How to Hire a Listing Agent

Hiring a Listing Agent

The house is clean, it's staged and it's ready to show off to the world. How will you get the word out about this amazing specimen of a house? How will you attract qualified buyers?

By choosing the right real estate agent, that’s how. The very real truth, however, is this: not all real estate agents are alike.

That's true in any profession, right? That's why we have a Better Business Bureau and numerous websites containing reviews of companies and professionals. It’s a fact that a certain amount of passion for, and dedication to, a chosen career path sets some professionals apart from the pack.

It is the same in the world of real estate. Some agents work a full-time job and dabble in real estate on weekends or in their spare time. Others eat, drink and real estate and wouldn't dream of doing anything else. This dedication is what makes the latter the leaders in their markets and it is only natural for consumers to want the best and brightest in the industry.

When considering who to trust with the sale of what may be your biggest financial asset, choose wisely. Since you will be paying the sub-par agent the same as the expert, why settle for sub-par? Look for an agent that has the experience, passion and dedication to exceed your expectations.

Here, in a nutshell, are the steps to take when attempting to find the ideal agent to list your home.

Ask the right questions

Since marketing your home to the public is the agent's most important job, seek an agent with proven marketing skills. You can determine the agent's marketing acumen by scrutinizing the way he or she markets his or her real estate business. If the agent doesn't care enough to promote her own business appropriately, how can you expect her to do any better when marketing your home?

Ask to see how the agent has marketed homes in the past. If these advertising pieces sizzle, you've found a great real estate agent. If they're lackluster or unappealing, reject the agent.

Ask as well to see printouts of the agent's current listings from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is used by buyers’ agents to locate appropriate homes for their clients. There should be lots of clear photos that show the house in an attractive manner and a compelling description of the home.

Finally – and this is quite important – ask to see an MLS printout of the agent’s last 12 months of sales history. Many agents claim to have a strong track record of selling and listing homes but only their sales history can prove that. As well, avoid working with the agent who is relying on a sales history from five or 10 years ago. Decades-old marketing techniques don’t apply today.

Selling a house is a big job and whomever you choose to help you must be deserving of your trust. Keep interviewing agents until you find that one passionate professional.


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