The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home in 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home in 2023

  • Grace Tsang
  • 02/9/23

If you’re looking to sell your home in 2023 choosing the right real estate agent can make all the difference in securing a successful outcome. With the current real estate market constantly shifting, it's crucial to choose a seasoned professional who can navigate the complexities and help you reach your desired results. This Ultimate Guide provides you with the essential insights and information you need to select the right agent and empower yourself to take the first step toward a smooth and successful home sale.

The right agent will…

1. Ask The Right Questions and Manage Your Expectations

When starting the preliminary process of listing your home for sale, it’s common to have questions. However, it’s integral that your potential agent has questions for you, too.

Let’s say you’re calling around and exploring your options while looking for a real estate agent. You may speak to several agents throughout the day, each with their own set of specialties and principles. Each may give you their opinion and thoughts on your home and your situation, sight unseen. After a while, they all may start to sound the same, and differentiating between them becomes difficult.

And it should. You don’t know any of these people and they don’t know you, your home, or your goals. Yet!

The right agent will set themselves apart by becoming actively interested in getting to know you and your home with the intention of building a relationship of trust and understanding. They’ll answer your questions and have many of their own for you. They likely won’t even advise you on potential numbers or a plan of action until they’ve met you and experienced your home in person, which is the right thing to do! Your home is as unique as you are and a one-size-fits-all real estate strategy simply won’t do.

When you do finally meet this agent in person, take note of their communication skills and how they carry themselves. After all, this person is potentially representing you and your family in what could be one of the largest financial transactions of your life. They should be confident in their expertise and ability to help you achieve the result you want with real statistics they can cite to support themselves.

In addition to this, they should also manage your expectations as a seller. A good agent should present you with all of the options that are available to you and help you choose the best one. It’s your agent’s responsibility and their ultimate goal to get you the highest price possible in a timeframe that works for you. That being said, be wary of agents willing to promise you record-breaking prices or overnight sales. The current market is turbulent and constantly changing. Agents that are willing to overpromise just for the sake of getting you to sign a contract, often under-deliver.

What kind of questions should my real estate agent be asking?

2. Be a Selling Agent, Not a Buying Agent

The majority of residential real estate agents have two types of clients: buyers and sellers. While both types of clients are seeking someone experienced and knowledgeable to help them navigate their transaction, sellers need to be particularly mindful of their agent’s strengths and their ability to successfully close a sale.

While many people carry the same professional titles, they all have different sets of strengths and respective specialties. The same can be said for real estate agents. When selling your home and selecting a real estate agent, you need to be looking for someone whose speciality is exactly that - selling!

A successful selling agent will have extensive expertise in pricing, marketing, and negotiating real estate, setting you up for a smooth transaction from the get-go. Their experience will prove valuable throughout the process of your transaction and will save you headaches and problems such as mispricing your property, presenting your listing in a bad way, failing to present your properties best features, or unsuccessful negotiations.

Bonus Tip: Successful selling agents are generally very hands-on. You communicate with them directly and they get to know your potential buyers and follow up with them personally. They keep their finger on the pulse of your transaction and don’t outsource their duties to you to other more inexperienced agents on their team.

What else should you be looking out for when selecting a real estate agent?

3. Be On Your Side. Always.

It goes without saying that when you hire a real estate agent to sell your home, you’re looking for someone that will work for you, not against you. Throughout the process, you will come across situations and instances where you’ll need to rely on your agent and their expertise to guide you. This is where finding someone that is trustworthy and reliable will make the difference between a successful transaction and a disappointing one.

Too often, homeowners hire agents that actually work against them. They may scare you into accepting an offer that is too low or negotiate against you just for the sake of a sale. This results in a potential loss of profit and puts you in a negative situation as you move forward into your next phase of life without the house.

As a homeowner, you want to be able to trust your agent and trust that the things they advise you on are best for your situation. The right agent will be trustworthy and never pressure you into accepting an offer or deviating from a plan that you know works best for you and your family.

How can I tell if my real estate agent is on my side?

4. Be Aware of The Current Market and Mindfully Watching For Trends

It’s no secret that the current real estate market in 2023 is turbulent. Things are constantly changing and we watch as interest rates rise and fall from week to week. Many people are holding onto their homes cautiously right now even if they want to sell, simply because they’re unaware of the changing trends we’re experiencing.

Now more than ever, your selling agent needs to be aware of the market and on top of local market trends, not national ones. National trends are generalized and often delayed. Instead, the focus should be on your immediate neighbors that are relevant to your home. The truth of the situation is that home sales have not stopped and in many places like San Jose and Silicon Valley, California (where I conduct my business) we are still experiencing record low inventory and the market is starved of good listings. And when the market finally does get those listings, they sell.

Last weekend (January 2023) I hosted an open house for one of my listings and took a time lapse video of the foot traffic, which you can view on my Linkedin here. I had over 60 potential buyers walk through the property in one weekend.

Update for June 2023 - Inventory this year is a stubborn 20-30% below last year's level. Because supply is low, and demand is high despite higher interest rates, prices are holding steady in the Bay Area. However, unlike the market we have seen in the past 10 years where trends are mainly consistent for the whole market, currently different neighborhoods, different price points, and different types of property (e.g. single-family homes, townhomes, condos) are all behaving a little differently.

Every week when news hits about new layoffs, debt ceiling discussions, and job numbers changing new challenges are added to this already uncertain market. It is not an easy market to navigate! If you are looking to buy or sell a home this year, it is more important than ever that you talk to an active, experienced agent who is having success in the current market to assist you.

How to pick the right real estate agent to sell your home in 2023.

5. Have a Strong Network

Have you ever heard the saying, “Your Network is Your Net Worth”? When you hire a real estate agent, their network greatly influences your potential net worth. In addition to having connections with other real estate agents who can bring you interested and qualified buyers, the right agent will have contacts for you for almost anything home related.

Having a strong network is not only a sign of experience, but also of someone who is personable, successful, and enjoyable to work with. All of which are traits you should be looking for in your real estate agent.

On the practical side, it’s not uncommon for homes to need small repairs and maintenance done before they hit the MLS. Often, it can be a hassle and incredibly time-consuming to contact vendors on your own. Now you’ve got to go through a quote process, get on their schedule, wait for the work to be done, face an inevitable delay, and all of the sudden it’s a month later and your home is still not listed for sale.

When your real estate agent has a strong network for you to rely on, these small repairs and maintenance issues around the house become trivial. The vendors are already familiar with your agent, you’ll likely get a better price, and they understand the urgency of time to market and getting the work done efficiently. Plus, you don’t need to invite someone random into your home. Great listing agents have very high standards and do not tolerate mediocrity and hence they don't work with subpar vendors.

You can trust these vendors because you can trust your real estate agent.

Knowing what to look for and how to select the right real estate agent to sell your home in our evolving market is crucial to ensuring a smooth sale. It's essential to work with an agent who is invested in understanding your unique situation, has a successful track record, and above all, is someone you can trust. Throughout this guide we’ve taken a deep dive into the traits and characteristics you should be looking for in a potential agent and I hope the knowledge provided here can empower you to be confident that you’re making the right choice when the time comes.

Still have questions about selecting the right real estate agent or want to learn more? I’ve created this free downloadable checklist that you use as you evaluate agents to ultimately select the right one for you and your home.

Click here to download The Ultimate Selling Agent Checklist: The Secret to Selling Your Home in Today’s Market

Work With Grace

Described by her peers and clients as energetic, smart, determined and compassionate, Grace always goes above and beyond to make sure her clients have an enjoyable real estate experience. She has consistently outperformed her peers and has been a frequent member of the prestigious Intero President's Circle.

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