Real estate agents help people in the purchase and sale of properties. Choosing a real estate agent to help you sell your home can be a daunting task. Below are some helpful tips.
Seek referrals and conduct some internet research to determine the agent's reputation. The real estate agent should have a licence to operate in your state. Agents with years of experience in the business are likely to have more connections.
Look for a full-service real estate agent who provides the following services:
- House staging. The agent will visit your home and advise you on how you can decorate the interior and improve the exterior to make the house attractive to buyers.
- The agent will organise an appraisal to determine a reasonable selling price.
- House visits. Your agent should help you prepare for house visits. For instance, what should you display during the visit? How should you communicate with buyers?
- Some agents will also organise house inspections to determine the structural integrity of your home and the condition of various amenities.
- The agent will negotiate the purchase price with the buyer and help you close the deal.
Critically evaluate the agent's marketing strategy. Look for an agent that goes a step further to advertise the property on social media and local news outlets. A professional agent will also invest in signage. Proper signage should describe unique features about the home and how interested buyers can contact the agent.
Most agents will ask for a small percentage of the asking price. This amount should cover all services that the agent will provide. Inquire if the agent's fee is inclusive of taxes.
Once you hire the agent, he or she will ask you to sign a listing agreement. Carefully examine the terms of the contract. Some of your concerns should include the following:
- Dual agency. This happens when the agent represents the buyer and seller in the contract. If this is the case, ask the agent how he or she will avoid conflict of interest.
- Sole agency. This prohibits you from hiring another agent to sell the property for a specified period (typically between 3-6 months).
- Check the terms of termination. For instance, will you incur penalties?
- The contract should have a reasonable conflict resolution procedure.
When choosing a real estate agent, examine his or her reputation, services, marketing strategy and the terms of the contract.