How to select the right listing agent

Dated: February 25 2024

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Selling your home is a personal journey. It involves your home, your family and your future. Selecting an agent you like or know is tempting, but do they have the skills necessary to accomplish your goals?

How to interview a listing agent?

Interviewing realtors, and focusing on the key elements necessary for your success is crucial. This may be one of the largest transactions you ever do and the impact of the sale affects the entire family.

Top 3 Realtor Skills Necessary to SELL Your Home

  1. Marketing - a successful marketing plan starts with detailed analysis of local market data. Understanding the current market dynamics is a foundation for a successful, creative marketing strategy. Who is your ideal buyer? Where are buyers coming from? What elements do buyers want? What will drive buyers to make an offer quickly at a strong value? What's the best way to "tell the story" of your home and make buyers fall in love with it? Review the agent's marketing plan for you as well as prior marketing efforts and results.
  2. Negotiation - Ask questions about negotiation training and experience. Marketing is the first step, but negotiating a strong offer and getting through contingencies to a successful closing is an entirely different skill set. In Pennsylvania, we are a "title state" meaning lawyers are not required for contract to close. Choose a realtor who has strong experience working with title, inspections and all the contingencies necessary to get you to the closing table.
  3. Communication - usually this is the biggest complaint I hear from sellers who weren't successful. An agreed upon communication plan should be part of your unique marketing strategy. With negotiations, its critical that your agent doesn't get emotional and is astute at handling difficult conversations. You also want someone trained in documenting critical communication for your legal protection. Lawsuits can happen long after closing and often are not based on fact. Documenting everything is crucial in real estate transactions.

Local market knowledge

A key element in selecting a realtor has traditionally been based on locality. This trend goes back to when homes were sold through personal realtor networks, before the power of the internet. 

However, this mindset is limiting. Your best buyer may come from another state, or even another country. Your realtor needs to show you how they will market your home locally, nationally and internationally. 

Local knowledge in today's market requires the ability to astutely analyze neighborhood markets and how they tie into larger demographic dynamics. This is especially true post-COVID. Your ideal buyer may not be local.

What about the commission?

The real estate industry has been under a microscope during the past few years due to some national lawsuits I'm sure you've heard about.

When we meet, we can discuss this in more detail if you'd like. Please know that the fees for selling your home are always negotiable.

I personally have a multi-tiered selling proposition which we'll review. Bottom line, its about what will support your success!

Many times when I meet sellers, their sole focus is on commission and sometimes the first question asked. Commission is definitely an important topic. However, start with the deeper questions and then discuss how you want to work together, and at what price.

Selling vs Consulting

At your listing agent interviews, do you feel like you received solid, valuable advise? Or do you feel SOLD? It should never be a sales pitch, it's a consultation and should be solely focused on your success.

Additional resources:

Book a time on my calendar and let's talk!

Susanna Kunkel, Realtor
eXp Realty, LLC

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Susanna Kunkel

Susanna provides executive level service to all her clients based on her years in corporate CEO offices. Creative marketing, global networking and local expertise. Her unique mix of business savvy and....

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