How To Choose A Real Estate Agent

by Dual Income No Kids on March 17, 2007 · 0 comments

We dinks have a good friend who is considering working with a real estate agent to market her condominium in DC. This has got me thinking a bit about points for selecting real estate agents.

Here are some things you might consider:

A) Price: If you are a seller, the agent will try to negotiate for a 6 percent commission on the sale of your property. While 6 percent may not seem like much, it can translate into big bucks. For example, if your property is worth $300,000 then you’ll need for fork over $18,000 in commission. Eighteen grand is a lot of money, so its generally in your interest to minimize the amount of commission you pay.

There are two ways to do this:

1) Negotiate. You can easily get a commission of 5.5%. Getting a commission of 5.0% is also reasonable. In some places, agents are a dime a dozen, and they won’t make any money if they can’t get your listing, so don’t feel timid about asking for price reductions.

2) Go with a discount agent: The high prices demanded by traditional realtors have given rise to discounters. As near as I can tell, the only difference between traditional agents and discounters is price. The level of service is the same. Two discount companies you might consider are Help-U-Sell and Assist-2-Sell.

B) Experience: A key second point you might want to mull over is experience. Factors like the number of properties the agent currently has, whether they are full or half time, how long they’ve been selling real estate, or their knowledge of a specific local neighborhoods can impact their ability to sell your property at the best price.

C) Likability: I was considering working with an agent a couple of years ago, but the guy had super bad breath. He could have corroded steel with is breath, it was just that bad. Not only that, he seemed a bit overly-slick, that is, he was just too smooth and too polished, like a used car salesman. The main point here is that you should choose an agent that you feel comfortable working with, but also someone that others will like as well.

Hope this helps!

Best,

James

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