Selling or buying property isn’t something you take lightly. Sure, you can try have a go at it yourself. But DIY-ing a huge investment isn’t the same as fixing a broken window on your own. You want the guidance of an expert – someone well-versed with the property market as well as the legalities involving such transactions. But with the flowery words, long listings, and fancy webpages, choosing a good one can get tricky!
Mistake No. 1: Choosing the real estate agent with the lowest commission
The market can get competitive for realtors. So much so that some agents are willing to undercut the competition by radically lowering their commissions. If you look at it, a low commission isn’t exactly a bad thing. But do remember that reduced commissions can mean fewer marketing resources available to help get your property sold. Place yourselves in the shoes of a buying agent. Buyer agents won’t be as motivated when they find out how small their commission will be. They would much rather take his client elsewhere and be paid a standard rate than exert the same effort for a lower commission.
Mistake No. 2: Choosing the real estate agent with the most listings
It’s tempting to go for the guy who seems to be getting the most listings on his site. But remember that a real estate agent who sells 18 out of 20 properties trumps the big guys who sell 20 out of 50. They call this the sales-to-listing ratio. Instead, look at how well the agent priced his listings. Ask about his marketing strategies and how he reacted when you asked for a reduction in his commission? They way he negotiates will be crucial when he negotiates with buyers.
Mistake No. 3: Interviewing just one real estate agent and failing to check references
Real estate agents, as well as real estate agencies, will have their own strengths in terms of marketing and services. If you fail to interview more than one, you are likely to miss out on possibilities and strategies that may benefit your property. In the same light, most owners do very little research. When choosing a real estate agent, looking at the prospective agent’s listings isn’t enough. Give Google a try. Check his details, as well as his Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These social media platforms already speak volumes about his professionalism.
In addition, a good real estate agent should be able to provide you a list of references. Some home sellers go as far as getting in touch with the property owners who are currently listed. OR even “mystery shopping”. Have someone stop by his office or show homes to inquire and ask sensitive questions such as: “How low of a price will the owners take for this property?”
Mistake No. 4: Choosing a part-time real estate agent
While we laud people who work three jobs, a multi-tasker agent may not be the best person when it comes to selling your property. How could a part-time real estate agent be available enough for viewings? How long before this agent responds to inquiries? How will he fit your property into his schedule? The work of a real estate agent is seriously full. If they don’t manage the listing and marketing themselves, you can’t expect quick and successful closed deals. Getting your property the needed exposure, writing offers, and closing the sales require the complete attention of a full-time real estate agent!