Selling your home can be quite a complicated process, even more so if you’ve never done it before. As such, choosing the right agent can mitigate a lot of inconveniences that you might face during the selling process.
However, the right agent isn’t always the one charging the lowest commission fees or has the most experience. Here are a few points you should keep in mind when hiring a real estate agent for your home.
1. Referrals are Important
It should come as no surprise that most sellers hire their agents from family, friend, or acquaintance referrals. While that is true, the most important kind of referrals should be from an agent’s past clients in your own neighborhood.
These properties were in the same market as yours and are more than likely to have had the same selling dynamics as you do. Hiring agents based on referrals can thus be convenient as well as very effective.
2. Low Commission Fees Doesn’t Ensure the Best
The real estate industry is extremely cut-throat, and some agents would willingly lower their commission fees to evade the competition and obtain a listing bid. Since most sellers would like to make the most out of their real estate sale, this might seem like a very lucrative offer to many. However, it does come with a few cautions that you should bear in mind while making the decision:
- The available marketing resources directly depend on the agent’s commission fees. Thus, if the agent’s commission fee is too low, it will severely impact the number and quality of marketing materials they will use to get your house sold.
- In most instances of a real estate transaction, the seller covers the commission fees of both theirs as well as the buyer’s agent, and it is evenly split between the two. Let’s say that you hire an agent who has willingly lowered their commission fee to a large extent and has even managed to get your house listed on the property market.
However, many buyer agents will be dissuaded from encouraging their clients to go through with the sale simply because their cut of the transaction will be extremely low. This can greatly impact the number of prospective buyers you get for your listing in the first place.
3. Communication is Key
You should always choose an agent with whom you’ll have a clear line of communication during the entire duration of the sale.
You should also convey your preferred communication channels to the agent before you hire them and make sure that they are comfortable with the same.
Consider changing any such agent who coerces you to make any decision or has poor negotiating or presentation skills.
4. Don’t Just Hire an Agent Who Has Sold the Most Properties
An agent’s sales depend on a lot of factors, and the number of property sales is not always an accurate representation of his/her competence.
For example, the agent who has sold 17 of the 20 listings under his belt is undeniably more competent than another who has sold 20 of the 35 listings under their responsibility.
This is called the sales-to-listing ratio, and it is a much better metric of comparison of an agent’s skill and competence.
5. Interviewing an Agent
Since your agent will be the most important point of contact during the transaction process, their interview is undoubtedly the most crucial part of the agent hiring process. As such, although in-person interviews are always recommended, given the current situation with the pandemic, it might be better to conduct an online or a telephonic interview where you should cover the following important topics:
- Qualification and Experience – First and foremost, your agent should have the requisite license issued by the statutory body in your state, in this case, the South Carolina Real Estate Commission.
This ensures that the agent fulfills the minimum training and education standards of the industry. Ideally, your agent should have a minimum of 2.5 years of relevant experience for your listing mandate. Relevance experience refers to their performance history of listing and selling properties that are similar to yours both in terms of type and geographical location.
- Suggested Listing Price – Your agent should be able to provide you with their best estimate of a selling price for your property. This estimate should be supported by data from a comparative market and risk analysis.
- Commission Fees – The average commission rate in South Carolina is 5.79% of the selling price, and it is divided equally between the seller’s and the buyer’s agent, as mentioned above. However, this fee depends on a lot of factors and is entirely negotiable.
- Marketing Strategy – The agent should be able to provide you with an overview of how they’d proceed with marketing your property listing and why he/she thinks it’d be an effective strategy. Remember, the better a property is marketed, the more potential buyers it will have, and the higher your chances will be to obtain a good selling price.
6. Interview Multiple Agents
When hiring real estate agents, make sure that you interview multiple agents from different agencies. Different agencies will have different marketing plans and customer service policies, while different agents will have their own sets of personalities, skills, and tools to market your listing. Thus, it is crucial that you interview more than one candidate for the job and only hire that agent who meets the following criteria:
- Has the requisite skills and personality traits that meet your requirements
- Charges a reasonable commission fee
- Has good synergy with you
- Has a strong sense of their fiscal duties and client responsibilities
- Has a marketing strategy that is familiar to you.
Your Agent Can Make or Break the Sale
Although you will oversee everything that he/she does, your agent will still be in the driver’s seat during the entire transaction process.
The agent should always keep your best interests first and understand the outcome you want out of the sale.
Thus, it is absolutely vital that you choose the real estate agent who is the right fit for you and isn’t just the one who is the best or the cheapest on paper.
Have Questions? Ask Trevandin Worley!
Give Trevandin Worley a call today at (864) 252-5120 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.