Dating your real estate agent
When you’re preparing to sell your home, says Glink, if your agent fails to do a Comparative Market Analysis—a process in which the agent tours your home, looks at homes similar to yours that have sold in the past three to six months, then suggests an asking price—kiss him or her goodbye.“He needs to get a realistic, solid picture of value in your neighborhood,” she says, so you know what your home is truly worth.“If you get something wrong, the seller could be held liable, and you want to be in touch to find out if there’s anything the seller needs to tweak.” Having an ongoing conversation with your agent, Allan adds, could mean the difference between selling within the ideal timeframe of five to seven months, or leaving it to languish on the market.Another sign you might have a dud of an agent on your hands is when he or she signs up for business, then immediately goes on vacation, says Ilyce Glink, a former realtor and author of Buy, Close, Move in! The relationship “really is a conversation,” Allan stresses.You should feel confident your agent is along for the ride and has your best interests at heart. With this in mind, dump any agent who wants to know how motivated you are (insulting) or who trots out the “dog and pony show.” Discussing work processes and the market are important, but patiently assessing your wants and needs will help your agent determine whether you’re on the same page and can work well together.You’ll know your agent’s on the right track, says Allan, when he or she asks these thoughtful questions: What’s your timeframe to buy or sell? Photo Credit: Getty Images Finding a full-time agent is a must in today’s battered market, our experts insist.Photo Credit: Getty Images While you shouldn’t expect your agent to be on call 24/7, he or she should respond to your voicemail and texts in a timely fashion, says Jennifer Allan, a former realtor in the Denver area and author of Sell with Soul.
Another tip-off it’s time to ditch your agent is when you find yourself working a little too closely with the agent’s assistant, instead of the agent his or herself, says Glink.
It’s unfortunate when buyers and sellers get saddled with a self-involved agent who comes off as too busy to care, too arrogant to listen or too eager to coerce you into purchasing a home that you’re just not that into.
Much like a quarterback competing in the season of a lifetime, buyers and sellers depend on their real estate agents to carry them to the playoffs, helping them reap the investment they’re after, or put their hard-earned cash toward the starter home of their dreams.
Anything out of season or smacking of the realtor’s own handiwork (read: not shot by a professional photographer), is a tip-off you need to give your agent the boot.
Photo Credit: Getty Images Tight-fisted lenders have paved a rocky road for anxious homebuyers in the post-recession, which is why it’s so important for buyers to have a financial ally in their agent.
: How to Navigate the New World of Real Estate—Safely and Profitably—and End Up with the Home of Your Dreams. “Selling real estate isn’t a sales job, it’s much more of a management, customer-service job.