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Finding the Right Listing Agent to Sell Your Home

You've decided you're ready to sell your home. Congratulations! Now it's time to find a listing agent to guide you through the process. Finding the right listing agent to sell your house is an important decision that can greatly impact the outcome of your home sale. Here are some steps you can take to find the right listing agent.

Don't know where to start? Not sure what makes the perfect agent? We got you! Here is a guide to find the right listing agent for you and your home. 

Step 1: Know WHERE to Look

The first step in finding the right listing agent for a property is to do your research. It's not sexy, but it's so vital in order to make the right decision. Not all agents are created equal, so knowing where to look can help weed out the inferior ones right away. 

There are several places you can go to find a listing agent to sell your house:

Referrals:

Your initial instinct will be to ask family and friends for recommendations. While referrals can be useful (so you know the agent is at least trustworthy), there are some limitations. First, your pool of potential agents is very limited; there are thousands of agents out there and you can only source so many referrals from your network. Second, it can quickly become uncomfortable when you choose NOT to utilize the services of a personal recommendation.  However, asking family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues who have recently sold a home for referrals on listing agents they have worked with and had a good experience with is the traditional way and somewhat antiquated.

Online search:

You may (and should) also search online for agents in your area. You can certainly see many more agents than you would relying purely upon personal recommendations, but it is extremely difficult to know who to believe and trust. The level of due diligence required to sort through all these agents' online reviews, websites, and social media is incredibly tedious. Look up listing agents in your area on real estate websites or search engines. Read reviews from past clients and check their website and social media profiles to see if they have a professional online presence. Look up listing agents in your area and read reviews from past clients. Check their website and social media profiles to see if they have a professional online presence.

Real estate offices:

Visit a local real estate office and ask for recommendations on listing agents who specialize in your area.

Open houses:

Attend open houses in your area and talk to the listing agent. This will give you a chance to meet them in person, see how they interact with potential buyers, and get a sense of their marketing strategy.

Advertising:

Look for advertising by local agents in newspapers, magazines, or online real estate portals. This can give you an idea of the agents who are active in your area.

‍We recommend combining the best of all these worlds. Blending your hunt between targeted, internet searches and recommendations from trustworthy sources is a sound approach.

Interview multiple agents:

Set up interviews with at least three potential listing agents. Ask them questions about their experience, their marketing plan, their communication style, and their fees.

Check their credentials:

Make sure the agent is licensed in your state and has a good track record of sales in your area. You can check with your state's real estate regulatory agency for this information.

Trust your gut:

Choose an agent who you feel comfortable with and who you trust to represent your best interests.

The right listing agent should have a strong track record of success, be knowledgeable about your local market, have excellent communication skills, and be someone you feel comfortable working with.‍

Also remember to do your due diligence and research any potential listing agents thoroughly before making a decision. By taking the time to find the right agent, you can increase your chances of a successful home sale.

Step 2: Make Agents Work for Your Listing

Once you've narrowed down your list of potential agents, it's time to start setting up meetings. This is your chance to get to know the agent and see if they're a good fit for you.

In the old days, this was merely a charade. You might judge an agent by the firmness of their handshake, the consistency of their eye contact, or the confidence of their tone. However, none of those would actually determine their efficacy as a real estate fiduciary. Luckily, nowadays we have much better data to evaluate potential listing agents.

Come prepared for every interview with a list of questions for the agent. Ask them about their past experiences and to cite specific deals they have closed. Have them outline, in detail, their marketing plan to get your home sold to meet your satisfaction. Just as importantly, ask them about the fee structure and if there is any room for negotiation on that front. 

Better yet, ask them to present a tangible strategy for your home sale. Top tier agents will prepare a presentation specifically for you, using comparable sales and their insight. If they are not willing to do so, it is probably a sign they aren't as good as they claim, or they aren't as motivated to deliver for you as you'd want. Pay attention to how well they listen to your needs and answer your questions; you want an agent who is attentive and willing to work with you to get the best results possible. 

To get the most out of your real estate agent, there are several things you can do:

Communicate openly:

Let your agent know your expectations, concerns, and preferences. Be upfront about your timeline, budget, and what you're looking for in a home. Discuss your priorities and concerns with your agent. Be open and honest about what you want and listen to their advice and recommendations.

Be responsive, respond to your agent's calls, texts, and emails promptly. This will help keep the lines of communication open and ensure you don't miss out on any opportunities.

Trust their expertise:

Your agent has the knowledge and experience to guide you through the buying or selling process. Trust their advice and recommendations.

Provide feedback:

Let your agent know what you liked and didn't like about the homes you've seen. This will help them refine their search and find properties that better fit your needs.

Stay engaged:

Attend open houses, property tours, and other events your agent recommends. This will help you stay informed about the market and give you a better understanding of what you're looking for.

Be respectful:

Be respectful of your agent and their work. Remember, they are working hard to help you sell your home and negotiate the best deal for you. Negotiating commission should be a collaborative effort, not a confrontational one. Treat your agent with respect and professionalism. Remember, they are working hard to help you achieve your goals.

By following these tips, you can build a strong working relationship with your real estate agent and get the most out of your home buying or selling experience.

Step 3: Choose the Right Agent for You

After meeting with several potential agents, it's time to choose the right one for you. If you have done a thorough job in the vetting process, you should have an adequate amount of data to compare your options. Plug the numbers they give you into your decision-making formula to calculate the optimal outcome for things you care about most, like final sale price, timeline, and commission structure. 

Look for a good fit:

Choose an agent who you feel comfortable with and who you trust to represent your best interests. Look for an agent who understands your needs, communicates well, and has experience in your target market.

By doing your research and choosing the right agent, you can have a successful and stress-free home buying or selling experience.

Understand the terms:

Read the listing agreement carefully and make sure you understand all the terms and conditions. This includes the length of the agreement, the commission rate, the marketing plan, and any other fees or expenses.

Most homeowners don't know they can negotiate the terms of their listing agreement. Negotiating the terms of your listing agreement is an important step in the home selling process.

Understand the standard commission rate before negotiating, it's important to know what the standard commission rate is in your area. This can vary depending on your location, the type of property, and other factors. Research the standard commission rate in your area before starting the negotiation.

The commission rate to sell a house can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the location, type of property, and local market conditions. The standard commission rate in the United States typically ranges from 5% to 6% of the sale price of the home, with half of the commission going to the listing agent and half going to the buyer's agent.

However, commission rates are negotiable and can vary depending on the services provided by the agent and the specific circumstances of the sale. Some agents may be willing to negotiate a lower commission rate for certain properties or clients.

It's important to remember that the commission rate is not the only factor to consider when choosing a listing agent. You should also consider their experience, marketing plan, and track record of success in your area. Identify your priorities by determining what is most important to you in the agreement, such as a specific sale price or a shorter listing period. Use this information to guide your negotiations.

Ultimately, a fair commission rate is one that reflects the value of the services provided by the agent and is agreed upon by both parties. It's important to discuss commission rates and all other aspects of the listing agreement with your agent before signing the agreement to ensure that you are both on the same page.

The length of a listing agreement can vary, but most agreements are between three and six months. However, some listing agreements may be shorter or longer depending on the circumstances of the sale and the agreement between the seller and the listing agent.

A shorter listing agreement may be appropriate for a seller who wants to test the market or has a unique property that may require more time and effort to sell. A longer listing agreement may be more appropriate for a seller who wants to give their agent more time to market the property or has a property that may take longer to sell due to its location or condition.

It's important to discuss the length of the listing agreement with your agent before signing to ensure that you both have a clear understanding of the expectations and timeline for the sale of your property. Additionally, some listing agreements may include provisions for extending or terminating the agreement if necessary. Be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions of the agreement before signing.

Research the market:

Research the local real estate market and the prices of comparable homes in your area. This will give you an idea of what your home is worth and what you can expect in terms of offers.

Negotiate the terms:

Once you've identified your priorities and done your research, it's time to negotiate the terms of the agreement. Start by making a counteroffer that reflects your priorities and be prepared to compromise if necessary.

Remember, the negotiation process should be a collaborative effort between you and your agent. By being open, honest, and willing to compromise, you can create a listing agreement that works for both you and your agent.

Generally speaking, it is wise to try to remove the emotional factors of a decision so you can make an objective choice. However, ultimately you are selecting a human to entrust with selling your home, so it is perfectly fine to trust your intuition too. Your gut is just another datapoint to consider. So take your time and when you're ready, make your choice.

Negotiating commission with a real estate agent can be a sensitive topic, but there are some strategies you can use to approach the conversation:

Consider the services being offered:

Consider the level of service you expect from your agent and what services they are offering. If you expect more services than what the agent is currently offering, it may be appropriate to negotiate a higher commission rate.

Be open to compromise:

Be open to negotiating a commission rate that works for both you and your agent. If the agent is willing to offer additional services or work with you to sell your home, it may be worth negotiating a higher commission rate.

Get it in writing:

Once you've agreed on a commission rate, make sure it is included in your listing agreement. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and there are no misunderstandings.

Remember, negotiating commission with your agent is a normal part of the home selling process. By being respectful, open to compromise, and getting everything in writing, you can negotiate a commission rate that works for both you and your agent.

Conclusion:

Selling your home is a big decision, so it's important to take the time to find the right listing agent for you and your home. First, decide where to look for an agent. Next, make them propose specifics for your sale. Finally, use the data they provide to make the best decision. With these tips in mind, you should have no problem finding an agent who meets all of your needs and who will help you get the best results possible when selling your home. 

Choosing the right real estate agent is an important decision that can greatly impact the outcome of your home buying or selling experience. If you want to use the latest technology that does all of this for you, check out TrueParity's marketplace platform that puts the top local real estate agents in competition to for your listing.

How TrueParity Works

As a homeowner looking to sell your property, you spend a lot of time guessing which real estate agent would sell your house the best. Asking friends for a referral, doing awkward agent interviews, scouring internet profiles, and reviewing who represented recently sold properties in your area only to find that the perfect listing agent is tough to get a hold of, or worse, would charge high commissions to take on your listing.

But what if you can stop guessing all together?

With TrueParity, You can!

TrueParity brings the best agents to you inside our exclusive marketplace that matches you with professionally vetted real estate agents for homeowners, virtually eliminating the need to hunt for a real estate agent ever again.

Unlike traditional in-network agents, agents compete for your listing and put their best foot forward, giving your property the time and attention it deserves to be marketed properly and sold for the highest value. Allowing you to make a decision with confidence from anywhere without ever needing to leave your house.

Reviewing and accepting a proposal to list your house is as easy as clicking a button. Once you’ve accepted a listing proposal your new agent will get in touch with you and start working on selling your property.

Getting access to TrueParity’s marketplace is easy and free for homeowners. Just enter some basic information like your name, email, phone number, and address and our system will take care of the rest. We also have a team of advisors you can call anytime to help get you up and running on TrueParity's marketplace. Once you're onboard you'll get access to our exclusive marketplace filled with the best agents ready to help you sell your house.

No matter your real estate experience. TrueParity is your first step to getting your home sold and getting the most value out of your home.

TrueParity helps homeowners get the best outcome when it's time to sell a house. We're the only marketplace that connects homeowners who are looking to sell their house with a network of vetted top real estate agents. We've created a more efficient and fair system by having homeowners discreetly signaling they’re ready to sell and giving only the best local agents access.

We help you get the most value possible in a simple and seamless way. And best of all, there are zero fees for sellers and no obligation to accept proposals that don't work for you.

Traditionally, a seller will meet only one agent before signing a listing agreement. We believe seller should treat their listing like a valuable asset and find the best agent for the job. TrueParity empowers sellers to engage with multiple agents and select the best agent at any point.

The quickest and fastest way to use TrueParity is:

1) As a seller, create a post
2) Real Estate Agents send you proposals to list your house
3) You accept the best proposal

Seller Dashboard

Simple 3-Step Process!

Step-by-step path

Sellers have the option to schedule agent interviews and walkthroughs before accepting a proposal.

For more skin-in-the-game agents can offer cash up front for the right to list the property. The seller keeps the cash whether the house sells or not.

Example of a full proposal from an agent:

Accepting a proposal is the same as selecting an agent and its a huge win for both the homeowner and the real estate agent!

Proposal from a Top Real Estate Agent


How to Calculate Home Value: A Beginner's Guide

If you’re a homeowner, at some point you’ve wondered “What is my home worth?” Knowing your home’s value is important for many reasons. Perhaps you’re thinking of selling and want to know how much equity you have in your home. Maybe you’re refinancing your mortgage and need to know how much your home has increased in value since you purchased it. Or maybe you just want to keep tabs on your biggest asset! Whatever the reason, calculating your home’s value doesn’t have to be complicated. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll show you how to estimate your home’s worth in three simple steps.

1. Establish a Baseline

The first step is to establish a general benchmark for your home value. (Don’t worry — you’ll refine it later in the process). To do this, you need to find comparable homes in your area that have recently sold. The market can change fairly quickly, so the more recent the sale the more relevant it will be. NOTE: While homes sold within the last three months are the best guides, we also recommend reviewing sales that occurred in the last 6/12/24 months to get a general sense of what direction values are trending over time.

Restrict your pool to home sales within your neighborhood or zip code. The closer the proximity to your home (like your street or block), the better the greater accuracy. Location is a huge factor in home values, so be honest about which “nearby” homes to include in your assessment.

For your baseline, you must also take into account a couple basic details about comparable properties. The year a home is built, the square footage, and the number of bedrooms/bathrooms are the most obvious components. Often, a price-per-square-foot calculation can be a handy tool.

Besides finding comparable sales yourself, you can also use one of the many numerous home value calculators online. Myriad companies offer valuation tools (like Zillow or Chase) that will automate the process for you. Taking advantage of modern technologies is always a wise move, given all the calculus that goes into a solid valuation!

2. Adjust for Nuances

Once you have a baseline value (or range) you’re ready to dial it further. Your home is naturally going to have differences from every other home in your neighborhood; you need to take those into consideration now.

The main element to assess is the condition of your home. Things like damage, pests, mold, electrical or plumbing issues, and similar can all negatively impact your potential home value. If you don’t want that, you must immediately seek to address those and make any necessary repairs to restore the overall condition. On the other hand, if you have previously made any substantial improvements to your property then those will likely increase the valuation of your home.

Other considerations are often missed by the baseline number derived from comparable sales and online calculators. Does your home have a killer view, or are there telephone wires blocking your backyard? Are there nearby highways or train tracks that provide an undesirable amount of ambient noise? Does your home have direct access to something extraordinary (e.g. a hiking trail or golf course)? These are all factors you ought to take into account now; a potential buyer sure will later.

3. Validate with Experts

The third and final step is to take your refined valuation and put it to the test. You need expert analysis to validate your calculation with real world experience.

Luckily, almost every legitimate real estate agent is happy to provide you with a free consultation. If you seek one — or multiple — out they can quickly run their own valuation model on your specific property. They can also provide you with additional insight on where the market might be heading, which is another useful piece of knowledge for homeowners.

What do they get out of it? A chance to impress you with their professionalism and knowledge; so you’d want to award them your listing should you decide to sell. (At TrueParity elite listing agents all provide this assessment up front for homeowners, for free). This is a small “price” to pay for confirmation of what your home is worth.

Summary

By following these three simple steps — establishing a baseline valuation through comparable home sales, adjusting for the specifics of your property, and fact checking against the insight of an actual real estate agent — you can get a clear idea of what your home is worth. So whether you’re thinking about selling, refinancing, or just curious, now you know how to accurately calculate your home value.

Like this article? Share it with someone who might want to calculate their home’s value.

Link to Home Value Calculator

Link to Home Sale Net Sheet Calculator