If you’ve been following the news recently, you’ve probably heard about how homes are selling at historically high prices, much of this being fueled by historically low mortgage rates. While the housing market saw plenty of sales over the past few months, HomeLight reports that 45.4% of real estate agents report that the amount of health concerns expressed by buyers and sellers has dropped considerably, and 30.1% of agents are reporting that many buyers are rushing to lock in new homes before mortgage rates rise.
While now is a great time to take advantage of these trends, selling a home is a complicated process which is why we’ve put together this article to help make the process more manageable.
Getting expert help to achieve success
One of the easiest ways to simplify the process of selling your home is to work with a real estate agent. The great thing about real estate professionals is that they work on commission, meaning they’re incentivized to get you the best price for your home. The typical realtor commission is around 6%, however, while that sounds like a significant amount of money, you have to remember that the agent doesn’t pocket the entire amount.
Realtors have to split 50% of their commission with the buyer’s agent, and then the remaining amount is used to cover overhead such as membership dues to realtor associations, costs to market your home, and more. Keep in mind that the average for sale by owner home transaction is $60,000 lower than comparable homes sold with the assistance of a professional real estate agent.
Finding the best agent for your needs
Since most communities have hundreds if not thousands of agents for homeowners to work with, choosing a real estate agent to work with can be overwhelming. Fortunately, by knowing the right questions to ask, it’s easy to find a realtor you can trust in 30 minutes flat.
When searching for a realtor to work with, you should use data to narrow your search. Focus on metrics that matter the most such as the number of homes sold in the past year, the average amount of time it takes for the agent to close a sale and how that compares to local trends, and how much more or less above the list price the agent usually sells for.
After you create your shortlist of agents, you should speak with at least three real estate agents because stats on paper only go so far. Building an interpersonal rapport also is essential.
During the call with the real estate agents, a few questions you’ll want to touch on include:
- How well do you know the area?
- How well do you know the market in my area?
- What are your priorities for buyers and sellers?
The first two questions enable you to gauge whether the agent will be able to tailor their pitches to fit the individual needs of buyers (e.g. school recommendations if they have children, downtown happenings if they’re younger buyers, etc.) as opposed to general blanket statements.
Asking about the agent’s priorities enables you to understand how the agent works. Do they keep in touch and provide frequent updates, or are they hands-off, only informing you of the essentials?
When it comes to working with a real estate agent, there are no right or wrong criteria that apply to all sellers. Since every homeowner is different it’s important to interview a few agents before putting your home on the market.
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