Do some research before picking an agentfizkes/Shutterstock
Most sellers find their agent through a referral from a friend or relative (39 percent) or by going back to an agent they used to buy or sell before (25 percent), according to the National Association of Realtors. Plus, almost three quarters of sellers said they only got in touch with one agent before settling on whom they would work with. But settling on the first person who comes your way might land you with someone who’s not familiar with your type of house or who makes a slow sale, says Sumant Sridharan, COO of HomeLight, a company that matches sellers to real estate agents. A service like HomeLight can use data to find an agent with a history of selling homes quickly and for more money, but even your own Internet search can do the trick. Interview at least one extra agent, suggests Sridharan. He recommends finding out how much experience they have, whether they do home selling full-time (ideal) or part-time, and if they can give you references. “Talking to the people who used that agent can give a sense of who that agent is and how their working style is,” says Sridharan. Check out these 10 funniest moments realtors have had while showing houses.
Audit your agent’s online marketingPhotographee.eu/Shutterstock
More than 90 percent of homebuyers start their house hunt online, and they will never even get in the car to come see your home if the online listings aren’t compelling. In real estate, compelling means pictures! A study by Trulia.com shows that listings with more than six pictures are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers as listings that had fewer than six pictures. Don’t miss these other 22 secrets real estate agents won’t tell you.