Selling your home? How to hire the right listing agent

If you’re thinking that finding the perfect real estate to help you sell your home is akin to finding a white cat in a snowstorm, you’re not alone. In fact, ask Google “how to find a listing agent” and you’ll get 189,000 answers.

The task isn’t quite as challenging as it seems when you understand that the listing agent’s primary job is to market your home. So, yes, you want to find an agent you feel comfortable with and one with experience listing homes.

Beyond that, there are three important qualities to look for as you interview agents (and please interview more than one) for the job of selling your home.

Communication is so important

One thing I hear most often from my clients is that their last agent was unresponsive. I understand that selling your home is stressful and that you’ll have questions along the way.

It’s a pity that not all agents feel the same, so ensure that the one you choose will respond to your calls in a timely manner and keep you updated on the progress of the sale.

You, on the other hand, should communicate to the agent you choose exactly how often you expect to hear from him or hear and through which medium (text, phone, email, etc.).

Pricing your home to sell takes experience

Yes, determining an accurate market value for a home and suggesting a strategic listing price is very much a part of an agent’s marketing plan. Homes priced right sell faster and the quicker your home sells, the more money you’ll get for it.

Despite the booming sellers’ market that we find ourselves in, beware of the agent who suggests a price considerably higher than others you interview.

This is an old, dishonest trick known as “buying the listing.” Thankfully, not many agents attempt this but those who do will price your home high at the outset, just to get the listing, and then continually ask you to drop the price. All while your home sits languishing on the market.

The bottom line: Marketing

Homeowners hire a real estate agent to not only list their home but market it as well. The listing aspect is merely sticking a sign in the yard and information in the Multiple Listing Service database.

Marketing it is how he or she will get the word out about your home to other agents and unrepresented homebuyers.

Ask the agent to explain his or her approach to marketing homes and exactly how your home will be marketed.

And, since most homebuyers start their search online, clear, compelling photographs act as bait to get them off the couch and into your home. Take a good look at the photos from each agent’s previous listings.

Yes, homes are selling quickly right now. If you’re thinking of selling, don’t hire the desperate agent, hire the one with the skills it takes to get the most money in your pocket.

Hiring the right listing agent is critical to the successful sale of your home. Take your time and don’t rush the process.