How to Choose an Agent
This is worth repeating - Agents make a huge difference in the sales price of your home. We encourage you to choose your real estate agent with as much care as you would when selecting an attorney or a physician.
Here are the questions we would ask when interviewing an agent:
1. Length of time in real estate: Having a newer agent can be good. They can often give you a lot more of their time since they do not have as many clients. You will want to know they have sold a few homes so they can guide you successfully through the process or, be part of a team that will support you and the agent.
2. Number of sales in the past 6 months: This is a good indicator of how much business they do and how busy they are.
3. What are their working hours: Do they quit at 5:00 and not work weekends? You want to know you have someone that works the hours buyers want to see homes.
4. What is their philosophy of selling real estate: Real estate is one of those businesses where things happen behind the scenes. You need an advocate that looks out for your interests.
5. Knowing the following are the Minimal Acceptable in today’s market – check to be sure all of the following are offered by your potential agent:
a. Home professionally photographed, including a virtual tour
b. A professional flyer
c. Listed on the local MLS
d. Host Broker Tour
e. Hold open houses
6. Besides the items listed above, what would they provide?
7. What is their strategy for selling your home?
8. How do they determine the price of your home – pricing strategy?
9. Ask them to give you a list of all the homes they have sold in the last 6 months and the names and numbers of the sellers.
Choosing an Agent: What should I expect of them:
An agent with experience should give you ideas on what to do to prepare your home for market, have suggestions of tradesmen that can help and guide you through the process of getting your home on the market.
Brokerages, Agents and Commission:
Compass is a brokerage, ReMax, Intero, Coldwell Banker are all brokerages. Agents in California work under a brokerage as independent contractors.
The current trend in commission rate is 5%. It is traditional for the seller to pay the entire 5% commission with 2.5% going to the brokerage representing the buyer.
Commission is paid to the Brokerage, not the agent. The Brokerage then pays a percentage to the agents. Agents cover most of the costs associated with listing your home for sale. From photos and virtual tour to advertising and flyers, the agent, not the Brokerage, pays the expenses.