Main Content

How to Choose a Listing Agent

a registered listing agent in Pierce County

A new job, a growing family, pending retirement — there are many reasons why a person will want to sell their house. But there is one thing that all sellers strive for: to sell their homes within the shortest time possible at the best price.

Fortunately, listing agents can help you do just that. But how do you choose who to work with?

Get a referral

Finding a good listing agent can be quite overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time buying a home. One of the best tips for selling your home is to ask a family member, friend, or colleague who recently bought a house who their agent was. They should be able to tell how their experience was and if they’d recommend their agent.

It’s not just about commission…

Your agent’s commission is really part of the cost of selling a house, so don’t scrimp on it—you’ll get what you pay for, in the end. Note, though, that a lower commission could imply that they are inexperienced or desperate to land business. An agent who asks for a bigger commission often offers superior services, and thus makes finding a buyer easier. For the record, a typical agent will charge about 5%-7% of the sale price—not insignificant, but not prohibitive either.

It’s not just about commission…

Your agent’s commission is really part of the cost of selling a house, so don’t scrimp on it—you’ll get what you pay for, in the end. Note, though, that a lower commission could imply that they are inexperienced or desperate to land business. An agent who asks for a bigger commission often offers superior services, and thus makes finding a buyer easier. For the record, a typical agent will charge about 5%-7% of the sale price—not insignificant, but not prohibitive either.

What’s the (marketing) plan?

With so many homes on the market, attracting qualified buyers for your home can be quite the challenge. That’s why listing agents need to be marketing experts who know how to cost-effectively market your house to the widest possible audience.

These days, putting out a classified ad on the local paper is no longer enough. A good agent needs to be a digital expert who can maximize the internet for online listing, online house tours, social media marketing, and more.

Local expertise matters

Each real estate market is different, that’s why a good listing agent needs to have in-depth knowledge about their turf. The first clue: check if your agent is a resident in their primary practice area. After all, who better to ask about a local market than one who actually lives there, right?

Local knowledge is important because factors like price history, planned developments, and real estate inventory can affect your home’s listing price.

Ask for their specialty

All real estate agents must master the core skills of their trade, but many practitioners eventually develop specialties. For instance, some listing agents might focus on commercial real estate properties, some specialize in condo sales, while others deal exclusively with high-end properties.

In short, you need to find an agent who has extensive experience listing properties like yours. They will have a deeper knowledge of buyers in your segment, and how best to attract them.

How easy are they to reach?

A good listing agent often manages several clients simultaneously, so they may not be always able to take your call. However, they should endeavor to get back to you in a timely manner to address any question you may have. An agent should act as a partner, so they should always be accessible and easy to talk to. Moreover, they should treat all clients equally and should never give special treatment to “VIP” clients.

A network of satisfied customers

Ask for a list of past clients and talk to them about their experience working with this agent. Questions you should ask include how happy they were with the service, how responsive the agent was, how long their property stayed on the market, and how much their property was sold for.

Reputation is paramount among real estate professionals, so if a past client is willing to vouch for an agent, they might be a good fit for you, too.

Selling your home can be quite challenging, whether you have done it before or are doing it for the first time. Luckily, a listing agent can help you through the entire sales process and its complexities.

For expert advice, contact yours truly, Lori Lewandowski, one of the top-performing Tacoma Realtors. Learn more about what I could do for you by calling 253-617-5922 or sending an e-mail to lorilewandowski(at)gmail(dotted)com.