It is a legitimate question. Why should you work with a Professional Real Estate Agent?
A qualified, competent real estate agent will help you understand all of decisions that have to be made when buying or selling a home. -Can show you what the pricing ought to be and clearly show you why.
Your qualified agent should provide value to you in many ways. The services should be spelled out clearly for you. Each agent has their own style and marketing plan. Make sure you understand if it is a fit for you.
The biggest mistake a seller can make is listing with the wrong agent. Who is the right agent you ask? Well read the list below and see if your agent
-Can explain clearly the pluses and minuses of any offer
– Can show you how to properly prepare your home for the market – a good agent is honest with you about the changes you need to make in your home. Don’t be offended be glad you have a professional on your side.
– Has a Network of contacts to promote your property to other than “some agents” in their office
-Has a network of service professionals to handle anything that comes up during the sales process.
(Lending, home maintenance, gardeners, cleaners, insurance, tax and legal professionals)
– Can Advise you on what works and what does not in your particular market.
-Can deliver you a written plan of what they will do to sell your home. Your time is valuable you should not have to “guess” what your next steps are.
-Knows their numbers (sales and other listed comparable properties) forwards and backwards.
Three things that don’t matter when hiring someone to sell your home:
1) Number of homes sold – When an agent tells you that they sell 100, 200 or 300 homes a year this is your first tip off that you are dealing with a large “team.” Instead of dealing with one person you will have to go through many assistants and handlers. The persons name on the sign in front of your home may never even see your property. Some sales teams like this are quite accomplished. However, if personal relationships with the person who is selling your home are important to you, you might want to hold off on signing with one of these teams. Likewise, if the agent you are talking too can only show you 4-5 sales they may not be full time or active enough to get your home sold. Obviously there could be a specialized exception but be sure to ask if the number seems too low. A productive agent in most markets is selling between 24 and 40 homes per year.
2) Ads in the Newspaper of Glossy Magazines – Readership of these publications has fallen off a cliff in the last decade. If your listing agent does this it won’t hurt anything but it is not a reason to list with someone and it is not going to sell your home in most cases.
3) A Large Franchise Name – Buyers NEVER ask who has the home listed. They either want to see it or they don’t. Any agent that tries to sell you on their franchise is not doing you any service. By their very nature Franchises are a loose conglomeration of privately held companies. Their “networks” will not likely help you get a buyer. Each franchise has strengths in different geographic areas. This is of no help to you. Real Estate agents very rarely work outside their territories and unless your home is a unique or specialty property it will just be “a house” to someone not familiar with your area.
Here is your first clue that your agent may not be the best one for you. They put you directly in their car and take you to look at a house. While this might meet your desire for instant gratification it is not the sign of a professional agent.
A good buyers agent is going to ask you questions. They are going to help you see what you are looking for, what you can afford and what is best suited to you. Yes you will look at houses but rather than run through dozens of homes that are not a fit for you you will see homes that are most likely a perfect fit for you.
When you are working with a professional buyers agent and they take you to a home you should either see a home that closely matches your needs or the agent should be able to
explain why they showed you this home. It could be price, neighborhood or some other feature but it should be a valid reason for not matching your needs to the property.
Watch for the agents that listen to you and show you the right properties. Those are the winners that you want to work with.