Choosing the right real estate agent is essential if you want to get the maximum value for your home, but not every agent is ideal for every homeowner. You need to plan ahead, speak with multiple agents, and do your research. Most importantly, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for in an agent. Today we’re going to help you understand the fundamentals of how to find a good real estate agent.
1. Decide if You Actually Need a Los Angeles Real Estate Agent
Before we get into the specifics of how to find a good real estate agent, we must assess whether an agent is right for you in the first place. If you’re looking to get the maximum value for your home, you should absolutely work with an agent. They can assess the total market value, list your home on the MLS, host open houses, and make certain that the home is aggressively negotiated and sold to a qualified buyer.
However, if you’re looking to sell your home quickly and easily, you might want to forgo the Realtor option and sell directly to a real estate investment company. This option is ideal for:
- Sellers who have limited time to sell
- Sellers who require extensive home repairs (since investors gladly buy homes as-is) and
- Sellers who don’t want to deal with the headaches of listing a home, negotiating with buyers, making repairs and improvements, and enduring multiple inspections.
When you sell to an investor, you simply receive an offer and accept your check. The whole process can take as little as 7 days.
If the latter option sounds appealing, we invite you to contact us for a hassle-free offer. We buy houses in Los Angeles for cash and the whole process is quick, simple, and hassle-free. You pay no commission fees or closing costs, and our offers are highly competitive.
If you prefer to go with a Realtor, keep reading…
2. Compare as Many Options as You Can
Large real estate brokerage firms spend a fortune on advertising and search engine optimization. As you research your options, you may see the same firms and agents pop up repeatedly. This doesn’t automatically mean that they’re your best options; it usually just means that they’ve spent the most money to get your attention. Don’t be fooled.
If you truly want to find your ideal Realtor, you have to compare a variety of options. There’s nothing wrong with exploring the most prominent options, but make sure also to look beyond page 1 of Google and give the less obvious agents a chance as well. You may find that your best agent is waiting for you under the radar.
But how do you know which one is your “best agent”? That leads us to our next point.
3. Read Unbiased Reviews
When comparing real estate agents, you should always read the testimonials and reviews on their website—but don’t stop there. Agents will post reviews that are favorable to their business, and sometimes the endorsements you’re seeing are actually paid advertisements. That means you’re not getting the full picture.
As part of your research, make sure to explore third-party review sites as well. Sites like Zillow and Yelp can give you a more complete idea of who you’re working with. Remember that the presence of a few negative reviews doesn’t necessarily mean that the agent is bad news. Look to see if the agent responds to negative reviews and makes an effort to rectify any mistakes. And be sure to consider the overall trend of customer satisfaction rather than zeroing in on one or two glowing or scathing reviews.
4. Consider Their Experience
Start at the agent’s website. If they have a blog that showcases their recent home sales, review it carefully. You may also find this information on their social media profiles. Look at their “About Us” page, and take note of their education, major successes, and years in business. If positive accolades are in short supply, this may be an indication that you should keep looking.
As part of your research, you might contact the California Department of Real Estate and confirm the agent’s licensure. You can also inquire about any regulatory actions or consumer complaints.
5. Get to Know Them Personally
It’s not enough to simply read about an agent online. Before you can decide if they’re right for your home sale, you’ll need to call them or schedule an in-person appointment. Come prepared with a selection of questions.
You’ll want to gauge how knowledgeable they are about the L.A. real estate market, how they handle real estate transactions from start to finish, and whether they have extensive experience with homes like yours. Ask them about their fees, and see if they can provide you with case studies. The more you learn about them, the more confidently you can proceed.
6. Ask the #1 Most Important Question
When getting to know a real estate agent, there’s one question that should be emphasized above all others: How are you going to sell my home?
Think of it like a job interview. You’re trying to discover how this agent can sell your home more effectively and with a better outcome than all of the other agents you’re interviewing. Ask the agent to be specific. They should provide you with a detailed strategy for a swift, streamlined listing process that yields the best possible return.
7. Weigh Your Options & Make Your Decision
Once you’ve finished your research and conducted all of your agent interviews, it’s time to make your final decision. When weighing your options, keep the following points in mind:
- You may find that the best agent is not the cheapest. But as tempting as it may be to go with the bargain agent offering the 1.5% commission or the flat rate fee (as opposed to the industry-standard 3% commission), remember that you get what you pay for.
- It’s important to pay close attention to the general vibes you receive from an agent. Do you really feel like they’re on your team and committed to your goals, or are they just trying to make a buck off you?
- Remember that time is money. If a Realtor estimates a 3-month listing period, that’s three months for which you’ll be responsible for mortgage payments, utilities, and other essential household expenses that may reduce your overall profit long-term. That’s just one reason why many homeowners are opting to sell to a real estate investor as opposed to a traditional buyer.
If you ultimately decide that a traditional home sale isn’t for you, or if you’re looking to weigh every possible option, we invite you to contact Get Fair Home Offers. We buy homes in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, and we make no-hassle cash offers in as little as 24 hours.
Best of all, your home can close in as little as 7 to 10 days. That means less time investing in costly maintenance and less overall hassle. We charge no commission fees, and in many cases, we can even cover the closing costs.
Contact us today to get the painless process rolling.