How to Choose a Listing Agent
So, you’ve decided to sell your house! That’s a big decision to make and we understand that you may not have come to that decision lightly. Whatever your situation is, if you’re looking to upgrade, downgrade, or if you’re moving out of the Houston area, it most likely means that you’re turning the page and starting a new chapter in your life. And like many new chapters, it shouldn’t be tackled alone.
Cathy Spacek is a Houston realtor specializing in the Pearland area and wants to help you with all of the little and big details that can make this process seem so daunting. And of all the real estate agents in the area, we know that you have a lot to choose from. We also know that there are a lot of capable and experienced realtors that you have to filter through. While we hope that you choose us to help you sell your home, we also want to make sure that you have the insight in order to find one that is right for you and your family. So, here are some things to consider as you research and interview various realtors.
Talk with Agents’ Recent Clients
Many people tend to use real estate agents that have been referred to them through family or friends, but if you are starting from scratch, it can be incredibly beneficial to talk with past clients to get a feel for their experience. Ask them for their overall impression of the experience, how easy it was to communicate with the agent, how knowledgeable they were, how helpful they were when it came to answering questions, and anything else you feel you need to make a decision. You can read some of Cathy’s reviews here.
Check for State License and Credentials
You’ll want to make sure that who you’re considering is a licensed real estate agent and look for any special credentials, such as Military or FHA. The more credentials they have, it typically means that they are more experienced and the more knowledge they have in certain niche areas.
There are a variety of ways to ensure that a realtor is experienced. Don’t be afraid to ask them directly how long they’ve been in business. You can also look at their previous record, look at how many homes they sold in the past year and see if they have an available ratio for the listing prices of homes and the actual sale price. These will give you an idea of how often they work with clients and what type of success rate they have.
Choose The Person
Ultimately, you will be spending a good deal of your time with this person as well as communicating with them (hopefully) fairly frequently. Not only should you relate to them personally, but you should be confident that they will be working hard for you in order to help you meet your goals. If you get the feeling that they aren’t confident themselves or that they are hesitant in any way, it could be a sign that they will have a hard time going to bat for you when it comes to negotiating. The relationship and the personal qualities this person has can sometimes be just as important as the credentials.
Knowledge of the Area
This definitely comes in to play when searching for a buyer’s agent, but this is still an important factor, especially if you are buying another house in the same area. They should know the market of the area and a general idea of what other homes are being sold for. This knowledge will go a long way when you’re deciding on a listing price.
It can be scary letting someone into your home and essentially handing over a lot of financial information to someone who is basically a stranger. Realtors should never be in this business in order to swindle money out of their clients. In fact, real estate agents sign a code of ethics that states that they have a duty to their clients to promote and protect their interests. If you are at all hesitant or concerned about where a potential agent’s interest is, move on. Trust is invaluable when it comes to hiring a real estate agent.
Realtors will generally work with a team of support staff and they often have contacts with other vendors, such as builders, lenders, home inspectors, title companies, etc. These types of relationships will help fill in any gaps. And if the potential realtor has worked with them before, that means you can trust them as well. Having relationships with outside people is always a good thing and will only help increase the level of customer service that they can offer.
When going through a process that involves such a large investment, you want to work with someone who will be straightforward about any potential risk. If they don’t give you straight answers about the investment analysis or the current market in the area, they don’t have your best interest at heart. The more experience an agent has, the more aware they will be of common problems that arise and will know of strategies to avoid them.
With so much information being passed around, offers being submitted, contracts being signed, and with the number of people involved in the process, communication is absolutely essential. And your realtor is typically the one who manages all of these processes, helps you understand what a contract means, will schedule open houses, communicates with buyer’s agents, and more. There are several streams of communication going on at the same time, so strong communication skills will ensure that balls aren’t dropped throughout the process.
When you’re trying to sell a house, the faster a realtor can make that happen, the better, right? That means the less time you’ll be paying for your current mortgage, property taxes, and worrying about how long you have to wait to move. And selling a house quickly happens with a solid marketing strategy. Ask them what their strategy is, what different methods they use, and if they are going to take comparable homes into consideration. The more thorough a strategy, the faster you can move on to this new chapter in your life.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into interviewing a potential realtor. But trust us, the time spent will be worth it. If you have any questions about our process or want to learn more about selling your Pearland home, get in touch with us today! We can’t wait to help.