How to Choose a Realtor to Sell Your Northern Virginia Home
One of the most important decisions you’ll make in the process of selling your Northern Virginia home is which realtor you will work with. This person will help you make most of the other decisions, such as pricing, accepting offers, and creating counteroffers. If you make the right decision, the process will go much smoother. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right person to sell your home.
Get Recommendations from Friends and Family
Utilize your resources and ask people you know for recommendations. Studies from the National Realtors Association show that 42% of people selected their real estate agent from referrals by friends. You probably know someone who has bought or sold a house recently. Ask them who they would recommend and why. The “why” is just as important as the “who” because it tells you something about what this person is like. Your friends may say the real estate agent was easy to work with or sold the house fast. The more information you can get, the better decision you’ll make.
Don’t Rely on Recommendations
At the same time, you don’t want to rely solely on advice from others. Your personality is different and your home is different, which means you must find the person who is right for you. Don’t feel obligated to select an agent because you know them as a friend. Any reputable agent will understand the difference between friendship and a business decision.
Focus on Credentials
Find out if the agent is a realtor who is licensed by the National Realtors Association. They will have the term REALTOR behind their name on business cards and on their website. This means they have gone through an even more stringent process, they must abide by a strict code of ethics, and they must continue to update their education each year.
Ask About Marketing
The goal of any listing agent should be to sell the home, and as quickly as possible. To do this, the realtor must be adept at marketing. They should combine offline methods, such as open houses, with online resources, such as social media. They must also understand the latest marketing methods and know when and how to use them effectively. According to a 2012 report by the National Realtors Association, only 4% of realtors use YouTube to post a video of a house for sale. A total of 14% use videos on websites and listing sites. And yet, 90% of buyers look for videos when comparing houses. An agent who is willing to try new marketing strategies, such as video, in combination with traditional methods will be ahead of the game.
Look for Realism
While you want an agent to promote your Northern Virginia home to buyers, you want them to be more realistic with you. The agent who gives you the most compliments on your house may not be the right person for you. Instead, you want someone who will give you a dose of reality. They should let you know which great features will make your home a good sell, but at the same time, they should show you areas for improvement. Very few Northern Virginia homes are perfect, and yours likely could stand some changes to enhance its salability.
Look for Experience
You want an agent who has some experience in selling Northern Virginia homes, but more importantly, they should be experienced in selling Northern Virginia homes similar to yours in your neighborhood. An agent who knows the neighborhood will know how to reach buyers and what information they’re looking for. If your home is unique in some way, you’ll want someone who knows how to make that uniqueness stand out in a good way.
Remember that you’re hiring a realtor to help you sell your home. Treat your first meeting like any other job interview. Ask questions to get a feel for the agent’s personality and to get concrete answers on their capability and experience. Some good questions to ask include the following:
- How many Northern Virginia homes did you list in the last year? How many of them sold?
- What is the average difference between the list price and the selling price?
- How will you market my Northern Virginia home?
- What recommendations do you have to help my home sell faster?
- How often should I expect communication from you and in what form (phone calls, text messages, emails)?
Based on the answers and other information you’ve gathered about the real estate agent, you’ll know whether you are ready to move forward or keep looking. Don’t be afraid to interview more than one agent. You want to find the best person for the job and more options is better than fewer. Selling your Northern Virginia home is a big decision. Start the process out right with the best real estate agent for you.