For most people, a home is a person's greatest investment; thus, the decisions involved in selling that investment should be strategic. Oftentimes, though, sellers make hasty decisions when hiring a real estate agent to sell their home. They hire friends or friends of friends and don't do their homework, not realizing the damaging effects a poor hiring decision can have.  Sellers should set their standards high. Choosing the right listing agent can not only effect your property’s time on the market, but also the return on your investment.

To avoid wasting time and losing money follow these 5 tips when hiring a listing agent. 

  1. GET REFERRALS AND DO YOUR RESEARCH. With so many real estate agents out there, knowing where to start your search can be difficult. However, family, friends, and even co-workers who have previously worked with an agent can be the best resources. They can provide first-hand accounts of an agent’s work ethic, communication, and follow through on promises. Additionally, testimonials and on-line reviews can be great resources. Look for testimonials and reviews which highlight low listing price to sales price ratios, and short times on the market. 

  2. DON’T LET AN AGENT “BUY YOUR LISTING”! Listing your home for the right price is crucial! Over pricing it, turns away buyers and leads to longer periods on the market. Have each agent you interview prepare a Comparative market analysis, detailing the recent sales prices of similar properties in your area. Use each analysis to pinpoint the right price for your home. If an agent’s suggested price seems much higher than others, red flags should appear. A good agent will never suggest you over price your property just to get your listing. 

  3. LOOK FOR GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS. Communication is essential for a smooth transaction. When interviewing an agent ask how often they will communicate with you, and what means of communication they prefer to use. Make sure you are comfortable with their style and frequency of communication. 

  4. DON’T HIRE BASED ON A LOWER COMMISSION RATE. Commission rates are always negotiable, however, think twice before hiring an agent who offers or quickly agrees to discount their rate. Remember, the less commission an agent expects, the less money he/she may be willing to invest in marketing your property. Additionally, an agent who is unwilling to fight for their commission may be unwilling to fight for your listing price during negotiations. 

  5. CHOOSE AN AGENT WHO HAS EXPECTATIONS OF YOU AS THE SELLER. Finally, a good listing agent will have expectations of you! They may request necessary updates and repairs be made in order to receive top dollar for your property.

Published by Cynthia Pela on January 4, 2017