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Selecting the right real estate agent

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Selecting the right real estate agent

Dear Phyllis,

I had my aunt’s La Crescenta home listed for six months with a local Realtor. I thought I did my homework and interviewed several Realtors prior to hiring him. Once I listed the home, I really didn’t hear from my Realtor. I would have to call the office for updates. He never offered any suggestions other than to reduce the price. He had the home listed for six months, and after a $100,000 price reduction, I only received one lowball offer.

The morning my listing expired, I started receiving phone calls from dozens of Realtors on my cell phone at 7 AM, and this was nonstop until 10 PM that night, and it has continued. I have also been bombarded with promotional items from Realtors. I guess my question is how do I go about selecting the right real estate agent, and what should I expect to be different this go round?


Dear LJ,

The agent you hire should assist you in preparing your home for sale, guide you in establishing the correct list price and prepare a customized marketing plan. Check online review sites like Yelp, Zillow, Trulia, and Facebook. When you ask neighbors and friends for their Realtor recommendations, ask how easy it was to reach their agent and how much support and advice they offered throughout the entire process.

Selecting the right real estate agent

Hiring a Realtor is similar to hiring an employee. There should be an in-depth interview. And these are the questions you should ask:

How long have you been a Realtor? Obviously, experience is good!

How many sales did you complete last year? What was the average number of days on the market of the homes sold in the last twelve months where you represented the seller?

What was the original list price compared to the final selling price? A Realtor who often sells homes well below list price may not advise sellers to price their homes correctly or may do a poor job marketing them.

Do you have a partner or personal assistant? Agents who sell many homes typically have a partner or assistant who can pick up the slack. But be certain to clarify that your primary contact will be the Realtor you hired and not an assistant.

Where do you advertise? How many websites will include information about my home? More than 90% of buyers begin their search online. The agent you want to hire is one who is internet savvy.

A top Realtor will invest in having a professional website that attracts buyers. Your Realtor should also use social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to market your home.

Will you hire a professional photographer to take pictures of my home? Your first showings are online; poor photos often mean you won’t get the 2nd showing. In my opinion, professional photography is non-negotiable.

Share your experience with the agents you interview and ask them how they will do a better job for you. Have the agent you hire commit to you in writing how often they will communicate with you.

Best of luck LJ.

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