If you intend to sell your home, you can attempt to go through it alone, but a good home seller’s agent can help alleviate some of the stresses you may encounter along the way. A good home seller’s agent can list your home, help with appraisals and prelist inspections easier to deal with and help you increase the resale value of your home. In fact, one of the most important things you can do when selling your home is to have a good seller’s agent that can help you along the way.
When you’re selling your home, a good seller’s agent can make a huge difference in your experience, especially when the potential buyer has an agent representing them and looking for any way they can get their buyers a reasonable price. Before you move forward with selling your home, make sure you recognize why a seller’s agent is important, what they do, where to find one, and what to look for in the agent you choose.
Why do I need a seller’s agent?
While there’s no law that requires a real estate agent to help you with your transaction, it’s in your best interests to hire one. Unfortunately, the negotiation processes can be complicated if you’re not sure what to expect. While you may never want to think that a good buyer’s agent will try to take advantage of a situation, the buyer wants to spend as little as possible for what they want. A seller’s agent helps to protect you from that.
What are the responsibilities & duties of a seller’s agent?
In many situations, a seller’s agent is dedicated to you exclusively. They’re looking out for your best interests, not those of the buyer. As such, they have duties and responsibilities to you throughout the entire process. Here is a list of duties and responsibilities that a seller’s agent has to you:
- Acting in good faith in negotiations: When the seller’s agent represents you, they cannot give an edge to the buyer by providing information that could cause the buyer to lower their offer. This issue often comes up in situations where the agent or the company they work for represents both parties, and also why we state that buyers need their own real estate agent.
- Find comps in the area and price your home to market: A seller’s agent will look at other homes in the area that have recently sold and work with an appraiser to determine how much you should list your home at. Their goal should be to price your home fairly, at the market level, and in a way that makes you the most money.
- Negotiate on your behalf and protect your interests: Buyers and their agents often come in at a low offer because they know negotiations are possible. Your seller’s agent should work to ensure the offer is fair and negotiate to help reach a number that both you and the buyer agree on without sacrificing your interests.
- Attend the inspection and appraisal: Buyer agents will help oversee and hire a professional home inspection expert and appraisals before making an offer on the home. However, a legit seller agent will attend both of these processes so you can be sure the inspector and appraiser are fairly and accurately estimating the value of your home and determining if anything is wrong.
- Prepare you for closing and paperwork: The right seller agent will help you get the steps necessary to prepare for closing on the sale of your home. This can include ensuring certificates and readings are up to standard, and the offer meets your needs. Then, the seller’s agent can help you with closing.
Where should I look for a good seller’s agent?
Finding a good seller’s agent isn’t necessarily difficult, but far too often, homeowners pick just anyone to sell their home. Several steps go into determining the right person to help you, and before you make your decision, it’s a good idea to look into the person you choose.
- Word of mouth: First, ask around to people you may know who have sold their home. See who they used as a seller’s agent and ask if they recommend that person and/or company.
- Professional sites: Do a quick Google search for seller’s agents in your area. Take a look at their site and learn more about who they are, the type of experience they have, and what they’re about. Keep in mind, the seller’s agent is the owner of the site, so you want to cross-check references and look at other parts of the internet that can give you a better idea of how good the agent is.
- Use online portals. Websites like Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia are there to help sellers find agents. After searching these sites, continue to search online to see what other information you can find on this agent.
- Online reviews: Be sure to consider review sites to determine if the seller’s agent you’re interested in hiring can help you. Does the agent have several good reviews? Do they appear fake? What do the negative reviews say, and how long ago were they posted? These are just a few considerations you may have.
What to look for in a real estate agent
If you’re considering selling your home and need a seller’s agent, you want to ensure you’re looking for the right characteristics. Here are just a few things to look for:
- They give a vibe of professionalism, and they appear to know what they’re doing
- They are full-time (this isn’t a side hustle or part-time gig).
- They are committed to getting your home sold.
- They know the area and have lived here for many years.
- They understand marketing and advertising.
- They can provide references upon request.
Additionally, you may want to conduct an interview to learn more about them. Even if informal, holding a Q&A with your future agent will allow you to understand each other better. Questions you’ll want to ask are:
- How long has the agent been working, and how many homes are they selling each year?
- Do they have a track record of getting more than the asking price?
- Are they good communicators?
- Will they be with you every step of the way?
- Are they full-time agents, and how long have they been full-time?
- Are they a member of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?
- How many homes or properties did they list and sell last year?
- How did they arrive at the listing price for your home?
- What are their specific marketing and advertising plan for your home?
These are just some of the questions you want to ask before agreeing to hire a seller’s agent to help you. Also understanding the different types of real estate agency will help you navigate the process of finding and hiring the right agent for you.
A good real estate has your back
Make sure you’re comfortable with your seller’s agent and feel as though you can rely on them to get you the results you need when selling your home. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. A good seller’s agent can help you avoid costly mistakes when selling your home. Even more, they could be the reason you get much less than you deserve for your home, so be sure to choose wisely.