Not all real estate agents are equal.
An analysis of 27 million transactions reveals that the top 5% of real estate agents sell homes for 10% more than the average agent. That means that working with a subpar agent could lose you up to $25,000 on a $250,000 home deal — a considerable loss.
With over 14,000 Agents in Las Vegas, there is no shortage to choose from. But how do you know if a real estate agent is a top producer or an average Joe?
Here are eight signs of a good real estate agent who can carry you through your home sale with ease and fill your pockets with the most money possible.
1. The agent’s property listings shine with great copy and photos
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 52% of buyers find the home they purchase on the internet. It’s essential that your agent can craft a property listing that charms buyers into arranging a showing.
So, you head to an agent’s website and see some absolutely gorgeous home listings — clean, modern interiors, perfectly staged rooms, and bright, tantalizing professional photographs abound. You conclude that you’ve stumbled across an absolute real estate digital marketing maven.
But wait. You scroll down a bit more and see some photos in other listings that are not so hot, with some cluttered rooms, dated floors, and decor that, frankly, makes no sense. Should you dump this agent before the first date? Not necessarily. Photos are a team effort. If you have an uncooperative seller, or tenants living in the home, it can become tough.
Rather than going by photos alone ask the agent the following questions after viewing their listings:
- What will you do to my home to prepare it for sale?
- How will you capture photos of my home? Will they be professionally taken?
- Do you do a pre-photo walkthrough with me to help me best stage my home for pictures?
Professional photos are non-negotiable, regardless of the size of the home or its price range. Your agent should have great photographers at their fingertips.
2. The agent suggests strategic home improvements
When it comes to preparing your home for the market, renovations possibilities are endless. A top real estate agent knows which projects will bring a positive return on investment and bring more buyers to the door. For example, replacing an asphalt shingle roof costs an average of $24,700 and has a return on investment of 65.9%, adding $16,287 in resale value. A minor kitchen remodel that costs around the same price has a higher average return on investment of 77.6%, adding $18,206 in resale value.
A good real estate agent is intimately familiar with ROI values and knows exactly what features buyers in your market are willing to pay more for. Here is an excellent example of a big staging project that we did that included neutral paint, accessories, and new furnishings (all purchased with their new home in mind). Read about this complete staging project >
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3. They answer their phone and respond to your messages quickly
A good real estate agent is easy to reach and responds to your phone calls, texts, and emails within a few hours. If you reach out to a real estate agent and don’t hear back for an extended period, look elsewhere.
Selling a home can be like a stressful emotional roller coaster. Your real estate agent needs to be that person you can rely on and trust to keep you updated and at ease through the whole process. It’s essential that your real estate agent has excellent communication and negotiation skills and provides you with regular updates.
But exactly how much communication is enough? If you send an agent a message and don’t hear back from them for a while, is that a red flag? That depends on your definition of ‘a while. I personally don’t answer my phone if I’m on a call with another client. If I’m at a listing appointment, for example, that could take up to three hours. Anything more than 24 hours is a red flag.
If you’re reaching out to a real estate agent through their site as a prospective client, however, Latif says this is a great time to test whether the agent has good systems in place.
An agent needs to have a system where there’s a response to inquiries coming in within five or ten minutes. Even if the response is an automated message that says, “Hey, I’m tied up in an appointment and will call you back as soon as I can.”
Why is communication so important? You want an agent who not only responds promptly to you but also to homebuyers inquiring about your property. Playing phone tag is not fun for busy buyers. The last thing you want is to miss out on a sale because your agent wasn’t available. When I take a new listing, I answer at all hours and every call. You never know when it might be a potential buyer.
4. You like their energy (and they like yours!)
77% of sellers go with the first real estate agent they contact. While this sometimes works out, it’s much more strategic to conduct a brief interview with your top three candidates to get a sense of their personality and professionalism.
While you don’t have to be entirely enamored with your agent, there should be an immediate likability factor, and you should generally enjoy being around them. You’ll be working with your real estate agent to sell your home for a long time — for an average of 45 days from listing to closing, on top of an additional month or two prior to listing while you prepare your home for the market.
It’s almost like a marriage! You’re stuck with each other every day for months. If you can’t communicate, how are you going to make it work?
Even more critical, a listing agent needs to communicate with influence, charisma, and confidence to market your home, handle prospects, and close the deal successfully.
5. They know the area like the back of their hand and they have the experience
One of the first things to ask an agent is how well they know your neighborhood. An agent with intimate local knowledge gives you an edge over your competitors when marketing your home; they can authentically sell buyers on the perks of your location, like proximity to local cafes, shops, restaurants, outdoor activities, and urban centers.
When interviewing your agent, ask them how many homes they’ve closed in your area. If you ask your agent about the real estate market in your neighborhood, be sure they don’t immediately list off stats on sales in your county or state. Real estate is hyper-local. How many homes closed last month in your state is less relevant to your sale than an agent’s ability to provide insight on locals’ favorite spots and school district details without hesitation.
6. The agent has beaming reviews and stats across platforms
For a positive selling experience, work with a top agent with a stellar track record of closing deals. After all, your agent is responsible for managing the sale of your largest financial asset. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to find an agent’s sales history and client reviews online. The easiest way to find reviews of your real estate agent is to simply google them. Google, Realtor.com, Zillow, Yelp and even their own personal website should list reviews from bonafide past clients.
7. They’re resourceful
Meeting all of your selling objectives is no small task — you need the support of an agent who can tirelessly market your home and stick with you through closing. Even in competitive markets, the right agent won’t let you feel defeated if you lose out on a deal. They’re highly motivated and always ready with a new strategy to ensure you bounce back and close on the right deal.
My team is known for not letting deals fall through. A full-time real estate agent with lots of active experience in the market will be in tune with the daily workings of the market. With a finger on the pulse of the local market, your agent can pivot your selling strategy when the unexpected happens.
Say, for example, a house that we expected to get multiple offers didn’t. You would need to analyze the market and your listing and determine what was going on. When interviewing your prospective agent, ask them how they’ve overcome obstacles — like termites or unexpected asbestos — to recover the sale. If their response makes them sound unstoppable, then you’ve found a keeper.
8. Their network is impeccable
A network full of local connections is an essential quality in real estate agents and is one of the primary reasons you should always work with an agent to sell your home.
There are many moving parts to selling your home, and you’ll likely find yourself calling on contractors for projects like landscaping, painting, plumbing, and home staging. Rather than digging through reviews for every service you’re looking for, your agent can put you in touch with their network of highly qualified contractors and home prep experts. And if your agent has relationships with these professionals, they may be able to convince them to schedule you in for last minute repairs before open houses or showings.
Why Stacy Sheeley is a top-notch pro
Stacy is ranked in the top 8% in Nevada and top 1% at Realty One Group. She has almost 20 years of experience and hundreds of millions in sales. Stacy is exceptional at listing homes and has the determination of bringing multiple offers over list price which is why, on average, her listings sell for 9% higher than other Realtors. Stacy primarily focuses on listings while she has a team of well-trained buyers Agents that will go to work trying to find a buyer for your home.
Let’s put together a winning plan to sell your home!
Give Stacy a call to set up an appointment. She will give you advice on how to prepare your home to maximize its sale potential prior to going on the market. Even small changes like moving furniture, making repairs and decluttering make a big difference. Call 702-292-9064 or email: [email protected]
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Article taken in part by Evelyn Waugh, Homelight.