Selling Your Home? Find the Right Agent First
Selling your home is something you don't want to do without a real estate agent's help. The process of listing, showing, and negotiating a fair price on your home is best left to a professional so that you don't leave any money on the table. Plus, a real estate agent can walk you through the complex closing process with minimal stress.
Still, you'll be paying your agent a small percentage of your home sale in commission, so you'll want to find the right professional for the job. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to simplify the process so you can get to listing your home with confidence.
Ask for a Contract
Always ask for a copy of an agent's contract before you make a decision; this will tell you not only what your agent charges for their commission, but other important information about how your agent operates. While commission rates can vary from one region to the next, you can generally expect these percentages to hover around 5% of your home's final sale price. Keep in mind that your agent will be splitting that commission with the buyer's agent, so it's not all going straight into his or her pocket.
When reviewing a contract, you'll also want to determine whether or not you'll be "locked" into your contract with this agent—and if so, for how long.
Read Third-Party Reviews
Rather than sticking to the testimonials and reviews on the real estate agent's website or social media page, it's a good idea to branch out to third-party review platforms. Third-party platforms tend to have a larger and more diverse sampling of reviews that can give you an excellent feel for whether or not an agent is right for you. It never hurts to ask an agent for references that you can contact and speak to directly, either.
Take a Look at Their Listings
One of the best ways to help you decide whether a real estate agent is suited to represent you is by looking at their current listings. Do the pictures appear to be of good quality? How well are the descriptions written, and how long have the listings been on the market? A lot of times, choosing an agent really boils down to personal style and preference.
By taking these steps and speaking with agents face-to-face or on the phone, you can ultimately decide who is best to trust with your home sale. Contact various real estate agents to begin the process.