Finding a Real Estate Agent to sell your home can be overwhelming and stressful regardless if it's your first time selling real estate or your tenth time. Real estate is constantly changing along with the Real Estate Agents practicing it. Recently I assisted a friend with finding a Real Estate Agent to sell their home. They knew how important the decision was, but didn't know how to go about finding a Real Estate Agent and asked if I could help.
Over the years I have referred countless clients, friends and family to other Real Estate Agents and as an Agent I know what skills and traits make the best Real Estate Agent. However how many seller's know what to look for in a Real Estate Agent and how to go about finding the "perfect" Real Estate Agent? This prompted me to share a step by step guide for how I found a Real Estate Agent to sell my friends home, which I share below.
A Simple Guide to Finding a Real Estate Agent to Sell your Home:
STEP 1: Who do you Know?
Everyone seems to know a Real Estate Agent, in fact back in 2005 the running joke in my area was when you get your Florida Driver's License you automatically get your Real Estate License on the back. However just because a person knows an agent or two or twenty doesn't mean they are the best person for the job. So first and foremost we discussed the Real Estate Agents the seller already knew; who they used to purchase their home and any referrals from friends and family. I put each prospective Agent's name on a list, which quickly grew.
STEP 2: Go to my Agent Network
I know hundreds of Real Estate Agents throughout the Country, so my next step was to see if any of them specialized in the area/neighborhood. I found one Agent that could be a possibility and they too were added to my list, but I didn't stop there.
STEP 3: Internet Search
Next, I googled terms like "Real Estate Agents in CITY, STATE," "CITY, STATE homes for sale" and "NEIGHBORHOOD homes for sale in CITY, STATE." The first 4 results were paid advertisements, which I scrolled right by and most of the remaining websites on page one were general real estate websites, like Realtor.com, or brokerage websites. I did visit a few of those websites, but I also wanted to find Real Estate Agents who have their own website and online marketing presence. This required going to page 2, 3 and even 4 of the results.
STEP 4: Narrowing Down the List
After compiling the list of Real Estate Agents I found online, through my network and referred from the seller it was time to start narrowing it down, so my next step was to do a general "investigation." I started by googling each Agents name and looking at their online presence, if they didn't have their own personal website or profiles set up on any additional real estate websites I removed them from my list.
Yes, I know there are a lot of great Real Estate Agents out there who don't have a website or online presence. However when looking for an Agent to list and sell my friends home I wanted to find someone who knows how to gain maximum online exposure for their listings and doesn't rely on syndication. In my experience Agents who have a strong online presence of their own oftentimes have strong online marketing for their listings. Why is this important to me? While a majority of home buyer's have a Real Estate Agent I have found many of them still search for homes online, so the more places the home can be found online the more buyer's will see it.
STEP 4: Further Investigation
Now that the list was more manageable I did a deeper online search. I checked out their websites, were they updated regularly or abandoned? I also took the time to read any online reviews I could find whether it was on their own personal website, google or real estate websites. However I take testimonials and reviews, good or bad, with a grain of salt because I know some online reviews are fake. This step really didn't eliminate anyone, BUT it did start to paint a better picture of who the Real Estate Agent was and how their clients saw them. Words like "professional," "responsive," "knowledgeable, "type A personality" are all music to my ears.
STEP 5: The Point of Contact
Communication is key in real estate, an unresponsive Real Estate Agent can easily make or break a deal, so my next step was to reach out to the remaining Agents. I didn't mind if they didn't pick up their phone when I called, in fact I preferred to go to voicemail so I could see how long it took for them to get back to me. As a busy Wellington Realtor I never expect another Agent to drop what they're doing and pick up on the phone especially if they're with clients. However if they didn't respond to my message or e-mail the same day they were removed from my list.
STEP 6: Why Them?
Now that I've made contact I wanted to know more about how each Real Estate Agent worked; Did they have experience in the neighborhood? Do they work independently or with a team? How did they market their listings? What are the hours they worked? Did they plan on going on vacation anytime soon? After receiving the answers to these questions I was able to narrow down my list to 3 Agents. *Note; I did not eliminate agents who did not sell in the neighborhood, there are plenty of neighborhoods in Wellington that I know by the back of my hand and have shown homes 100 times, but never sold one.
STEP 7: The Referral
Based on the 3 Real Estate Agents left standing one really stood out to me and at this point I could have easily referred them. However since I never met any of the Real Estate Agents I really wanted the seller to meet with each one and see if their personalities were a match. That statement may sound weird to some, but I have found when a Seller and their Agents personalities mesh well it creates a smoother real estate transaction.
STEP 8: The Decision
My friend was blown away by each Real Estate Agent's presentation and told me she could have hired any of them, but ultimately choose the one she connected with the most, who turned out to be my number one pick.
Following my Simple Guide to Finding a Real Estate Agent to Sell your Home is a great step by step process on how to find the best Real Estate Agent in your area and if you're looking to sell your home in Wellington Florida or the surrounding area I would love the opportunity to show you how I get top dollar for all of my listings.
Originally posted at http://wellingtonhometeam.com/a-simple-guide-to-finding-a-real-estate-agent-to-sell-your-home/