Choosing The Perfect Listing Agent

choosing a listing agentThe right agent will make or break the success of your sale. They'll help you determine exactly how much you can get for your home in the current market, what upgrades could improve the value of your home, and what you need to do in order to sell your home within a prescribed time-frame. All of these decisions are made based on what today's homebuyers are looking for, which comes from a combination of local experience, industry knowledge, and market comprehension that only a real estate agent can bring to the table.

Here are some of the most frequently-asked questions about listing agents and what you need to know before listing your home:

Do I need a REALTOR® to sell my home?

Although not required by law, there are many moving pieces and parts involved in a real estate transaction and most people seek the professional advice of a certified real estate professional.

Can I sell a home without a real estate agent?

Yes, you can choose to sell your home without an agent, but can you really afford to? There are two parts to this:

  1. There is so much that goes into selling a home for top dollar in a short period of time that it would be tough to list them all but a few keys factors are as follows:
    • Determining the right price (pricing too high or too low can ultimately have a negative impact on the sale price of your property),
    • Properly preparing the home for sale (YES – the color of the walls, arrangement of furniture, etc. can actually make or break a sale)
    • Effectively marketing your property to anyone who could be looking for a home just like yours. A top real estate agent doesn’t just list your home for sale, but has a comprehensive and pro-active marketing approach to ensure your listing is in front of potential buyers, on and offline.
  2. For most, their home is their largest investment, so dealing with the sale is risky business to attempt on your own. With all the legalities and factors that go into a real estate transaction, there is a huge opportunity for things to go awry if you don't know what you're doing. An industry professional will structure the final terms and conditions in a way that will protect you, the seller, for years to come.

Does it cost me anything to have a “Listing Agent”?

Yes. In a typical real estate transaction, the fees or commission are paid by the seller. Similar to having a good lawyer in court, if you select a great real estate agent, when it’s all said and done that agent will not only make you money but save you valuable time eliminate stress emotional stress.

How much are real estate fees and how do they work?

Real Estate fees can vary from brokerage to brokerage, team to team and agent to agent so it’s important to ask and understand how much your agent will charge.

  1. Some will charge a percentage such as: 7% on the 1st $100,000 and 3.5% on the remainder. On a $500,000 home this would equate to $21,000 ($7,000 on the first $100,000 and $14,000 on the remaining $400,000). Typically, half of this total commission would go to the listing agent and the other half would go to the agent who brings the buyer for the property. (Again, please note that different agents charge different amount for their services)

  2. Some agents will charge a flat fee which again, is typically split between the listing agent and the buyer's agent.

How should I select my real estate agent?

When selling a property, it's critical that you have the right person, and team, for the job. When hiring an agent, it's recommended that you interview least three agents before hiring them to list your home. Here are a few specific questions to ask:

  • How much experience do you have? How long have you been a licensed real estate agent?
  • How do you plan to market the listing?
  • How will you communicate with me?
  • Do you typically work with buyers in this price range?
  • Tell me about your most recent successful sales.

Ask them what sets them apart, how they intend to get the job done and see how much more each has to offer over the competition.

Are all agents the same?

Are all lawyers, doctors, dentists, chefs etc the same? No. Not all agents and teams are the same. Many people don’t realize the true skill and professionalism that goes into being a great real estate agent so they choose to work with their aunt, uncle or friend as their realtor simply because they know them. Buying or selling real estate is the largest investment one will make so we can’t stress enough the importance of selecting the agent that is right for the job instead of working with friends or family members out of a sense of obligation.

"If you’re planning on selling and looking at doing some improvements beforehand, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting a consultation first. Talk to the pros. Professionals know the market, where it’s heading, what buyers are seeking, and how to help those buyers tick off all the right boxes in the most cost effective ways."

-AJ Hazzi, Realtor & Founder of Vantage West Realty.

How do I know which real estate agency is best?

With so many options to select from, it can be difficult to decide which agency to select. Many people often think that “bigger is better” but you have to stop and think that with some large brokerages, they have upwards of 200 agents all fighting for the same piece of the pie and time with their managing brokers. It’s important to understand that with most brokerages or agencies, you have an array of different agents with different business models and skill levels so it’s important to do your research and not to assume that all agents are the same.

Some small boutique brokerages, however, are different. There are some companies who only hire very specific agents who all meet the same level of world class skill and service so again, do your research and be sure to hire the agent and/ or team that is best suited for the job.

Should I use a discount brokerage or agent?

We are often asked about discount brokerages and agents. Yes, some agents do cut their compensation and based on the level of skill and service they bring to the table. And truth be told, some agents should! Our best advice is this: do your research, understand what services are being included (or not included, for that matter), hire the agent that is best suited for the job, and remember that it’s NOT about the amount of commission you pay (or don’t pay) but about how much money you net in your pocket at the end of the day.

Regardless of the commissions charged, a great agent will not only pay for their own fees but will make you more money on the sale, save you more money when you buy, and help eliminate stress throughout the process.

Sell With Vantage West Realty

Sell Your Home With Confidence When You Work With Vantage West Realty.

Connect With A Kelowna Real Estate Specialist Now!

Back to Choosing the Perfect Listing Agent