Young Couple Talking to Real Estate Agent

How To Choose The Right Real Estate Agent

If you’re selling a piece of property for the first time, deciding how to go about it can be extremely overwhelming; but it doesn’t have to be. When it comes to choosing a real estate agent to help you list your home, typically you can easily decide by word of mouth and reference, however, sometimes you don’t have enough trusted sources telling you where to direct your attention, so you need to take it upon yourself. As long as you know what you’re looking to accomplish and the right questions to ask, finding someone to sell your home can be as easy.

First, start with some research. Drive around your neighborhood and look online for the agencies that seem to be acquiring the most business in your area and read up on some reviews from past clients. While doing your research, if you notice any listings for local open houses definitely consider going and talking with the agent running the operation. Don’t just grab a business card and a free cookie and leave, really try to get a gage on their personality and who they are as an agent. 

Don’t just choose the first well-reviewed agent you come upon either, selling your home is a hugely complex transactional process so you want to make sure you can trust the individual that you’re working with to get you the best bang for your buck. This is where getting a referral would be best. According to Zillow, over 20% of sellers find their agent based on referrals from friends, family, or work colleagues. 

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Zillow also recommends meeting with at least three agents before making your final decision. 61% of sellers chose the first agent they come across, which may work out, but is also a major risk. Think of this process like a job interview and you’re the employer; because you quite literally are looking to employ someone. If this was a company setting and you were the boss, you wouldn’t just hire the first newbie to walk in the door, you’d want to see all of your options to ensure that you make the best choice for your business, in real estate, it’s the same exact thing. 

Asking the right questions is of the utmost importance when choosing a real estate agent as well. Again, like in a job interview it’s necessary to know what questions you want to ask, but the answers are what really count. If you have an idea in your head of what answers you’re looking for, then making your choice will be easy. According to Zillow, the following questions are a great standard for what you should be looking for:

“How long have you been working in real estate? Do you primarily work with buyers or sellers? How many active clients do you have at a time? Are you part of a team? What’s your specialty? Are you equipped to handle my unique situation? How will you market my home? Can you put me in contact with some references?”

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Once you’ve begun to finalize who you think you’d like to list your property, it’s important to let them know from the beginning what your expectations are as the seller. Clarify with them why you’re selling your property and when you’d ideally like to be done with the entire process. Make your communication preferences clear as well. Many sellers have issues reaching their agents at certain times because they could be with another client or out of the office. Discuss with your potential agent when you have the free time to fully dedicate yourself to all things real estate, this way you both are aware of when one another is most available.

Finally, define all of the important details regarding the property itself. Tell your agent what you’d like to get for your home and what sacrifices you’re willing to make to accomplish it. Discuss the projects within the home that you’d like to leave for the next owner, and how much more or less money you want to put into the property before selling it. As long as you’re keeping all means of communication completely open and are candid with what you’d like to gain out of the process, finding an agent will come easily.

Agent Client Relationship

For Real Estate Agents, Building Strong Relationships With Your Clients Should Be Top Priority

Being a real estate agent is all about making client connections. Talking deeply with your clients about what they want, where they want to be, and how to get there. In the realm of occupations where interpersonal relationships are at the forefront of importance, being a real estate agent is at the top of the list. So it goes without saying that in order to be a successful agent, you have to go above and beyond to make the client feel like they’re in good hands and working with someone they can genuinely trust to help them on their property journeys. 

Trust is the key word here. Owning property is a serious decision and process, it’s up to the agent to guide their clients along this journey, especially if their first time buyers/renters. You want to make your client feel like they’re in an open and honest space where no question is considered a dumb one, so enforce that! Let your clients know that whatever curiosities or confusions they have during the process, is valid and they shouldn’t be afraid to speak up and ask about something if they don’t 100% understand it. More times than not, you’ll have a client who is too afraid to ask even though it’s their future property at discussion. Sometimes these individuals can view agents or anyone in an intense “service” industry job as intimidating, just because of the vast knowledge they hold. So when something like property taxes, or  escrow is brought up, go out of your way to ask your client if they fully understand what your talking about, and make sure to do it in a manner that’s not condescending, but like you genuinely want to help, after all, that is your job. 

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Once you make it clear that they’re in a trusting environment it’s also established that the clients needs are being put first. That should go without saying, however, reassuring that point will create a new level of respect between the two of you. Your clients wants, needs, and priorities are what’s most important, so say that to them! While your working on your initial lists of things your client is looking for in a property, really dive into each one and discuss the specifics of each and how important each item is to the client. For example, if they say they want a nice wrap around porch, ask them where on their list of wants/needs does that fall in terms of importance. If you were to find a property in the perfect location for your client that’s under budget but there’s no porch, pool, backyard, etc. how much of an issue would that be? What’s the number one non-negotiable need that your client wants to see in their future home? By really diving into these specifics, your client will know that you’re an agent that they can trust, respect, and who really wants the best for them. 

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Building a trusting and supportive relationship with your clients is just as beneficial to you as it is to them. Through the process of deep and detailed discussion, your working on your communication skills as an agent. You’re indirectly learning which communication techniques are most successful for both parties and what types of logic and reasoning can help make the easiest process for everyone. 

It’s also beneficial for you as an agent for the obvious reason that your sales will increase. Having a good trusting professional relationship with your clients will make you memorable to them. This means that you’re more likely to get recommended  to any friends and family of that client when they’re looking for property. This is vastly important as referrals are one of the top ways that agents build their client lists. The more interpersonal connection you make with your clients, the more of a memorable impact you’ll make, and therefore your name will pop into their heads for any future real estate needs they, or their family/friends, have. 

Finally, creating a successful and trusting relationship between agent and client will lead to an overall smoother experience all around. Once that trust is established, both you and your client will feel a lot more confident in both of your abilities to get to the bottom of the clients needs, and finding the perfect property that caters to them.