How should I choose an agent? I see the names on billboards, but how do I know who to call?
A name on a billboard does not always equate to a successful
agent. Although many successful agents do use billboard advertising there are
also agents that save money on other marketing efforts (like not advertising your
home for sale) in order to pay for the costly endeavor of a billboard.
Billboards can be a good first step to gathering your facts about successful
Realtors in your area but don’t stop there. There are many other factors to
consider when choosing the real estate agent that is right for you.
Google the name of some of the realtors that you see to gage whether the
billboard is just once source of their advertising or the whole ball of wax.
- Look at some of their listings to see if they have homes for sale in your
area or price range.
- Set up appointments to interview the top 2 or three that you are attracted
to. More than 3 is excessive and will start to clutter your brain.
- At your interview ask the agent how much of their personal budget (not the broker’s
advertising) is spent on advertising your home vs. advertising their name.
- Besides commission rates, advertising budgets, and track records, also
consider the personality of the agent her/himself. A real estate transaction
can be an emotionally charged and somewhat lengthy process. A brash personality from your Realtor may cause you extra stress that you don’t need. Likewise, a very meek personality
may not be aggressive enough to approach you with honesty about your home.
- Don’t make your decision based solely on how much an agent tells you he or
she thinks your home is worth at the listing presentation. “Buying the Listing”
is a term used in the industry for agents who try to woo the seller by giving
an inflated opinion of price to get the contract signed. Soon after the ink
dries, they are quickly at your door suggesting a price reduction.
- Last but not least, consider experience. Experience of the market, negotiation
experience and experience with dealing with people and homes trends are all
huge pluses, but not the only factor. 30 years in the
business may be a great thing to consider but it also could be a negative if
the realtor relies on antiquated, pre-internet marketing and advertising
efforts. If the agent is not constantly keeping up with the trends of how homes
are found, showcased, and sold, then your home will be at a disadvantage compared
to one listed by a technological savvy realtor.