Don’t just use the cheapest agent to sell your property!
Q: Hi, we are looking to sell soon and are interested in your thoughts on how to choose an agent. Commission rates vary quite a bit, but we are wary of choosing the cheapest.
Ronald and Jane L.
A: Selling a property is usually a stressful time, and knowing who to sell it with can make all the difference.
The process of deciding on an agent begins with doing some research. Many people feel they need a local agent: Today it’s far less about which agent knows more about the area and recent sales because all of this information is available online. What is far more important is that the agent has the key skills (sales, negotiation, marketing, and technology) and a good success rate (i.e. lots of successful sales) backed up by client testimonials.
For your part, it’s also a good idea to research homes for sale in your neighborhood – and how much they are selling for. It’s even better to attend a few open homes, and auctions, as this will allow you to see how well the different agents conduct themselves.
Then you should get up to three different agents to appraise your property.
Agents appraising your home will use comparable sales to provide you with an estimated selling price for your home in the current market. Don’t allow yourself to be swayed by a flattering price. This is a common tactic to get the listing, followed by plenty of communication re how the market is not seeing the price at that level.
An appraisal also provides an opportunity for you to ask agents what services they provide, the strategy behind their marketing and advertising campaign and what their commission fees are.
When looking into commission fees don’t let commission make up the bulk of your decision making, as while you may want to find an agent who asks for the cheapest rate, the cheapest agent may not necessarily be the best agent.
As mentioned above: Focus on the agent’s skills and on their success rate.
A skilled agent can negotiate the final sale with one or more interested buyers, achieving the best possible outcome for what is possibly your most valuable asset.
Trying to sell your house ‘on the cheap’ is very likely to cost you significantly in the long run.