Putting a home on the market is one of the most important financial decisions a homeowner will make, but it’s also one of the most stressful. So having a good partner in the form of an agent is crucial to successfully navigating the real estate process.
“An agent will negotiate on a client’s behalf much better than clients are able to negotiate for themselves because sellers are too emotionally invested,” says Brenda Daly, broker-in-charge at United Real Estate Aiken. “Have a qualified professional negotiate on your behalf, with little stress to you.”
With so many agents available, though, how do you find the right one for you? Here are a few questions to ask potential agents during your search, according to Daly.
1. What is your plan to get the highest possible price for my home?
This will give you insight into their strategies and the resources at their disposal to ensure you receive a good return on your investment.
2. What is your negotiation strategy?
You want to choose an agent that can successfully advocate on your behalf without scaring off potential buyers. They need to walk the thin line between being cordial and being strategic in negotiation discussions.
“A common mistake is to lose a buyer by making them upset,” Daly says. “You have to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. When I’m working with buyers, I ask them to reverse the roles. How would you feel if you got this offer? When they say they’d be insulted, I say, ‘Well, you are insulting them.’ ”
3. How would you update or stage my home to appeal to buyers?
“You can tell an agent knows what they’re doing by the staging,” Daly says. “If you have a two-story house with all the bedrooms upstairs, you stage the home for a family because that’s the likely buyer. If it’s a one-story home with no stairs, you stage it for an empty-nester because that’s what they’re looking for. One floor, no stairs.”
A good agent will also suggest removing anything personal and changing décor that dates the home or narrows its appeal to a small niche.
“A lot of sellers resist that,” Daly says. “They say, ‘I like it this way.’ But you’re not the one who’s going to be living there. You want the buyer to like it. So let go and go for neutrality and broad appeal.”
4. Do you have comparable sale prices for nearby homes on hand?
Real estate is a very fluid environment, Daly says. Many, many factors affect prices, including supply and demand. A good agent will have researched the most current sale prices in your listing’s area and will have hard data to back up your asking price and negotiating position.
If you’re looking for an agent to help sell or buy a home in South Carolina, United Real Estate is your local source for experienced real estate professionals. Whether you’re looking to downsize or buy your first home, United Real Estate’s clients are always their first priority.
Call 803-226-0120 or visit UnitedRealEstateAiken.com to learn more. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates.