What is a Real Estate Agent?
A real estate agent is a professional who helps home sellers and buyers with the buying and selling process. Agents typically work for a real estate broker. There are two types of agents: buyers’ agents and sellers’ agents.
As a home seller, you will work with a listing agent or a selling agent. A listing agent helps homeowners list their homes for sale and market their homes to potential buyers. A selling agent works with buyers to help them find homes that meet their needs and budget.
It’s important to note that both types of agents represent the interests of the party they are working for – not the interests of the other party involved in the transaction. This is why it’s so important to choose an agent you can trust.
The Job Duties of a Sellers’ Agent
A sellers’ agent has several duties, including:
- Advising you on how to stage your house to increase the perceived value
- Helping you strategically price your house to sell quickly and profitably
- Advertising your home on the MLS, real estate websites, and other marketing channels
- Negotiating with buyers on your behalf
- Drawing up and handling paperwork for the sale
- Walking you through the process of closing
Real Estate Agents vs. REALTORS®
All real estate agents are licensed by the state in which they practice. However, not all agents are REALTORS®.
REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), a professional trade association. In order to become a REALTOR®, an agent must adhere to a strict code of ethics and complete additional training.
There are many great real estate agents who are not REALTORS®, but if you’re looking for an agent with the highest level of ethical standards and professional training, you may want to consider working with a REALTOR®.
Qualities to Look for in an Agent
Now that you know what a real estate agent is and what they do, it’s time to start looking for an agent to work with. Here are a few qualities to look for:
- A good agent will have a website that is up-to-date and informative.
- The agent should be responsive when you contact them. If they take days to return your call or email, they’re probably not the right fit.
- It’s important to find an agent who specializes in the type of home you’re selling. For example, if you’re selling a luxury home, you’ll want to find an agent with experience in luxury home sales.
• You should feel comfortable communicating with your agent. They should be friendly and easy to talk to.
- Finally, make sure the agent is licensed in your state and has a good reputation. You can check with your state’s real estate commission to see if there have been any complaints filed against the agent.
Ask for Referrals
One of the best ways to find a great real estate agent is to ask for referrals from your friends and family. If someone you know has had a positive experience with an agent, they will be more than happy to give you their contact information.
Look at Agent Websites
A well-designed website is a good sign that an agent is serious about their business. While you’re on their website, take some time to look around and see what kind of information they provide. A great agent will have plenty of helpful resources for home sellers, including guides, blog articles, and even video content.
Look for ‘For Sale’ Signs in Your Neighborhood
If you see a lot of ‘For Sale’ signs in your neighborhood, that’s a good sign that the agent who represents those homes is doing a good job. After all, the goal of selling a home is to sell it quickly, and an agent who can do that is likely to be a good fit for you.
Questions to Ask When Interviewing Agents
Once you’ve found a few agents you’re interested in working with, it’s time to start interviewing them. Here are a few questions to ask:
- How long have you been working in the real estate industry?
- How many homes have you sold in the last year?
- What’s your average asking price?
- What’s your average time on the market?
- What’s your average sales price?
- How many times, on average, did you have to reduce prices?
- Do you specialize in any particular type of home?
- What area do you cover?
- Can I see some examples of your marketing materials?
- What is your process for selling a home?
- How do you communicate with your clients?
- What are your fees?
Making Your Decision
After you’ve interviewed a few agents, it’s time to make your decision. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with the agent you choose. Remember, you’ll be working with this person closely throughout the entire home selling process, so it’s important to find someone you can trust.
Selling a home can be a daunting task but working with a professional real estate agent can make the process a lot easier. When you’re ready to sell your home, take some time to find an agent who is the right fit for you.
Use referrals from friends and family, online ratings and reviews, and your own research to narrow down your options.
Once you’ve found a few agents you’re interested in, interview them and ask about their experience, fees, and process. Finally, make your decision based on who you feel most comfortable with.