Ask a Realtor: What’s the best criteria for picking the right agent? (column)
Ask a Realtor
Dear Joan: I have been contemplating calling several real estate agents in the valley and interviewing them to see who would be best to list my property. However, I am now thinking that is a waste of time, since if they are a good salesperson at all, the first one will convince me not to call any others, and just go ahead and list with them. Therefore, I need to know the best criteria for picking the right one to talk to first. I guess there is always the chance I will not like the first one, but the point is finding someone that is knowledgeable and knows how to get my property sold as quickly as possible for the highest amount of money, right?
— Almost Seller
Dear Almost Seller: You are very perceptive to understand that your Realtor salesperson has to sell themselves to you first. I do think it is also important that you like your Realtor, and even more importantly, that you trust them.
Now back to the question of what to look for in the interview. I think you simply ask them what they will do to get your property sold in the shortest amount of time and for the most money. When I first started selling, we were taught that most listing Realtors simply did the three “P’s”… Put up a sign, Put it in the MLS, and Prayed.
We were taught that you had to do the fourth “P,” which was to “Proactively” network to get the property sold. I think this principle still holds true today. You are looking for someone who will roll up their sleeves and go to work calling their sphere of clients, contacting neighbors, doing open houses, updating you on what the market is doing and letting you know if you need to make some changes in the pricing or appearance of the property.
This description does not necessarily mean you need some of the busiest, most well-known agents in the valley. It means that you need someone or some team that has the time and the drive to pay attention to your needs. Single agents can be good unless they have too much to do and no team or good backup to help them. Also, you need someone who is knowledgeable enough to discuss pricing your home in a realistic manner for today’s market. If you get good pricing advice, please take it, as it will greatly expedite the sale of your home. Finally, a good test is to see who will call you back in a timely manner and make themselves available to meet you and see your property as quickly as possible. If they are not attentive when you first call, it will not get better as time goes on. Hope this helps a little. Best of luck to you.
Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at joan@team blackbear.com, 970-337-7777 or http://www.skiandteehomes.com.