Having sold homes in San Diego for over 20 years, I am still surprised how many people really have no idea how to choose a Realtor to sell their home. But then again, why would they? Selling a home isn’t something people do every day. Most families are staying in their homes for over five years before selling now, some much more than that.
It might surprise you to know that many real estate agents do not keep in touch with their past clients. Why? A variety of reasons…some were part-time agents and haven’t remained active in the business. Some agents say they are afraid to talk to their past clients; they just don’t want to know about problems. Some agents are off to find the next sale and maintaining relationships just isn’t a priority. Unfortunately, it is true that most people do not hire the agent who represented them when they bought their home to help them sell it when the time comes!
So, how do you find a good agent? My advice is to ask your family and friends if they have an agent they would recommend. Then find out:
- Is the agent in the business full-time?
- Does the agent have a track record of actually selling homes?
- Can the agent provide references?
- Does the agent belong to the National Association of Realtors and the state and local Association of Realtors – not all licensed agents are “Realtors”.
- Does the agent know the local market?
- Does the agent have a marketing plan?
- Does the agent have a professional website and presence on the internet?
- Does the agent return calls, emails, and text messages in a timely manner?
- Does the agent understand the legal documents they are preparing and asking their clients to sign?
- Will the agent take the time to make sure you understand the contracts, the process, and anything that comes up in the process?
- Is there good chemistry between you and the agent? Sometimes personalities just don’t mix, that’s okay!
- Will the agent give you advice on how to prepare your home for sale?
- Does the agent review the most recent comparable sales in your area to determine the asking price?
For most families, their home is their largest asset. Finding a professional and experienced Realtor to help protect that asset is an important first step in getting it sold for the best price, within your time frame, and with as little hassle as possible. Taking the time in the beginning to find a great Realtor will save you money, headaches, and will make the process much more enjoyable, maybe even fun!