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6 Qualities to look for in a listing agent

Listing agent holding a cutout of a house

Gone are the times when you would depend on cycles in the real estate market to ensure that you get the most profitable returns when selling a property. With the current threat of COVID-19 becoming a major factor in overall market activity, there’s no better time than now to put your home-selling plans into action. Not only do you keep your local market strong by adding your abode to the inventory of homes for sale, sellers like you can also benefit much from the wealth of buyers who are eager to make a bid for your home.

And what better way to ensure home-selling success in these trying times than by taking on the services of a reliable listing agent? Their expertise is needed now more than ever, considering the new normal presented by COVID-19. Whether you’re a newbie seller or a veteran real estate investor, having a listing agent as a partner will allow you to better navigate the uncertain terrain of selling a home.

In choosing your listing agent, keep these criteria in mind:

1. Extensive experience

The minimum requirement to expect from a real estate agent is a license. This makes sure that they meet the education, training, and testing requirements to expertly guide clients through their chosen real estate transaction. Moreover, if the agent is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), you know that they have sworn to go by the said association’s code of ethics and best practices.

Ask the agent for their track record. Ideally, you want someone with at least three years of experience selling homes in your locality. And while we’re on the subject of track records…

2. Good track record

Looking at their entire history in the industry is good for knowing how long they have been in the business. But if you concentrate on their recent selling history, you will see how effective they are as listing agents. If you see a wide gap between their indicated listing price and the actual selling price for recently sold homes, then better think twice before hiring. The same is true if a home they sold took too long in the market before getting sold.

References and testimonials of former clients can also give you an idea of a listing agent’s dynamics with the people they do business with. Consider it a red flag if a listing agent cannot produce a list of references that you can contact.

3. An arsenal of up-to-date real estate data

From the first free in-home consultation with a listing agent, you should be able to gauge the extent of information they could provide you as a basis for properly pricing your home. Among the data they should have on hand is a comparable market analysis (CMA) or comps. This is a comprehensive list of recently sold homes in your area that are similar to yours.

There is also the technical jargon of the local real estate market that needs to be communicated to you so you can make informed decisions in your home-selling endeavor. An agent with up-to-date information on market developments is nice to have, but one who can make you understand completely the language of the market is one you shouldn’t let go of.

Be wary of agents that entice you with a high listing price for your home. Choose the one who, instead of dangling a large dollar sign in front of you, can provide a range that you can work with and the accompanying justification for this.

4. Strategic marketing plan

Apart from providing a free real estate consultation as a way to attract a potential client, a good listing agent should also come in with a marketing plan for your house. This is where the agent can either shine or fail in winning you over as a new client.

Expect the listing agent to wow you with a marketing plan that has these aspects at the minimum:

* Staging advice
* Digital marketing strategies
* Space in a multiple listing service, complete with high-resolution photos
* Virtual tours
* Feedback reports from potential buyers
* Marketing strategies and layouts in real estate websites
* Updated comps and news on other homes for sale in your area

5. Feasible recommendations

A good listing agent should be able to work with your presented budget and still manage to provide you with great recommendations to make it more desirable for buyers. These recommendations may involve value-boosting renovations or remodeling. If they suggest certain changes to your home prior to its sale, ask them how it will help in arriving at a better deal.

The Groesbeck Group is the team of real estate experts in Washington State that you can rely on for your home-selling goals. Give them a call at 360.941.3734 or email Info(at)JeanGroesbeck(dotted)com.