8 Takeaways: Choosing a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Posted by Ryan Fitzgerald on Monday, October 26th, 2020 at 4:29pm.

Choosing a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Choosing a Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Home

Thinking about selling your home but don't know where to start? Finding a great Real Estate Agent is the perfect place.

When it comes to making a home sale, the process can be even more complex than you expected. Many sellers find that figuring out the best price for their home is one of the most difficult aspects.

This doesn't have to be your experience. When it comes to selling a home, you will want the professional expertise of a real estate agent to ensure a successful sale that results in you walking away with the most money. Real Estate agents are well worth their commission!

Read on to learn all about choosing a real estate agent that will make the home selling experience as simple and stress-free as possible! 

So how do you choose a Real Estate Agent to help you sell your home?

Real Estate Agent vs FSBO vs iBuyer

Selling your home actually requires some investment if you want to do it right. It's often recommended to clean up the property and have professional photos taken before it's even listed. Some homeowners even go the extra mile by staging their homes so that they like magazine-worthy.

With all these costs, it's understandable that you may consider selling your home yourself in order to save yourself the commission fee that would have been going to your realtor. Picking a great Real Estate Agent to sell your home can often produce an Agent who may end up in dual agency, where they represent the seller and the buyer as well. This typically only happens when you find one of the best local Real Estate Agents who works with a lot of clients.

However, opting to go the FSBO (for sale by owner) route actually brings more trouble than its worth. Here are a few reasons why we recommend hiring a realtor. 

Selling your home to Opendoor will often result in the least amount of net profits for the seller, while the thought is it allows for more convenience (not always the case).

Limited Marketing

Homeowners that decide to sell their homes themselves are at an immediate disadvantage; they don't have access to the MLS (multiple listing service). This is a comprehensive database of all the homes for sale broken up by region. Only licensed real estate agents have access to this. Additionally, your Real Estate Agent will want to hire an appraiser to help measure the square footage of the house.

Without access to the MLS, homeowners' marketing ability is limited to sites such as Zillow, Redfin, and FSBO.com. Homeowners will also have to use their limited contacts or pay for ads in order to drum up more attention. 

Homes Sell for Less

Homeowners will also need to come to terms with the fact that their home will most likely sell for less. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median sales price of FSBO homes in 2017 was $160,300. This is when the buyer is aware that the homeowner doesn't have the agent.

In comparison, the median sales price for homes sold with the help of a real estate agent was $250,000. You can see how even with the realtor's commission, this is still thousands of dollars more.   

On the Market Longer

Homeowners also need to be aware that when they choose to sell themselves, their home will typically stay on the market longer. This could be because of the emotional attachment homeowners have, which impedes them from viewing offers with an unbiased eye. Struggling to keep up with marketing and following-up with leads can also be a reason.

How fast your home sells depends on the market conditions as well as your location.   

Time-Consuming

Selling a house is far more time-consuming than most homeowners realize. After cleaning up your home and making the necessary repairs, it's often recommended for homes to be photographed and staged. Afterward, homeowners will need to post those photos online and keep up with inquiries.

Lastly, homeowners need to be able to schedule frequent open houses, learn how to conduct an accurate market analysis, handle paperwork, and more. You can see how selling a home starts to become a second full-time job. 

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent 

Now that you know all the downfalls of selling a home yourself, it's time to learn how you can choose the best real estate agent. It's important that you find one who is able to guide you through the home selling process with experience and patience. 

1. Personality

Even if a realtor sounds great in the about section of their website bio, it's important that you meet them face-to-face in order to get a feel for their personality. You'll be communicating and meeting with your realtor frequently throughout the home selling process. They'll be walking into your home and making judgments about repairs or upgrades that would add value.

Your realtor will also be the one to give you bad news if they don't believe that your home can sell for the price you're expecting. With all this in mind, it's important that you find a realtor who you genuinely like and get along with. It's important that you feel comfortable asking them questions as well as letting them into your life. 

2. Experience

Experience is one of the most important aspects of finding a good realtor. When you meet a realtor for the first, conduct an interview so that you can get a sense of their skills and experience. Ask them if real estate is their full-time job as well as how many homes they sell per year.

Realtors sell a median number of 12 residential homes per year, though this can number can vary if they also sell commercial listings and your market. At Raleigh Realty we sell hundreds of homes per year. You can also make sure that the realtor's license is up-to-date by navigating to your state's real estate department website and looking up your name. This should also tell you if they have any disciplinary actions under their name. 

Details like making sure the buyer is pre-approved, hiring the best marketing team, understanding the terms on the contract are all things successful Real Estate Agents possess through experience.

One of the best things to look for when choosing a Real Estate Agent is someone who has access to the top-performing photographers and knows how to write a great real estate listing description.

3. Customer Service 

When you're calling, emailing, or texting potential realtors, pay attention to how they respond to you. It's important that you choose a realtor that also has good customer service skills. This means that they respond to you in a timely manner through the method you chose to contact them with.

You'll also want to pay attention to how they respond to your questions. Do they seem patient and knowledgeable, or do they give you the impression that they're in a hurry and you're wasting their time? Since realtors are service professionals, they need to be able to juggle the requirements of new leads, current clients, and multiple listings. 

If they're responsive and friendly with you, this is also a good indication that they'll behave the same way with buyers who are interested in your home. You want to hire a real estate professional who will get back to all potential buyers quickly. 

4. Marketing 

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of selling a home. If you don't market enough or effectively, you'll experience less interested buyers or even turn away buyers due to a cluttered environment, poorly taken photographs, or an unappealing listing description. 

Pick a real estate agent that is aware of the importance of marketing and has their own trusted contractors to do the work for them. You can make a determination about whether your realtor values marketing even before you meet them. Take a look at their website as well as social media profiles and see whether they're posting professional or amateur-looking photos of their listings. 

If they don't have a website, this could be a significant red flag that they don't understand the importance of digital marketing. 

Here are some of the basic marketing services you should expect from any realtor: 

  • Professional sign in the yard that includes realtor's phone number
  • Keeping you updated on how buyer showings went
  • Offering staging, repair, or upgrade advice
  • Professional photography or videography 
  • Photos posted to MLS and other websites
  • Virtual tours 
  • Flyer distribution in the neighborhood

It's important to remember that good marketing is a combination of the above and more. You want to hire a realtor that's able to easily and proactively stay on top of all of these marketing channels without your input. 

5. Testimonials 

Even if you like a realtor's online presence, it's important that you look a little further and read their reviews and testimonials online. These can be found on their website, Facebook page, or Google My Business page if they have one. Experienced realtors that have a presence online should at least have a handful of reviews from satisfied home sellers. 

Since Real Estate Agents become such a strong presence in a person's life, reviews people leave for reviews are often genuine and from the heart. If they had a bad experience with a realtor, you're sure to know it. With this in mind, multiple negative reviews of a realtor is a good indication to stay away. 

If they have a majority of positive reviews and one or two average ones, see if they replied to those reviews and tried to rectify the situation. 

6. Negotiation Skills

Along with customer service skills and the ability to market your property appropriately, it's important that the realtor you choose has superb negotiation skills. After the home inspection, you will likely be working with the buyers on negotiating repairs for the home. Here's what home inspectors will be looking for when they are inspecting your home. Aside from any big home issues, negotiating repairs should be a win-win situation for both the buyers and sellers to keep everyone happy. This means that they're able to fight for a price that they feel confident in and won't settle for anything lower if they've done an accurate market analysis.

Realtors with strong negotiation skills are able to negotiate with a win/win mindset. They want to reach a number that all parties are happy with. Strong negotiation skills also show that a realtor is able to interpret complex data and put it into terms that maximize your property's value. 

For instance, they'll be able to compromise on details that aren't as important for you and work towards the ones that are. If you really want your home sold during a certain timeframe and are willing to go down in price, they'll try to make that happen for you without completely short-changing you.

7. Strong Network

Experienced realtors also give you an edge in the home selling process because they should already have a network of strong contacts. They have strong relationships with brokers in the area as well as with homeowners in your local area. For instance, anyone who is searching homes for sale in Raleigh is going to find our website because we rank so highly on google 

They'll be able to tap into that network in order to see if there are any interested buyers. Once you sell your home, they can even help you purchase a home through that same network. Here are some of the activities experienced realtors do in order to keep relevant in your area:

  • Local sponsorships
  • Volunteering with local groups and organizations
  • Speaking on local radio and tv stations
  • Speaking about real estate at local colleges or universities
  • Developing partnerships with local businesses

You can see how a talented realtor will be tapped into the heart of your community. They'll have a feel for what people are looking for and what makes your property and local amenities unique.   

8. Referrals 

Last but not least, it's important that you gather referrals from friends and family as you create your shortlist of Realtors. A friend, family member, or colleague that has had a good experience with a Realtor is often a trusted source. However, it's also important that you still conduct your research. Conduct a short interview with the agent, either through phone or a face-to-face coffee meeting. Ask them about their experience as well as their marketing methods. 

Selling a Home the Smart Way: Hire a Real Estate Agent

Selling a home is all about planning ahead and knowing when to let the professionals do their work. Experienced real estate agents know how to get a home sold the right way through multiple marketing tactics, smart negotiation tactics, stellar customer service, and the ability to price your home right. Once your home is sold, the property is likely going to be marked contingent and you will begin the under contract process.

Although it may seem as if you're saving money by selling your home yourself, hiring a real estate agent is the best way to get your home sold fast and for the right price. Picking the right Real Estate Agent will help you get the most money for your home even after your Agent gets paid. You'll also be able to handle your stress better, as much of the paperwork, marketing, and scheduling will be in the hands of your agent.

Ready to sell your home in Raleigh, NC? Fill out our form today for a free home evaluation!


Ryan Fitzgerald Raleigh RealtyHi there! I'm Ryan Fitzgerald, a REALTOR in Raleigh-Durham, NC and the owner of Raleigh Realty. Chances are you and I share a similar passion, Real Estate! I also have a passion for technology, sports, and people. Would love to hear from you. Drop me a note in the comments section below and feel free to share this article socially!

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