Notes on Selecting The Best Agent

When selling or buying a home this always holds true…



“An effective Agent is a Business Partner.   He has a plan for all stages of your sale.”

Your real estate transaction may be the largest most complex transaction you will ever undertake.  Selecting the right Real Estate Agent will have great impact both in financial and emotional terms.  Did I say Agent?  I should have said Business Partner.  Your mother may suggest “Cousin Bernice just got her license” and “you should use her because Aunt Mary is your Godmother.”  The blinding red light of caution and deafening warning siren in your brain should be overwhelming at this point. 

“Unless you would select Cousin Bernice as your business partner, in a complex business deal where you were betting your life savings on, take a different approach to selecting a business partner.  A proven track record, satisfying seller and buyer, and a support organization that can replicate that success, is critical.  That record should be in today’s market, not the boom days when even Cousin Bernice would have been successful.”


 “An effective Agent is a Business Partner in all stages of your sale.”

  • Choose a FULL TIME agent…   and we should be very clear about this, your Business Partner must be FULL TIME. A Part Time agent will work Part Time for you.  Does that make sense?  80 to 90% or more of the agents working this market today are working part time. 

  • Pricing… your partner must recommend the right selling price and justify the price in detail to both seller and buyer.  The “right price” may not be what you think.  Your agent must be able to justify their methodology and how it applies to your home.  Pricing at $1 will sell fast (but then you could do that yourself).  Price a $300,000 home at $999,999 and some person may buy it (that would be like waiting to win the lotto).  Your agent must consider all factors including monthly cost of keeping your home on the market, current market direction and agent and client feed back.
     
  • Marketing… A full page ad in the Wall Street Journal is impressive but won’t sell your home.  Understanding where and when to apply targeted marketing tailored to your home, in your specific market area, is most critical.  That involves a detailed custom plan, not a “throw it on the wall and see what sticks” approach.  Ask your agent to demonstrate their “targeted” approach for your property and expect to see a reasonable detailed time line along with a plan “B” and “C.”   Can their organization support that plan?
  • Effective Use of Technology…  Just posting on the internet is not effective use of technology.  The right agent will demonstrate how they will make your property stand out in a crowded internet market place.  If, after meeting them, they take out their cell phone and start to snap images for your listing and say they will have it listed tomorrow, think twice.   Integrated internet marketing demands a professional approach.  Review their examples and judge by the image those examples leave with you in comparison to others.
     
  • Negotiating… Discuss their recommended negotiating strategy.  Does it make sense and is it in synergy with your thoughts?  Asses their experience, the presence they demonstrate in front of you.  Would you trust to purchase from them?
  • Closing… after finding the right buyer, and agreeing on price everything can go wrong.  Talk to your agent about what can go wrong at this most critical stage and how they would help you through it.  Ask for examples of what they have done for others.

A respected President once said “Trust but verify” that holds true in agent selection.  Review their plans.  Are they experienced enough to carry them out?  Do they have a support organization behind them?  Do they have a successful track record?   Your attention to detail at this critical stage will prove very rewarding.  It’s Your Money!  Form the best business partnership you possibly can…

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