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As a Real Estate Photographer, I have worked with 100s of agents. Some great, some good and yes, some really bad ones. Here are some ideas on how to find the right Realtor for you.
DON’T Ask Social Media – You’re wasting your time. You’ll get dozens of recommendations and will be no further ahead in finding the right agent for you. Ask a few close friends who have just bought/sold a house on who they used. You can also, see what agent signs seem to always be popping up in your neighbourhood.
DO Interview Multiple Agents – Don’t just talk to one agent and go with them. I recommend interviewing at least 3 agents and ask lots of questions. Once you’ve interviewed all three follow up with them, especially the one who gave you the highest and lowest list price. Ask them questions to justify their pricing. They may be aware of something the others are not, both good and negative future developments in the area.
BEWARE of Agent “Buying” the Listing – Some agents will purposely give you a higher list price so that you hire them only to recommend dropping your price a couple of weeks later. Unfortunately, your home is hottest on the market the first couple of weeks. If the price isn’t right from the beginning you may have lost those prospective buyers early on and the home may stay listed longer.
DON’T Hire Someone You Can’t Fire – Basically, don’t hire family or your BFF as your realtor. Selling a home can be stressful in the best of times, never mind when the market is tilted in the Buyers favour. Selling a home is a business transaction that should be handled as such. Don’t risk a friendship or family harmony. Explain that to your family / friend agent and ask them for a referral to another agent they would trust.
DON’T Base your Decision Strictly on Commission – You get what you pay for also applies to Realtors. Do your homework, a full commission agent may bring much more value to your listing then a discount brokerage resulting in your home selling faster or for more money in your pocket at the end. Don’t focus on what you may save and focus on how much more you can get.
DO Insist on Professional Photography – I know that sounds self-serving but trust me it makes a huge difference in getting people to book showings. Just look at homes listed in your neighbourhood. If they have great pictures and the home shows well and your’s doesn’t, which home do you think will get the showings.
DO Ask the Agent on their Marketing Plan – Besides pictures, will the agent be doing aerial (drone) pictures or a video. Although these are not beneficial to all homes, you should know their thoughts on how they will market your home to prospective buyers before you sign with them.
LONGEVITY Doesn’t Mean Talent – Just because an agent has been in the business a long time doesn’t mean they are successful. Agents are self-employed, as long as they pay their broker fees they can stick around. All that to say, I’ve seen new agents blow me away in their knowledge and skills and some seasoned agents who just don’t really care.
BEWARE of the Market Moguls – Every area has them. Agents that market everywhere, TV, Radio, Newspapers, mailers. Wherever you go, you see their face or hear their name. There’s nothing wrong with going with those agents but realize that they are often more of a brand than an actual agent and the Realtor you will be dealing with will likely be someone on their team. In all likelihood, you will never meet or deal with the person on the sign.