning agent:
1) Make certain your Realtor is compatible with the
type of property you are selling. Someone who specializes
in country properties may not be the best choice for
your downtown condo. The agent should be familiar with
the area and the market you live in.
2) Talk to people who have had successes with their
Realtors and get some referrals for reliable agents.
3) What will the marketing strategy be for your home,
such as a video or slide show tour, front page ads and
which papers will they advertise in? More sales are
generated from internet postings compared to paper ads,
ensure your Realtor has an up to date web site. Also
find out what their plan will be if there is a sluggish
response to the ads.
4) Ask to see their resume, and check for the following:
Are they licensed by their state?
What sort of education do they have, some are licensed
appraisers, decorators or inspectors.
If you're looking for a commercial investment, ensure
they have qualifications in that area.
5) What commission do they charge; don't be shocked,
most times these are negotiable when it comes down to
closing a deal.
6) How many sales did they complete last year?
Overall, your Realtor needs to be someone you feel
comfortable working with, and it's important you are
open with them; explaining your financial goals as well
as your selling or buying time frame. They should have
a proven track record of successful sales and have a
strategy for selling your home. Don't be discouraged
if you don't find the perfect Realtor the first time
around, there is a certain amount of luck involved when
buying or selling a home, but you can increase your
chances by knowing what to look for.
This article was written for Affinity Properties, Austin,
Texas. Their diversified team of highly skilled Realtors
is ready to answer all of your questions regarding Austin
Texas real estate. Be sure to view the listings
Ranch real estate, an outstanding master planned
community in the Northwest Austin area.
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