Picking the right real estate agent


By Kathy Henne



During the past 12 months, how many homes have you sold? Ten, 20, 50? How did you attract the buyers? Which marketing techniques were the most effective for you? How did interest rates affect the selling price? Are loan programs the same today as 12 months ago?

Each day, the local real estate market changes. Buyers become more sophisticated and web literate. Interest rates, loan programs and closing costs fluctuate to the tune of the money markets. New homes become available and others sell.

Unless you are involved in local real estate on a daily basis, you’re likely to find that yesterday’s facts are today’s fantasies. So, if you plan to sell you home successfully at the best possible price, shortest amount of time and with the least hassles … you’re going to need assistance to overcome the complexities of selling.

Make your choice of a representative carefully. Areas of expertise to be considered include: knowledge of loan programs and good lenders, experience marketing homes like yours, internet prominence and literacy, pricing expertise, and negotiating talent.

When you receive an offer on your home, you’ll look to your agent for information on the track record of the buyer’s lender. You may receive a full price offer from a buyer whose lender has a practice of giving out pre-qualification letters with lots of loop holes that allow them to back out of the contract. You may also receive an offer that is not quite full price from a buyer who is pre-approved with a great local lender. You will probably be better off taking the offer from the buyer who is working with the great local lender even if it is a little bit less money. If you take the other offer, you may end up with the whole deal falling apart at the last minute before closing. You will have missed several weeks of your prime market exposure and wasted all those qualified buyers.

You want an agent who is experienced in your area. Many sellers are not aware that when they list their home with an agent who is out of the local area, their home may not be included in the local Multiple Listing Service for local Realtors. When a buyer contacts a local agent to start the buying process, the agent will search the local Multiple Listing Service for homes for that buyer. If your home is not in the local Multiple Listing Service, your home is invisible to the local agents and their buyers. They don’t buy your home because they don’t have the information on your home.

You want your agent to have internet prominence and to know their way around the internet. Studies show that 78 percent of the buyers search on the internet before they contact an agent. Before you choose your agent, check out how their other listings are displayed on the agent’s personal website. How many pictures are displayed for each listing? Is their website easy to navigate and consumer friendly?

If your home is priced correctly, it will sell. If not, it sits on the market getting shop worn and the buyers start wondering what’s wrong with your home. Ask your agent for information on the sale prices of other homes that are comparable to yours. You want to price your home in the same price range as other similar homes that have already sold.

You want your agent to have a lot of negotiating experience. You want someone who is able to see the big picture of the contract and advise you on all the small details, which can be a big problem down the road towards closing. A small detail like the possession date can be the difference between being in your new home or having to spend some time in a motel or with relatives.

When selling your home, don’t underestimate the importance of obtaining strong representation by a superior real estate agent. Remember, you will be competing against many other homes for the attention of the qualified buyers. Your agent advocate can provide you with a qualified buyer and protect you during the negotiations.

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By Kathy Henne

Contact the Kathy Henne Team RE/MAX FINEST by calling (937) 778-3961.

Contact the Kathy Henne Team RE/MAX FINEST by calling (937) 778-3961.