There’s a lot of distrust in real estate agents. Especially when you need one to list your home for sale.
Thus, there are two options:
- Go for sale by owner.
- Hire an amazing listing agent.
You’ll find a lot of difficulties with the for sale by owner route. That’s why in this article, we’re going to cover how you can find and select a great listing agent.
There are four main steps:
- Finding a listing agent.
- Evaluating their pricing strategy.
- Checking their marketing plan.
- Reading their personality.
Let’s dive in.
1. How to Find an Amazing Listing Agent
Listing agents are known to be the best in the business. It’s the ultimate title for a Realtor to hold.
Often, the leader of a successful team is the “rainmaker” or in other words, the lead listing agent.
The reason real estate agents place so much value on acquiring listings is because it provides the most flexibility for them in terms of business, finances, and direction.
As a seller, you’ll have no problem finding an agent to list your home. However, you will have trouble finding a good one.
I’d argue that the majority of real estate agents have no true marketing plan. They might run an ad or two on Facebook but there’s no strategy, study, or focus on it. Most will simply place a “for sale” sign in your front yard and call it a day.
That’s not good.
To stay away from those types of agents, let’s go through the steps you can take to find a good listing agent.
Yes, this may seem entirely counter-intuitive to weeding out the bad eggs, but trust me, it’s not.
The great thing about Google is that you’re able to find some of the best professionals in the world, let alone within your community.
Real estate agents that are discoverable online are really good. If they’ve taken the time to rank near the top of the Google search results for real estate related terms or write a blog like this one. Then you can rest assured that they truly care about you and your success.
Writing a blog is NOT easy. It takes a lot of time and effort to write all these articles, ensure they’re edited for SEO, and promoted across social media.
It’s harder than cold calling (the avenue most agents take for listings).
To find an agent, simply go to Google and type in “top real estate agents near me” or type in the name of a firm you’ve heard of.
Click on one of the websites and check them out.
Does it look like they put effort into their site? Are they posting articles? Do they offer selling guides? Do they seem reputable?
Once you answer those questions. Pick one.
You can simply navigate to their contact page and email them, fill out their form, or give them a call or text.
The next way you can find a good listing agent is by asking your friends, family, or acquaintances for their recommendation.
Odds are a lot of people that you know have worked with a Realtor at some point in the past. Sometimes their experience was so good that they’ll be happy to give you their contact information.
A lot of Realtors rely on referrals as a source of business and according to the National Association of Realtors, 41% of clients still get their agents via referral.
2. Evaluating Your Listing Agent’s Pricing Strategy
Typical real estate methodology is that you price homes with the comparable property method. This is basically where agents examine homes in the local market that resemble yours and pick a price tag that falls within the range.
You’ll find this method pretty much everywhere you look. I use this method as well.
However, for luxury real estate, I price differently, and you can read about that here.
What you want to pay attention to is whether your listing agent shows the pricing data on an electronic device or on paper, and breaks down their thought process for why you should price the home that way.
You’ll also want to take note of whether they have a pricing strategy. A pricing strategy is different from simply pricing.
The reason why:
A pricing strategy anticipates the possibility that the market rejects your listing price. Therefore, the agent puts a strategy in place so that at certain intervals, the listing price is reduced.
This sets the tone for your relationship and ensures no future arguments about pricing.
For myself, I will never take on a listing with any client if they are opposed to a pricing strategy that calls for reductions. To me, that shows a lack of willingness to sell the home and a lack of respect for my expertise.
That’s why at the onset of every relationship, I lay out my plan from pricing to marketing to closing.
Speaking of marketing, let’s talk about that.
3. Checking Your Listing Agent’s Marketing Plan
So how should you be evaluating your listing agent’s plan of attack?
Just like the pricing strategy, hopefully, they let you know what their plan is. If they don’t, then they probably don’t have a plan, which should be an automatic disqualification for you.
But if they do offer a plan, it’s important to take note of what they’re going to do.
Some keywords to listen for:
- Facebook/Google Ads
- Video tour
- Digital marketing
- Direct mail campaign
- Broker open
- Open house
- Facebook marketplace
Some of those are more important than others. But if your listing agent mentions at least four of the items then you should be in good shape.
The bottom line, digital marketing sells homes faster and more efficiently than any other strategy. It’s also the most cost-effective.
I’m tired of hearing long-time agents discount the power of digital marketing and make statements like “yeah, the internet is fine, but you still need to support those efforts with traditional methods”.
That is entirely false. In fact, it’s the other way around.
Traditional methods need to be supported by digital marketing methods.
Make sure your listing agent has a real plan that includes digital strategies. That’s the way the world works now.
4. Reading Their Personality
While your agent’s personality isn’t the crucial make-or-break factor in this equation. It’s certainly something to pay attention to.
I’m mostly talking about weeding out the Realtors who don’t care. The ones who place a sign in your yard and wait for a phone call.
The ones who have no ethical standards and are in the business because they’re “bored”.
There are a few ways you can read someone like this: (Note: This is not meant to be insulting or harmful to anyone’s reputation in any way. These are simply social cues to let you know that they may not be the right fit for the job).
- They refuse to go over their sales plan in detail.
- They don’t answer your questions thoroughly.
- They decline to answer a reasonable question.
- They don’t know how to answer a question.
- They can’t explain how they came up with a price.
- They seem disinterested.
- They seem to lack a lot of necessary real estate knowledge.
Listen, everyone is human, and we aren’t always going to be able to answer every question on the fly. Sometimes we have off-days too. So, exercise caution when reading into someone’s personality.
However, I encourage you to pay attention to the details because they can reveal a lot about the agent.
As I said before, listing agents are the cream of the crop. They are the “rainmakers” so to speak.
But that doesn’t mean they’re all great.
It’s important for you as a homeowner, who is selling what may be your largest asset, to take extreme precautions when selecting a real estate agent.
Of course, as always, if you live in the Asheville or Charlotte regions of North Carolina, I’d be happy to help you sell your home.