There are many agents to choose from when it comes time to list your home for sale. Above all else you want to work with somebody who has a solid track record of success. They need to know how to get a home sold.
I have found that often, agents take shortcuts with listings and they usually do it because there is expense involved or they may just be too lazy to want to do it.
As always, this blog is based solely on my opinion. There are good agents out there that do not adhere to the following suggestions, but I believe that all agents should be doing these things for the sake of the client.
So here are my top five things you should be getting when you choose your agent.
1. Photos - I use a professional photographer to shoot all of my listing photos. I do this because the photos look better than pictures I could take myself. I am a real estate agent, I am not a photographer, yet somewhere along the way, agents got it in their head that taking quality pictures is easy. I assure you, it is not. Buyers want to see great pictures online where they are looking for homes. Great photos get them to call and set up a time to see the house. You can check out my photographer's amazing work HERE.
2. Roadside Exposure - This can take many different forms, but you know it when you see it. Far too many agents stick a sign in your front yard that has the company name and their phone number, and that is it. That is NOT enough.
This is the day and age of instant gratification. Many people do not want to call an agent directly at first in fear of being sold. They simply want information. They should be able to gather information via fliers, signage text campaigns, QR codes, etc. Just a sign does not cut it.
3. Flexibility - While all agents are technically self-employed, many are not their own boss. I have a great advantage because of where I work to handle my clients however I choose. I do not need to check with my broker to get the OK to change listing terms, or restructure commission, etc. Many agents are under tight controls because of the companies they work for.
Work with an agent who can make their own decisions. This can come in handy when it is time to negotiate with a buyer or under many other circumstances as well.
4. Availability - You want to work with an agent who is successful, but not so successful they have no time for you.
Frankly I have never taken a day off since I started real estate in 2005. That is not to say I am always working hard. Far from it actually, but my point is if a client calls and I can answer the phone, I will, regardless of what day it is.
Your agent makes a good amount of money on the sale of your home in exchange for not too many hours worked. Because of that, you should not have to wait until their weekend is over or their day off is finished.
Your agent should be on the job 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If they have any other job, move on and find someone who is available.
5. Short Contracts - Do not get trapped into signing a 6 month or a year listing contract with an agent. I sign 3 month deals with my clients.
You do not want to be trapped in a situation you want out of and cannot get out of. I tell my clients that if three months goes by and the home is not sold, we can extend at that point if they are happy with the progress.
What happens if you hate your agent after one month and you have eleven months to go with them? There is no need to put yourself in that situation. Keep it short!
I will add one more additional item which agents might tell you is important and I believe it is not. That is Open Houses. In general, I do not do them. I have hosted them in the past and what I came to realize was that most people who go to open houses are not really interested in that particular home. They are just out killing time, or are curious neighbors wanting to see what you did with the place.
If a buyer wants to see your home it is very easy for them to see it on short notice without have to go the open house route.
As always I am here to help or answer questions. I can be reached by email at Mark@MarkCharter.com or by phone or text at 515-864-6444.
You can see testimonials from my clients at www.MarkCharter.com.