Principles for Selecting the Best Listing Agent or Realtor to List your Home!
In Metro Atlanta, Lawrenceville, Buford, Duluth, Dacula, and Suwanee in Gwinnett, Hoschton, Braselton, and Jefferson in Jackson County as well as both Oconee County and Athens, Georgia, it pays to know how to choose a listing agent to help sell your house! Finding the Best Realtor is key to getting your home sold!
Some common mistakes homeowners make when choosing a Realtor to list their home as a listing agent include the following;
- Going with the agent quoting the Highest List Price for Your Home
- Picking the Agent Offering the Lowest Commission
These two benchmarks have very little to do with hiring the best agent. Why?
The Agent Quoting the Highest List Price
A Real Estate Agent can't tell you exactly what price your home will sell for in today's market. The market or buyers rather decide fair market price on every home! A listing agent can show you how recent comparable SOLDS, pending home sales in a tight radius to your property, and active listings might paint the picture of what price range your home should sell within.
- To get the listing some agents may offer a "lofty" price thinking to tell the seller what they want to hear.
Said once again, since the agent can't guarantee your eventual sales price, the listing agent who suggests the highest price is possibly trying to grab the listing out of false hope. Ask competing agents to show numbers supporting their suggestions related to the list price they would use to list your house. If they can't produce sales or under contract listings to justify their suggested list price or range of a price point for your home then you know this may not be realistic.
- Look for a listing agent who gives you a range of pricing on your home.
There is always a price range. Even appraisals note a possible a range of value in addition to a stated appraised value. Zillow for example has their Zestimates which show a range of value in addition to a given value estimate. Where this is important is based upon your need or timeline to sell. It helps you see what could be achieved based on a "30 days to sell" kind of pricing versus one that might be 90 days out for example which would be the price on the higher end of that range.
- Pricing is an art form, but it is also not rocket science.
Generally the highest probability of getting an offer is within the first 30 days on market. New listings generate excitement. Homes that are priced right usually get offers more quickly. If you are priced too high, you won't get offers. If you are priced to low on the other hand you will get multiple offers. The key is to be priced with the market. Those that start too high can end up following or trailing the market and their days to get that contract will be more protracted. The key to understand is this process of selling is an ever changing one as every 2-3 weeks your agent should be looking and informing you of other new listings, price changes, pendings, and closings in your neighborhood that might require some change to your list price to keep you competitive to the market! You don't want an agent to "list and leave you behind!"
Choosing a Listing Agent Based on the Lowest Commission.
A better focus, rather than the commission quoted by a real estate agent, in my opinion should be to look at how many houses they close annually as those agents with a higher number will benefit you by their greater experience in marketing property, negotiating contracts, and successfully closing deals. An agent who sells 30, 40, 50+ a year - especially one who does it themselves and is not a member of a multi-agent team which can dilute who you are working with and who is responsible to you for service on your listing - has more experience in selling and negotiating and their skills should therefore be better than one who might sell 10 a year for example! Remember that in real estate as with most things in life that about 20% of the agents do 80% of the work. With that said, I will sometimes as a full-service agent do negotiate a lower commission under special circumstances such as:
- You're buying a home and selling a home at the same time.
- You're selling more than one home.
- You don't have enough equity to pay a full commission.
- I match a competitor's fee
If you are interviewing agents who offer similar services and can't decide between who to choose, ask to see a track record of each agent's original list price and final sale numbers on sales over the past six (6) months.
Importance of Property Marketing
A good listing agent excels at quality marketing because that is a major part of the "job description" related to selling homes! You need to ask what the agent is planning on doing to market your home? Here are some marketing points that must be part of every listing to be successful!
- Professionally Branded Real Estate Sign with Directional Signs at the Neighborhood Entrance and Street Corners.
- Weekly reports on buyer showings and feedback for you as the Seller as well as reports showing online activity.
- A Showing Manager that captures showing agent information and keeps past showing agents aware of any changes to your listing with photos of your home provided to them to keep your listing top of mind!
- Advice on getting the house ready for showings from Staging to simply tips on decluttering and minor repairs.
- Featured Listings on Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com and other major real estate search portals!
- MLS exposure on EVERY MAJOR area MLS service with enhanced listings containing 25 to 44 professional Hi-Resolution Photos.
- Virtual tours and possibly Video.
- Distribution to every Brokerage Website and all Major Websites!
- Hi-Resolution color flyers, your listing's own website, and online video commercials including e-postcards and Trigger Campaigns to area homes highlighting your listing!
- Updated Market Analysis every 3 weeks on the market prior to taking a contract.
- E-mail updates on new neighborhood and area listings, price changes, and under contracts or pending listings that compete and Listing Reports every Monday morning.
What Characteristics do you look for in a Good Listing Agent?
- Experience is a must! The more deals an agent closes the more they are able to fine tune their negotiating skills and know what to watch out for within the sales process in order to look out for your best interests! Let new agents learn the business on somebody else's time. As an Associate Broker with RE/MAX Legends and RE/MAX of Georgia I have ten years of experience in the real estate industry, and previously I placed in the Top 25 Agents with Prudential Georgia Realty and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia (out of more than 1,100) each of the past two years. Since joining RE/MAX in 2014, I am the #1 Individual Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Legends. I sell homes all over from Gwinnett to Hall, Jackson, Barrow, Oconee, and Athens! Featured in REAL Trends June 8, 2014 list of Top Agents in America as being one of the Top Georgia Real Estate Agents with 60+ closings in 2013!
- Education is required to be a real estate agent, but make sure you understand the credentials and continuing education the agent has obtained since becoming licensed. Is your agent an agent or a Realtor? Are they a Broker or Associate Broker? What certifications and designations do they hold?
- Honesty and Responsiveness. I let Reviews from clients I have worked with on both sides of the "closing" table speak of my commitment to my customers and clients.
Why Zillow Reviews Win
Consumers post reviews with scored ratings about you, and you can invite clients to do so as well. The reviews are verified by the transaction, and are, frankly, far better managed than Yelp. If an agent doesn't create their own profile, they can’t be reviewed by consumers on Zillow. Zillow has created the best review-rating system to date, one worth emulating in many ways.
- Networking approach with other agents. Did you know that some homes sell because agents have contacted other agents? My goal in working with Metro Atlanta homeowners is to contact as many agents within my own Sphere of Influence as possible to make sure that as many Real Estate Professionals as possible see your listing!
- Negotiation skills cannot be underestimated! You want an aggressive negotiator. You want someone who understands that they work for you the Seller to get you Top Dollar on your home and not somebody out to make a quick sale at your expense.
Finally, ask that agent interviewing for your listing for a personal guarantee. If the agent won't guarantee their performance including releasing you from a listing upon request, don't hire that agent. For me personally I offer an Easy Exit Guarantee. If you are unhappy with my services after 60 days you may terminate the listing agreement no questions asked. This makes me work harder for my sellers every single day!
Why a RE/MAX Agent?
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Easy Exit Listing Guarantee
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Real Estate Brand Thought of More
- RE/MAX: The #1 name in real estate.
- #1 in brand awareness.
- RE/MAX leads the industry in brand awareness. (With the three unaided awareness claims above, always use the footnote: “Source: MMR Strategy Group study of unaided awareness.”)
- More buyers and sellers think of RE/MAX than any other real estate brand. (With this Thought-of-More claim, always use the footnote: “Source: MMR Strategy Group study of unaided awareness among buyers, sellers, and those planning to buy or sell; asked, when they think of real estate brands, which ones come to mind?”)
Real Estate Brand Thought of First (Top of Mind Awareness)
- When asked to name a real estate brand, RE/MAX is the name people name first. (With the top-of-mind claim above, always use the footnote: “Source: MMR Strategy Group study of unaided awareness (first mention recorded).”)
- RE/MAX: First on the minds of buyers and sellers.
- Buyers and sellers think of RE/MAX first.
- RE/MAX is who homebuyers and sellers think of first. (With the three Thought-of-First claims above, always use the footnote: “Source: MMR Strategy Group study of unaided awareness among buyers, sellers, and those planning to buy or sell; asked, when they think of real estate brands, which ones come to mind? (first mention recorded).”)
Real Estate Brand Most Likely to Be Recommended
- RE/MAX is the real estate brand that the most buyers and sellers would recommend.
- More buyers and sellers would recommend RE/MAX than any other real estate brand. (With the two most recommended claims above, always use the footnote: “Source: MMR Strategy Group study of buyers and sellers, asked if there is one real estate brand they would be most likely to recommend to a friend or relative, and if so which one.”)
Real Estate Brand Recognition (Aided)
- Nine out of 10 homebuyers and sellers know of RE/MAX. (With this claim, always use the footnote: “Source: MMR Strategy Group.”)
- Billions of dollars have been spent promoting the RE/MAX brand and agents.
- When you join RE/MAX you're receiving the benefit of billions of dollars of advertising that have made RE/MAX the real estate leader it is today.
- RE/MAX dominates national real estate TV advertising.
- In 2013, RE/MAX was No. 1 in national TV advertising, with an 83-percent Share of Voice, for viewers 25-54.
- RE/MAX has led all other real estate brands in national TV advertising since 2002. (With this claim, always use the footnote, "Source: Nielsen Monitor-Plus / A25-54 GRPs Unequivalized for ads placed through nationwide buys.")
- Through remax.com, RE/MAX agents receive more than 1 million leads a year – each free of referral fees.
- remax.com is one of the most visited real estate franchise websites. (With this claim, use the footnote: "Source: Experian Marketing Services Hitwise data, full-year 2013. 'Real Estate Franchise websites' identified by RE/MAX.")
- Millions of buyers and sellers visit remax.com.
- Millions of buyers and sellers visit remax.com for their real estate needs.
- remax.com attracts millions of buyers and sellers.
- remax.com attracts millions of real estate buyers and sellers.
- remax.com shows all of the listings in thousands of cities and towns.
Please contact me today to let me know how I might be of service to you!