In last month’s issue, I gave you part one to this segment which was called, “How to make sure you hire the realtor who’s right for you.” The first two are: a willingness to meet you where you are and contract and negotiating expertise. I’ll give you the last 3 suggestions in this article.

3. Local knowledge. Your agent should have local expertise and knowledge that will put you in the best position to pocket the most equity when you sell your home. If they’re lacking in this area, you’re at risk of leaving money on the table. They should know what buyers expect from homes like yours and how your specific subdivision is performing in order to put your home in a winning position. This can especially come in handy during the appraisal stage. Sometimes the listing agent needs to help the appraiser by providing COMPS (comparable homes that have recently sold) to justify the contract price that you and a buyer have agreed to. Some appraisers will refuse this gesture but others will welcome the help and enter into a detailed discussion with the listing agent. Your realtor needs to know the local area, down to the specifics of the comps, in order to suggest the right list price to you and have an intelligent conversation with the appraiser.

4. Communication. Through the course of a 35 to 45 day closing time-frame I’ll have 30 to 40 separate tasks that require my attention. These tasks include updating my clients; making sure paperwork is filled out, filed correctly and collected in a timely manner; touching base with co-op agents, title companies, lenders, inspectors and appraisers; and staying aware of deadlines. A lot of this communication is done behind-the-scenes, meaning that my clients aren’t directly involved in most of it. This means that agents who don’t have administrative mindsets or skills (or hire someone to handle these tasks for them) won’t score high in this area. That leaves you susceptible to important items falling through the cracks and it can hurt your equity as a result. The right level of communication requires more than updating clients on a regular basis. It’s also about being proactive and taking preventative measures to reduce problems.

5. Quality experience. You can do something for 30 years but that doesn’t mean you’ve been doing it right. I spend a lot of my time studying our contracts, reading law case studies, asking questions, reading books, and furthering my real estate education so I can represent my clients to the best of my ability. I never stop learning. Some are arrogant enough to think they know everything because they’ve been in the business for a long time. Look at their reviews and references before you hire them. A professional who has a great reputation and a handful of years under their belt means they have quality experience vs. just holding a license for years. There’s an important difference there.

Josh Hayles | 409.739.7709 |