If you’ve made the important decision to sell your home, you’ll want to be sure you have the very best guide by your side. A top real estate agent helps navigate through the home selling process, keeping it simple and easy. They have the best skills and experience for helping avoid costly mishaps, or even worse - legal trouble when selling your home. Most importantly, a leading real estate agent fights to get you top dollar for your home.
So, what’s the secret to choosing the best real estate agent?
What's The Job Of A Listing Agent?
The first step in selecting a top real estate agent is understanding their roles and responsibilities. By knowing this information, you can establish realistic expectations of the job entailed. This can also help you discover if a listing agent has any specializations and how they differentiate themselves.
The job of a listing agent is to represent the homeowner throughout the many phases of the selling process. From the beginning, the agent coordinates the process of taking listing photos and aids in accurately pricing the home for the current market conditions. They can even help with advice on how to get the home market-ready.
Once the home hits the market, an agent will organize any open houses and further schedule the private showings. A listing agent is also responsible for receiving and distilling the offers into terms that their client fully understands. Lastly, following an accepted offer, the agent assists throughout the closing process to ensure a successful final transaction.
Why Is It Important To Choose A Listing Agent Who's Experienced?
When vetting the best listing agent, it comes as no surprise that experience is the most common prerequisite. However, a seasoned real estate agent doesn’t always equate to the number of years worked in the industry. Instead, the experience of an agent correlates more to the number of real estate transactions completed.
On average, most real estate agents complete just 3-5 transactions per year. At Felix Homes, each of our agents close between 3-5 transactions every month. The increased exposure to more offers and sales provides a wealth of experience to our agents. It also allows them to detect and avoid costly mistakes that others could easily overlook.
Another key element of an experienced listing agent is that they have a thorough understanding of today’s market. Whether the market favors the seller or buyer, your agent serves as your guide for navigating the ropes. They’ll help you set a fair list price, and even advise on when to accept or hold off on received offers.
Why Is It Important To Choose The Right Real Estate Listing Agent?
Days on the market
Contrary to popular belief, selling a home in one day or even a couple of hours may not be good. While a great listing agent should always work to sell the home in a timely manner, selling it too quickly can mean you left money on the table. In a competitive seller’s market, we aim to have a listing on the market for 4-5 days to gain as much exposure as possible yielding the best offers. The right real estate agent understands the market and provides insight on demand. You can even say that selling a home is comparable to an auction. Oftentimes, by holding off on accepting first-day offers, you open the opportunity for a potential bidding war to begin between buyers.
Even when the market is in favor of the sellers, you can likely count on the buyer requesting to complete a home inspection. An experienced agent negotiates the terms of the inspection. For example, a “pass/fail” home inspection is when the buyer completes the inspection, and if passed, doesn’t ask for any repairs. In this situation, they are agreeing to buy the house in “as-is" condition. Likewise, if they deme the inspection to fail due to a major, unforeseen issue, they can void the contract and get their earnest money back.
Closing date and occupancy
An experienced real estate agent understands the importance of the closing and occupancy dates. The dates are especially critical when a seller is planning to have a double closing. A double closing occurs when a seller closes on their current and new home within the same day. In these circumstances, a listing agent can help you avoid the same-day madness and negotiate for a few extra days to move out after closing.
Setting a list price
Choosing a fair and accurate list price is one of the most important reasons to pick an experienced real estate agent. The asking price can determine if the home sits long on the market and becomes a stale listing. In the same way, too low of a listing price can be the reason you miss out on selling your home for the highest price. A great agent understands the current market conditions of supply and demand in order to help you set the most desirable price. The best agents even provide their clients with a comparative market analysis comprised of information on nearby properties that recently sold.
Tips on getting your home market-ready
Before even placing your home on the market, you’ll want to be sure it looks its best. Real estate agents provide tips and recommendations on how best to showcase a home. Even a simple DIY renovation or day spent organizing can help to get top dollar for a property. An experienced agent has more exposure to current trends and market demands, therefore, you will know the input they give is relevant. They can also provide staging advice useful for achieving beautiful, magazine-quality listing photos.
Proven marketing strategy
Advertising is a significant factor in selling a home quickly and for the most money. Agents with experience in the industry will have a proven marketing strategy in place. They will use the power of targeted advertising to get your listing in front of the right buyers. Oftentimes, they also utilize various social media channels to further push the promotion. Ask your agent what they consider to be their competitive advantage. After all, you’ll want to be sure they can stand out from the rest.
Navigating the closing process
The real fun begins once the offers come pouring in! However, navigating through each offer is not always as straightforward. A seasoned real estate agent will refine and distill each offer received into understandable terms for the client. They will also handle all aspects of the negotiation, ensuring to maintain a positive and professional demeanor. You should always feel confident in accepting any offer. You should also know upfront what you’ll receive after closing costs and realtor commissions. At Felix Homes, our top-qualified agents commit to a 1% listing commission instead of charging 3% to sell a home.
Ask for references and check out online reviews
An easy way to determine if an agent is a right fit for you is by talking to their prior clients. A well-trusted and experienced agent will have no problem providing a list of references. Some of the best agents will even provide past client testimonials, which can be one of the most credible sources of feedback. Additionally, it’s always best to conduct your own research. Check online to see if any reviews are available. If no reviews are showing, it could be an indicator that the agent is just starting off and hasn’t worked with many clients yet.
How Has The Job Of A Real Estate Seller’s Agent Gotten More Efficient?
It’s easier to accurately price homes
Nowadays, all home sales and transactions are available online. This readily available data makes it easier than ever for a listing agent to complete a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and price a home accurately. Additionally, the multiple listing service (MLS) allows for an agent to quickly access relative and recent neighborhood property sales for simple price comparisons. A great agent shares this information with their client when determining the listing price.
Electronic signature platforms
Real estate agents are no longer having to track down their clients in person to obtain a signature on a contract or document. Now, thanks to electronic signature platforms, processes advance more efficiently with the simple click of a button. This effective technological solution saves listing agents a tremendous amount of time and aids in promptly sealing many real estate deals.
Since The Job Of A Listing Agent Has Gotten More Efficient, Why Do They Still Make Such A Large Commission?
The traditional commission model reflects a 6% commission rate of which 3% is paid to the listing agent and 3% is offered to a buyer’s agent. Most agents will not deny that 3% of the sales price is a significant amount of money. In Nashville, it’s not uncommon for an agent to make $15,000 or more from a single transaction. That said, the average earnings for a real estate agent in Tennessee is only $45,960 according to Forbes so where does all of the money go? Since real estate agents must work within a brokerage by law, that 3% is often divided. Most traditional brokerages have a franchise-style business model, which automatically splits the commission between the agent and brokerage. Furthermore, most traditional real estate agents are independent contractors, not employees meaning a large portion of the remaining commission goes towards various marketing expenses, operational costs, and taxes.
Felix Homes operates under a completely different approach that is favorable to the client and agent. Since we aren’t a franchise, we avoid the expensive licensing fees to advertise someone else’s brand. Our agents aren’t 1099 contractors, but rather W-2 employees of the firm who commit to delivering exceptional service, and are paid a salary instead of relying solely on commissions. By implementing these practices, our agents can provide the utmost, best real estate service for just a 1% commission rate.
About Felix Homes
At Felix Homes, we have one simple mission (okay, maybe two): To offer the lowest commission brokerage services in middle Tennessee and to be the most financially responsible way to buy or sell your home.
Our secret recipe? We give our services a modern perspective. We charge a low commission fee on both the buy and sell side of the transaction and work with a tech-enabled approach to cut unnecessary costs. At Felix Homes, we offer a different business model when compared to traditional brokerages. See for yourself.
What makes us stand out? Our full-time employees specialize in specific tasks such as marketing, finance, photography, technology, and of course, real estate—no independent contractor agents, which translates into personalized services throughout.
And hey, don’t be mistaken, a discounted price doesn’t mean a discounted service. Our agents focus on your needs and ensure you keep an average of $8,100 in your pocket after selling your home using our low commission model.
No need to pinch yourself, our savings are very real.