When you sell your home, you pay the same amount of commission regardless of the listing agent you choose. It's important to find the best listing agent possible because your agent can negotiate a higher sales price, smooth over appraisal and inspection issues, reduce your liability, and make the entire process much smoother for you. So if you have the choice between an agent who's fresh out of real estate school or an agent with a proven track record, it should be a no brainer as to which one you should hire. With 14 years of experience selling homes in Charleston, I've put together a list of the most important questions to ask and also the answers I would look for if I were in your shoes.
Question: How long have you worked in real estate here?
Answer: If I were a seller, I would want my listing agent to have at least 4 years of experience. I would also want to make sure this experience was in my local market. We often see real estate agents who relocate to Charleston and continue their careers here. These agents might have great experience with contracts and negotiating, but they don't know the Charleston area well enough to give good advice on issues that can affect a home's long term value such as insurance, flood zones, schools, buyer trends, and neighborhoods that are seeing a mass exit due to the extension of Interstate 526. In short, local experience matters when selling your home in Charleston.
Question: How many properties do you close per year?
Answer: At least 12 (unless the agent specializes in high end sales, where as I would want to see at least 5 deals a year since million dollar plus sales require more work and time). This might seem like a bold question to those of you who are not in the real estate world, but agents in this business use production numbers constantly. It's part of our business model, our annual work goals, and our ways of growing our business. For a seller, this question helps to separate the part-timers from the real estate agents who are dedicated to the listings they take. Simply put, successful agents yield successful listings, and you want your listing to be as successful as possible if you're paying him/her 3% commission.
Question: How do you market your listings?
Answer: Marketing should be a mix of strategies because - in all honesty - we never know exactly what's going to be the thing that sells a listing. Sometimes we get a call off the sign we place in your yard, and that call turns into the buyer. Sometimes it's a conversation with another agent in our office about our new listing that results in a contract. Other buyers come from our company Caravan meetings, our Keadle Group team of agents, or a phone call we make to agents who are currently showing similar homes. It's also possible (but rare) for a buyer to come from an open house or social media post. The most important part of this answer are simply that the agent has an organized marketing plan that works for him/her. (Every agent is going to market slightly differently, and there's no one right strategy to sell a home. This why you've already asked whether it works using the production numbers.) You also want to make sure that the plan gives the maximum exposure possible. Agents should target local buyers, out of town buyers, and other agents through outlets such as email, social media, signs, newspapers, their personal website, phone calls, and within their real estate office.
Sell Your Charleston Home with The Keadle Group
We'd be happy to answer these questions for you and also sit down to talk specifically about your home. Charleston is the market we know and love, so we're happy to share our insight on pricing, MLS comps for current and recently sold listings, strengths and weaknesses of your particular home, and ways that we can get you top dollar for your home! Call us at (800) 804-2187 or contact us through our website!