How Do I Choose The Best Realtor to Sell My House?

How Do I Choose The Best Realtor to Sell My House Cover picture shows a beach home with a pool surrounded by palm trees.

How Do I Choose The Best Realtor to sell my house?  Selecting a realtor to sell your house is a crucial decision that can make or break the sale. Andy, a current client of ours, shares how his last home selling experience was a disaster.  He shares with us his experience of choosing the wrong real estate agent.  He explains “our home was on the market for months, sold for much less than expected, and caused us a great deal of stress.”

Looking back, he realizes that he made a grave mistake by choosing a realtor based on personal preference.  And chooses them based on an inflated price, instead of assessing their qualifications and experience. While it is important to like your real estate agent, it is even more critical to ensure that they are best equipped to sell your home quickly and at the highest possible price.

To avoid making the same mistake as he did, I will guide you through the steps to find the most qualified and suitable real estate agent to sell your house.

How Do I Choose The Best Realtor:  Communication is #1

When it comes to selling your home, effective communication with your real estate agent is critical. You need to be able to rely on your agent to keep you informed of any developments in the process.  Additionally answer any questions you may have, and provide you with regular updates on the progress of your sale. That’s why it’s crucial to test your agent’s communication skills before making your final decision.

One way to do this is to call their office and see how quickly they respond. A good real estate agent should get back to you within a reasonable timeframe, ideally on the same day. According to Aaron Hunt, team lead for Avalon Group – LPT Realty, St Petersburg, FL, if it takes longer than four business hours without a good explanation, it could be a red flag.

Good communication is particularly important when you have competing offers on the table.   Or if any problems arise during the home inspection. You need to be confident that your agent will be responsive and available to help you make informed decisions.

How Do I Choose The Best Realtor:  Clear Communication

In addition to response times, pay attention to how your agent communicates with you. Are they clear and concise in their explanations? Do they take the time to listen to your concerns and address them? A good agent should be an effective communicator.  They are able to explain complex concepts in simple terms and make sure you understand every step of the process.

Overall, effective communication is essential to a successful home sale. By testing your agent’s communication skills, you can ensure that you have the support you need.  Support to navigate the sometimes complicated world of real estate and achieve the best possible outcome for your sale.  How Do I Choose The Best Realtor

How Do I Choose The Best Realtor:  Realtors to Avoid

To begin your search for a real estate agent, it is crucial to identify and avoid certain types of agents. Specifically, you should steer clear of agents who have a track record of representing both the seller and buyer in the same transaction.

The reason for this is that agents who act as both a “dual agent” or “transaction agent” are legally obligated to serve the interests of both the buyer and seller. This often results in compromising the seller’s ability to negotiate the best price for their home.

Moreover, some agents deliberately limit the exposure of a property they are listing.  They do this in order to find an unrepresented buyer and earn commissions on both sides of the transaction. This practice is detrimental to sellers as it reduces the sale price of their property.

It is not uncommon for a buyer to not have an agent.  But it is important to avoid real estate agents who have a higher percentage of these sales than other agents in your area. These agents are motivated by their commissions and may not prioritize the seller’s best interests.

As a general rule, it is best to avoid realtors who have represented both the seller and buyer in 10% or more of their listings.  Regardless of the county in which you are selling. By following this guideline, you can avoid working with agents who prioritize their own financial gain over achieving the best outcome for you as the seller.

How Do I Choose The Best Realtor:  Compare real estate agents online

One effective way to find a good real estate agent is to search online. This allows you to easily compare and contrast the qualities you should be looking for, and identify those agents who should be avoided.

Here are some key factors to consider:

Reviews: Taking the time to analyze reviews on multiple platforms can give you valuable insight into what other people in your area think about an agent. Look for consistent themes in the reviews left by sellers, such as communication, service, negotiation skills, and responsiveness. This information can provide a good indication of the quality of service an agent offers (which is why our algorithm does this for sellers).

Listings sold: Check the agent’s listings in your area and focus on those that have been sold in the last few years. While years of experience are important, recent selling experience carries more weight. Be sure to examine the sales where the agent represented the seller and not the buyer.

Price range: An agent who primarily sells homes in a much lower price range may lack the experience necessary to attract the right type of buyer, while an agent who sells in a much higher price range may not give your listing the attention it deserves. Browse the agent’s listings to ensure they have experience selling homes in your home’s estimated value range.

It’s important to conduct this research even if you find an agent at an open house or through a referral. Doing your due diligence will increase the likelihood of choosing the right real estate agent. However, it’s also important to be cautious…

How Do I Choose The Best Realtor:  Use The Right Criteria

Make sure to focus on the right criteria when evaluating real estate agents online.

For instance, don’t be misled by designations such as “premier” agents on real estate websites like Zillow. These labels are paid for by agents, so they don’t necessarily reflect the quality of service you can expect from them.

While such agents may be competent, they could also be a poor fit for your needs, inexperienced, or unqualified.

Be cautious and mindful of what you’re looking at when researching real estate agents.

When selecting a real estate agent, treat it like a job interview for selling your most valuable asset. It’s a job that should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, many home sellers make the mistake of choosing the first agent they meet with. Instead, consider interviewing multiple agents to compare and contrast important information that will help you pick the best candidate.  How Do I Choose The Best Realtor?  Find the good communicator.

How Do I Choose The Best Realtor:  Interview

Here are a few questions to ask during the interview:

-Do you have experience selling in my area?

While it’s important to select an agent who has sold homes in your area, it’s not the only factor to consider. Relevant experience is just the minimum requirement for a good agent.   But it doesn’t automatically make them the best candidate to sell your home. Thanks to the internet, buyers can find a lot of information about a neighborhood or area. However, there might be some neighborhood benefits that they don’t know about, which is why choosing an agent with relevant selling experience is still essential. Just don’t make it the sole priority when deciding which agent to pick.

Every listing agent has their unique selling strategy and level of service.

Therefore, it’s essential to ask a prospective agent about their plan and why they believe it’s the best fit for you.

Ask them about the steps they recommend to prepare your home for listing and how they can assist you.

Who do they think is the perfect buyer for your property?

Which marketing channels will they use to target interested buyers, and what’s included in their marketing plan?

Will they use professional photos, videos, brochures, or staging?

This is a crucial opportunity to understand how they can assist you throughout the selling process and their specific strategy to sell your house.

How Do I Choose The Best Realtor:  Listing Price Opinion

When you ask a real estate agent for their opinion on the listing price for your home, it’s important to focus on their process rather than the specific number they suggest. A good agent will have conducted a comparative market analysis (CMA).  This compares your home to similar homes that have recently sold in your area. Look for evidence that they’ve considered key differences like square footage, condition, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and adjusted their estimates accordingly.

Make sure the agent you choose can confidently explain their reasoning behind the suggested listing price. However, it’s also important to be aware that this is just their opinion and it may not always be accurate.

When it comes to listing your home, some agents may try to convince you to set an unrealistic price. This can result in a stale listing and a lower final sale price than if the home had been priced correctly from the start.

To avoid this, don’t choose an agent whose price is substantially higher than other agents you’re considering. Remember, your home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it, and an unrealistic asking price can turn buyers away.  How Do I Choose The Best Realtor?  Find a Realtor that suggests a realistic price.

How Do I Choose The Best Realtor:  Priced Right

Make sure to choose an agent whose price is in line with other prospective agents. A good agent will help you set the right price based on data and comparative market analysis. By setting the right price, you can attract more buyers and increase the likelihood of a successful sale.

When it comes to selling homes, many listing agents have experience. However, the top-performing real estate agents stand out because they have a proven track record of selling homes quicker and for more money. One way they achieve this is through their customized blueprint for each property they sell.

To find the best agent for you, it’s essential to look for a realtor who has a specific and effective selling strategy. This should include the following:

  1. Identifying the ideal buyers for your home.
  2. Determining what makes your property most appealing to those potential buyers.
  3. Maximizing the marketing reach of your home by utilizing the right channels.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all agents will have the best approach.   So take the time to analyze their plan before choosing which one to work with.

How Do I Choose The Best Realtor:  Selling Strategy

Before choosing a listing agent, it’s important to understand their selling strategy.   And also how they plan on reaching your ideal buyers. A good marketing plan should include posting to the MLS.   Additionally syndicating to major real estate search sites, professional photos, and a well-written property description.   The plan includes open houses, broker tours, and signage. However, it’s essential to look for additional marketing tools that could make your property stand out, such as video, drone photos, custom brochures, floor plans, or staging.

If your home has a good layout and is in good condition, these marketing tools can make your property more appealing to prospective buyers, who might fall into a particular target audience, such as young families, older couples downsizing, first-time buyers, investors, or vacation home seekers. A good listing agent should be able to explain how they plan on marketing your home to that audience and attract the right buyer in the shortest amount of time.

Therefore, listen carefully to how a prospective listing agent talks about your property and their marketing plan, and choose one who can provide a detailed and effective strategy that fits your needs.

How Do I Choose The Best Realtor:  Terms of Listing Agreement

When choosing a real estate agent, it’s important to consider the terms of the listing agreement they offer. Many agents will require you to sign a contract that locks you in for a set period of time, typically around six months, without the option to cancel.

This arrangement can be problematic if you end up with an agent who doesn’t prioritize your sale and instead focuses on generating new business. You may end up with a listing that sits on the market or sells for a lower price than it could have.

To avoid this, look for an agent who will allow you to cancel the agreement at any time. This is not a standard feature, but a good agent will be willing to offer it. By giving you the freedom to cancel, the agent will be more motivated to work hard on your behalf.  Moreover, they will know that they need to constantly earn your trust and business.

Make sure to confirm that the agent offers this option before hiring them. A trustworthy agent who is confident in their abilities should have no problem with this. It shows that they are focussing on your interests and committing to providing the best possible service.

How Do I Choose The Best Realtor:  Conclusion

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing a real estate agent to sell your home, there are several factors to consider. It’s essential to do your research, interview potential agents, and carefully evaluate their experience, knowledge, and communication skills. A good agent should have a proven track record of selling homes quickly.  Additionally, selling for a high price, as well as a clear and effective marketing strategy tailored to your specific property. It’s also crucial to find an agent who is trustworthy, transparent, and responsive to your needs and concerns. Lastly, ensure that the agent is willing to work with you under a flexible agreement that allows you to cancel if you’re not happy with their performance. By taking the time to choose the right agent, you can save yourself a lot of stress and ensure a smooth and successful home-selling experience.

If you are a Realtor in Florida and would like to know why LPT is the best brokerage to work under, click here.

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About the Author

Raised in a family of creative entrepreneurs, Aaron Hunt, Realtor St Petersburg FL, guides his clients with the same irrepressible spirit he was surrounded by as a kid. A Florida transplant, Aaron relates well to the out-of-state buyers, retirees, and vacation home-dwellers who make up the bulk of his clientele. He makes no secret of his love for St. Petersburg and its neighboring cities and towns, and it fuels his passion for helping buyers find their dream home.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Aaron grew up on the West Coast. His family owns hotels throughout California, Idaho, and Las Vegas, which has shaped Aaron’s eye for detail and his mind for business. In his subsequent career in the spa industry, he established a high bar for client service designed to cater to every discerning taste. From pampering spa customers to tending to real estate clients, Aaron knows how to take care of people.

Realtor St Petersburg FL:  Exceeding Expectations

By limiting the number of clients he represents at any given time, he ensures his undivided attention, absorbing every detail so he can deliver outstanding results and exceed expectations. Aaron co-founded Avalon Group, Realtor St Petersburg FL, in 2014 and grew it into the top-rated real estate team in St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay out of over 10,000 agents. Some of Aaron's greatest strengths are organizing and leading complex projects, making deals happen, and driving profit.

Aaron negotiates deftly for his buyers’ ideal homes.  Furthermore,  he attracts multiple enticing offers for his sellers’ properties.   Aaron prepares meticulously for every transaction, thoroughly covering every detail so clients encounter no surprise. He also relies on his dynamic support team and vast professional network to ease every facet of a transaction.  Additionally he makes sure to fulfill specific client needs. Aaron, a broker associate and Pricing Strategy Advisor, satisfies his competitive streak when everyone wins.

Realtor St Petersburg FL:  Living the Tampa Bay Lifestyle

Aaron has been a proud Florida resident since 2013. There’s always something interesting to do in St. Petersburg, and Aaron relishes it, exploring the city, traveling, hiking, biking, and visiting with friends. He also enjoys trying new restaurants in the region, especially in neighborhoods where he has homes listed. Aaron takes time to give back to his community by supporting St. Pete Pride and other annual festivals throughout the area.