When it comes to selling your home, you want to ensure you’re getting the highest possible offer – especially in a market this hot. Many factors play into this, but one of the more influential is the listing agent you choose to hire.
How Do You Find the Best Listing Agent?
A good listing agent is worth his or her weight in gold. Every dollar you pay them in commission will be returned multiple times over. But how do you find the best possible agent for your house? Here are a few things to look for:
1. Local Expertise
There are a lot of skilled real estate agents around the country, but just because someone does exceptionally well in one market doesn’t mean they’ll immediately find success in another. You need a listing agent who has local expertise – specifically in your area
The top-performing agent in your city might do most of his business downtown, while you live out in the suburbs. You’d do better to hire someone who moves a little less volume but knows your specific neighborhood, than to work with the agent downtown who hasn’t ever sold a home in your area.
When you find an experienced agent who has been in the area for years, you’ll usually discover that they have connections. If you choose to work with one of these agents, you get access to their connections by association
Take Geoff and Andrea Lilienfeld of The Kay-Grant Group in Scottsdale, Arizona as an example. Not only do they bring experience to the table, but they also have connections with photographers, videographers, copywriters, home stagers, lenders, other agents, and even title professionals. You need an agent like this who can get in touch with the right professionals for the job.
3. Strategic Marketing Plan
Selling a home is a lot like selling any other product in a crowded industry – you need a good marketing plan to stand out and influence buyers. If you meet with an agent and they don’t provide you with a marketing plan for your listing, then you should probably question whether or not they’re going to give you the best chance to be successful.
Confidence is one intangible to be on the lookout for. You want an agent who knows what they’re doing and isn’t afraid to make some bold decisions in order to get some offers. In most cases, you’ll find that confidence goes hand in hand with experience.
If you’re like most people, you’re going to be communicating with your listing agent a lot – as you should be – and you want to make sure the agent is taking you seriously.
“Our biggest asset is just another deal for a listing agent. With so much at stake, it’s hard to not start sounding like a kid on a road trip, ‘How much longer?'” says Marni Jameson, a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel. “That’s because listing your house with an agent is like saying, ‘Here is my liver. My life kind of depends on it. Would you please handle with care?'”
When vetting potential listing agents, be sure you take responsiveness into account. You want an agent who is easy to get a hold of and will treat you with the utmost care and transparency.
Don’t be Tempted by FSBO Talk
When it comes to selling your house, you’ll inevitably be approached by a friend or neighbor who tells you that you should go the “for-sale by owner (FSBO) route.” They’ll start talking about how much money you can save and what an easy experience it is, but don’t fall for the myth that it’s easier and cheaper to sell your house on your own.
An agent may take a commission, but they also do all of the heavy lifting and allow you to get the highest possible sale price. The key is to find the best listing agent and work closely alongside them.