What are the most important attributes to consider when hiring a Real Estate Agent?

  • by fred - Tue, 12/30/2014 - 11:56

Simply put…Knowledge and Experience.   Selling your home is not Rocket Science; however, there are numerous pitfalls that can engulf you if you are not careful.  Your goal should be to maximize your profit, in a reasonable amount of time, with as little risk and pain as possible.  I once read that the five most stressful events we Americans go through, buying and selling a house, were right up there with getting married, getting divorced and death in the family.  Regardless of whether that is still true, it highlights the potential stress selling or buying a house can represent.

It is important to remember, when you hire a Real Estate Agent, you are the boss.  Our job is to guide you through the process by providing you information for you to make knowledgeable decisions to your best benefit.

Any agent you hire absolutely must be a member of the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  In the case of Western Washington, that is the Northwest Multiple Listing Service or NWMLS.  Over 85% of all buyers are generated from the NWMLS data base, or websites directly supported by NWMLS!  These sites are easily recognized as they are the Real Estate Office websites of the region.  This data base is downloaded into all member website search engines and represents the most up to date and comprehensive data.

The next best source of buyers, not surprisingly, comes from having a sign.  15% of buyers come from seeing the for sale sign.  The sign and being in the MLS data base constitute over 95% of the source of buyers.  Newsprint, RE Magazines, Non MLS supported websites, are less than 5% of the remaining source of buyers.

Ultimately, your property should be priced right.  The CMA, or comparative market analysis, from a seasoned and knowledgeable agent can provide you with this info at no charge.  Having it in the MLS data base and having a sign are the keys to selling your home.  That knowledgeable agent plays a very important role in navigating you through the process to make sure you are getting top dollar, you have access to the best in the industry as far as Escrow Companies, Title Officers, Inspectors and appraisers. And finally to make sure your risk is minimized throughout the transaction.

Finally, it is important you are comfortable with the agent.  The agent should be available to you seven days a week.  Real Estate Agents, like Attorneys, have a mandated fiduciary duty to their clients.  That translates to looking out for your best interests, over and above their own.   

Office size does not really matter.  It is the individual agent that you will be dealing with most of the time.  With computers today, small offices have the same access and power packing punch as the big boys do.  The smaller offices often do less volume, so in turn you get more individual attention.  Sometimes these smaller offices have less overhead that can translate into savings to you.  If you consider how a Buyers Agents identifies homes, you will realize you as a Seller want your house in front of those agents with Buyers, regardless of which office they are part of.

So, in looking to hire an agent, here is a summary of what you should look for.

1.        Knowledgeable in Real Estate.

2.        Experienced

3.        Member of local MLS

4.        Comfortable with,

5.        Accessibility.

All of this leads to trust.  Selling your home, Buying a home, these are two of the most significant financial transactions you make in your lifetime.  Choose carefully who you hire.