While more than half of home sellers interview only one real estate agent before hiring someone, it’s wise to meet with at least three before making a decision. Here’s a checklist to help you through the process of choosing the right listing agent.
√ Start with referrals. Ask trusted family members and friends for referrals. Assemble three or more names, set appointments and interview each of them.
√ Experience counts. An agent with at least two to three years experience should be able to handle any problems that surface in marketing and selling a home. Although don’t count out newly licensed agents that are motivated to deliver top-notch customer service to grow their client base.
√ Digital marketing savvy? This is huge. More than 80 percent of home shoppers start their searches online. Find the agent’s own business website. It should be attractive and offer professional photos and virtual tours of listed homes. The agent should be comfortable using Facebook and other social media platforms.
√ Selling numbers? Has the agent sold any homes in your neighborhood? If so, how many? Ask about other listing stats, such as days on market, average sales price, sales price as percentage of the list price, but remember to put these numbers in the proper context, particularly if in the midst of a slow market.
√ Preparations. Did the agent come prepared with comparables, sales trends in your area and other insightful data to enhance your sales strategy?
√ Copy of an agency agreement. The listing agent should clearly spell out what services would be included in the agreement and what would be the financial responsibilities of the seller.
√ Buyer feedback? This is an important tool that your agent should offer. Online sites such as ShowingSuite.com make it easy for buyers and showing agents to leave comments and ratings.
√ Extra training and certification? A good listing agent adds certifications and takes special courses to benefit clients.