When money is tight, it’s tempting to save a buck by DIY-ing every area of your life—even the areas where you shouldn’t. One job you should always leave to the pros is that of a real estate agent.
Real estate agents make their job look so easy, so it must be a simple enough job for you to do–right?
It’s easy to think that by saving money on agent fees, you’ll pocket more of the cash and all will be well. It’s important to remember that real estate agents have a job because they are good at what they do. NAR (National Association of Realtors) reported that homes sold with a real estate agent averaged $235k while for sale by owner homes only sold for an average of a little over $208k. That’s a 13% increase! Thirteen percent is far more than the average real estate agent’s commission, so you still walk away with more money from the sale of your home.
Sellers, don’t be nervous when an agent won’t come down on their commission. Agents who value the hard work and dedication to each home they sell are the agents you want to hire. A 1% increase in commission could get you tens of thousands more for your home; if the agent is good, it’s worth it!
The best way to find a great agent is by asking for a referral from people you trust who have recently sold their home in the area. Don’t know anyone who’s moved recently? No worries! Here are some things to look for when hiring an agent.
- Is your agent full time? Nothing against part-time agents, but you want someone who works full time for your house. Find an agent who dedicates their time to their real estate business.
- How long has your agent been in the business? There are many successful rookie agents out there, but when money is tight and you need your home to sell quickly you don’t need to take your chances on a potential breakout star. Top agents have longevity in their field for a reason.
- Is the agent familiar with your neighborhood and home type? Is your agent known for selling condos like hotcakes? That’s great, but if you’re selling a single-family home they might not be your best agent. You also want an agent who has sold homes in your neighborhood and school district who can sell the area to potential buyers.
- How many homes does your agent sell a year? It might seem like a forward question, but you want to make sure your agent isn’t rusty from only selling a few homes a year as a hobby. There is no perfect number of sales in a year, but you want to hear they sell at least a couple houses a month.
- How does the agent list the home online? Make sure the agent uses the MLS and shoots your listing out to multiple places to be seen. The more visibility means the more chances it has to be seen by a buyer!
- How does the agent market the home? To piggyback off of the above, your agent should have a detailed marketing plan on how they are planning to market your home— including where it will be listed, digital advertising, and any methods that have proved successful with past listings.
The investment of a real estate agent is one that pays for itself by getting you top dollar for your home. Don’t be afraid to pay the right commission for extra thousands of dollars.