There are thousands of real estate agents to choose from. In fact, you’re probably bombarded daily with their ads via yard signs, TV and radio, and social media. So how do you choose the right one for you? First, you don’t choose an agent solely on the basis of list price and commission. These can lead you astray, and, besides, there are many other important considerations. So let’s see how to find the right Santa Cruz agent to help you sell your house.
Research and Interview Potential Agents
After getting references from your network, the next step toward finding the right Santa Cruz agent to help you sell your house involves researching the potential candidates. “Start by examining an agent’s online presence. Check the agent’s website and active social media accounts. Take a look at their online reviews, as well. Don’t worry about one or two negative reviews, but more than that could be a red flag.”
Then, after you’ve done this research and have a shortlist, interview at least three agents. “An interview is your opportunity to get a sense of the real estate agent’s style and experience. Ultimately, you’re looking for [an agent] who is familiar with a particular area and understands your budget and needs.”
During the interview process, you should also pay attention to “how polished and professional their proposal is. The more effort they put into a presentation for you, the more effort they’ll put into presentations when they’re working for you. You want someone who is really savvy.”
And don’t forget to find out about each agent’s availability and preferred method of communication. You need an agent who is accessible and who is willing to communicate by, say, text message if that’s what you prefer.
Beware of Major Red Flags
While interviewing agents to help you sell your house, you also want to be on the lookout for certain red flags and warning signs. One of these is when an agent promises she can sell your house for a certain good price.
Here’s what industry pros have to say on this: “Agents can’t tell you how much your home will sell for. To say that they can is a fallacy. A listing agent can show you comparable sales, pending sales, and active sales. But you choose the sales price, and a buyer will tell you whether the price is right. An agent can suggest the list price that will attract a buyer. Where it goes from there is generally up to the buyer.”
The sad fact is that a few agents will distort the truth and guarantee a certain price. Look for an agent who “gives you a range of prices. There is often, but not always, a price range. Many factors determine the range, among which are location, the temperature of the market, and improvements in the home.”
To discover more about pricing and exactly what an agent can and can’t do in this regard, contact a Santa Cruz agent at 831-588-2334.
Avoid Choosing an Agent-Based on Commission
Naturally, when you sell your house in Santa Cruz, you want to wind up with as much money in your pocket as possible. And many sellers think one way to do this is by using an agent who charges a lower commission. But you usually get what you pay for.
Typically, when you go with an agent who doesn’t discount her commission, you get a lot more. “Real estate agents are not equal; each is unique. Each has its own marketing techniques and advertising budget. By choosing an agent with a large advertising budget and company dollars to match it, you might gain greater exposure to a larger number of buyers. That is ideal since reaching a greater number of prospective buyers means a better chance of getting a good offer.”
You should also ask yourself why an agent would be willing to work for less. Sometimes, it’s because an agent feels it’s the only way to get the job. The agent simply may be short on experience or skills and has to stand out by charging less.
What to Look for in Agent
Keep in mind that when you hire an agent, you may be entering into a months-long business relationship. So in order to find the right Santa Cruz agent to help you sell your house, here are some of the things you should look for:
- Education/certification – Your agent should have the requisite training and certifications to prove she is qualified.
- Experience – The right agent will have a good track record of sales with homes similar to those you’re interested in and in the same area.
- Honesty – You must be able to trust your agent implicitly.
- Professional network – “This is a people business. Some homes sell because agents have contacted other agents.”
- Negotiation skills – “You want an aggressive negotiator, not somebody who is out to make a quick sale at your expense.”
If it comes down to two agents who seem to have the same qualifications, offer the same services, and are very similar in every respect, look at their list price-to-sales price ratios. Typically, you’ll want to go with the agent who has fewer price reductions and fewer days on the market.
Ultimately, the importance of finding the right agent can’t be overstated. It can even mean the difference between a sale and no sale. If you want to take the safest route to finding the right Santa Cruz agent to help you sell your house, contact us today at 831-588-2334.