SEVEN SURE-FIRE STRATEGIES TO FIND A SUPER-STAR AGENT
(Adapted from the Seattle Times “Your Money” Section: “How to determine agent who’s best for you”)
Buying or selling a home is big deal! A complex process, it’s fraught with possibilities – both good and bad.
It’s in your best interest to work with the best agent you can find. But how do you actually do that?
I’m glad you asked! Here are seven sure-fire strategies to find the right agent for you.
#1 Talk with the agent’s recent clients.
This is easy if you happen to know them personally. If you don’t, check the agent’s Facebook business page and/or any customer reviews on Zillow.
#2 Check for license and disciplinary action.
Ideally, the agent should have no actions. Occasionally rules are broken because an agent isn’t aware of them (we operate under a very LARGE set of rules). If you find a potential problem situation, ask the agent to explain.
I’ve been licensed as a real estate since 2004, and as a managing broker since 2016, and have had no disciplinary actions.
#3 Ask about professional awards.
Ideally, your agent would receive recognition from their company (if they provide that), their clients, and their peers.
I’ve been blessed to have been recognized for my excellence in the industry as follows:
· Top residential resale broker, 6th largest city in Washington: Kent (2014-year to date)
· Top producer, residential sales, Kent-Covington John L. Scott Office (2012-year to date)
· Seattle Magazine’s “Five Star Best in Client Satisfaction”, multiple years
· Received John L. Scott’s prestigious “Chairman’s Circle Award”, (3 years running)
· Voted “Best Realtor” by the readers of the Covington/Maple Valley/Black Diamond Reporter (2 years)
· Voted “Best Realtor” by the readers of the Kent Report, for the 10th year in 2018
#4 Select an agent with the right credentials
Many agents get licensed, and then simply complete the bare minimum of continuing education.
A great agent invests in their business by learning advanced skills that benefit their clients and belongs to strong professional associations.
· I am a Managing Broker (a step above a “real estate agent”), meaning I have a higher level of skills and experience as dictated by WA State Department of Licensing.
· I am a member of the National Association of Realtors. Not all real estate agents are Realtors, who are held to a higher standard of work and professionalism.
· And I have earned my Certified Residential Specialist designation – an honor held by only 3% of all real estate agents nationwide.
#5 Find out how experienced an agent is
I get it. Everyone has to start sometime in the business. But you don’t want new agents practicing on your purchase or sale … do you? Experience matters. Find an agent with a minimum of five years of experience and experience in the local market you live in (or want to move to).
I have been a licensed real estate agent for 14 years as of October 2018, and I’ve focused almost exclusively on Kent and our surrounding communities. Add to that an additional 19 years of experience in affiliated industries (mortgage, property management, remodeling, and inspection) and you can see that I bring a wealth of knowledge that pays off big time for my clients.
#6 Look at the agent’s current listings and their track record of selling
How is the agent marketing their listings? Do they use high-resolution, professional photography? Video? What is their average days-on-market time? Are they skilled at pricing and presentation, or do they simply follow a “3-P” strategy – put a sign in the ground, put it in the MLS, and pray?
I’m highly skilled at effectively marketing homes for my sellers, and my average days-on-market time is 17 days, including quick-selling median priced homes and longer-selling high-end listings. My sold price versus the listing price is 101.6%, meaning homes I list are selling on average, at or above the list price.
#7 Gauge the agent’s knowledge of the area
Too many agents are willing to drive here, there, and everywhere in a desperate hunt for business. Wouldn’t you rather work with a market expert?
I live and work on the east hill of Kent. That means that I am typically no more than a 20-minute drive to any of my listings.
I transplanted from Seattle where I was raised, and I love this area! My husband & built a house and raised our own four children here. Now I have two grandchildren living in this area. We work, play, and live this in Kent & the surrounding community. It’s ingrained in my DNA!
Of course, there are other measures of an agent’s performance. But these questions should give you an idea for where to start your discussion with a potential agent. Please let me know if there are other questions you need an answer to. I look forward to hearing from you!