Looking to sell your house with the right agent? Here’s how to find one

If only your walls could talk. They’d probably paint a picture of blissful memories, milestones, and challenges from your life in this space, and that of those you love.

You’re emotionally invested in your home, and rightly so. And now that it’s time to sell, you need someone who can look at things objectively and make this a less stressful experience for you.

You probably already know this; choosing the right listing agent can make or break the sale. If you don’t select the right person for the job, your house may sit longer on the market than it’s supposed to and you’ll likely make less profit.

But you can find a realtor who adeptly manages every aspect of selling your home – from staging it for potential buyers to setting the right price point.

What Do You Expect from the Selling Process?

Consider this simple question: what do you expect from your listing agent?

Selling your home involves four distinct stages, and you want to figure out the goals to find the right agent who can accomplish each of them.

Those stages include:

  1. Pricing your home
  2. Marketing your home
  3. Negotiating with prospective buyers
  4. Closing the sale

Great listing agents handle all of them well. They go above and beyond to ensure that you get the best price, use powerful marketing techniques such as open houses, signage, social media, and direct email to entice buyers, negotiate repair requests, and help you avoid any last-minute unpleasant surprises.  

Does the Listing Agent Have Professional Accreditation?

In America, the top real estate agents are accredited by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). They abide by the code of ethics established by this trade association. While searching for the best listing agent, make sure that the one you choose is licensed by NAR.

You’ll also want to check with the local board and real estate agency (if they’re associated with one) to determine whether they’re in good standing. Moreover, by just communicating with them, it will be possible to tell if they possess expert knowledge of local real estate market cycles and trends.

Are You Analyzing the Agent Stats?

At this point, you need to put on an investigator’s hat to analyze some statistics. Some of the key performance indicators for real estate agents include the total number of five-star reviews, average days on the market, and percent of listings that have sold.

You should also keep an eye on:

  • Transactions per year: Finalize a listing agent who regularly has 50-100 sales a year. Those with a dozen sales or less are likely to be part-timers or hobbyists. And you want someone with extensive experience by your side.
  • Sales-to-list price ratio: Let’s suppose your house is listed on the market at $325,000 (asking price) and is sold at $318,000 (actual selling price). The sales-to-list price ratio is the selling price divided by the asking price. In this example, the ratio is 98%. You should look for agents with relatively high sales-to-list price ratios like this one. It demonstrates their accuracy in terms of pricing homes and their likely probability of delivering on the seller’s asking price or list price.

When hunting for a real estate agent, you need to assume the roles of a recruiter, researcher, and investigator. While this requires some time and effort, when you do find the right person, most of your worries about selling your home will disappear! That peace of mind is worth all the upfront effort.

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