Real Estate Perspectives
November 02, 2018 | Suzanne Powers

Wise Sellers: 9 Tips for Finding the Best Listing Agent for Your Home

How do you find the best Real Estate Agent to sell Your home? We show you how to find your neighborhoods top producer.
Wise Sellers: 9 Tips for Finding the Best Listing Agent for Your Home

Wise Sellers: 9 Tips for Finding the Best Listing Agent for Your Home

Selecting a skilled listing agent to sell your home will be one of the most important financial decisions you make in your life. If you are like most Americans, you will do this only three times in your life and each time will be important in helping you achieve your financial goals.

Most homeowners are confused about whom to call, whom to meet with, and then whom to select to sell their home. The list of top-performing listing agents is difficult to find, and agents are often perceived as being “all the same.” Therefore, choosing an agent is often done with little-to-no research.  More than 70% of sellers only interview one agent and almost never request references.

Considering what is riding on your decision, your selection process is very important, especially as we enter the Milwaukee market for 2019 when I expect we’ll experience a very different market.   

I am hoping this helpful checklist will help you become an informed consumer when it comes to selecting an agent to sell your home and help you navigate the complex world of Milwaukee Real Estate:

1. Pay Attention to Local Real Estate Yard Signs

2. Nothing Beats Experience

3. Go Hyperlocal

4. Seller Beware: Teams vs. Individual Agents

5. Additional Services Count

6. Request References

7. Check Ethics Complaints and Violations

8. Integrity

9. Your Best Interests

1. Pay Attention to Local Real Estate Yard Signs

Whose name is on the “NAME RIDER” below the sign?

Find the top listing agents (agents with the most experience selling homes vs. assisting with buying homes) in your area by checking out the neighborhood yard signs. Who is listing those properties? The listing agents are the names hanging on the name riders below the yard signs. Whose NAME is on the name rider? That is the listing agent. Those are the listing agents in your area, and they are whom you should call to interview.  

2. Nothing Beats Experience

“If they haven’t been in business five years, they’re learning on you and that’s not good.”

-Robert Irwin, author of “Tips & Traps for Negotiating Real Estate”

When you call them to set up a listing appointment (aka interview), find out how long the agent has been a real estate agent. Are they also a licensed broker? How many homes have they listed and sold in their career in your price-point? This track record is especially important in the luxury market where there may be only two or three true expert listers for your home. This is common in Milwaukee.

Also, find out if the listing agent was selling real estate in 2007 and 2008. This is an important question as we head into a changing housing market for 2019. Pick someone who has been a listing agent through a recession. This is especially important if you are selling a luxury property.

3. Seller Beware: TEAM or INDIVIDUAL AGENT?

There is a BIG difference in teams vs. a singular skilled agent. Larger real estate teams often have the team leader attend the listing appointment or interview, sell you on the “team” concept, and then assign your home to a less-experienced junior agent on the team. This can be a bit of a bait-and-switch.

Who you interview should be your trusted advisor and point person for all showings, feedback, open houses, and negotiations. Experience along with trust and chemistry are important as you will be spending quite a bit of time with the agent. So, if who you are interviewing is NOT the person who will be handling the marketing and sale of your home, interview the agent the team leader is assigning to your house. You’ll want to ensure this agent has experience in selling homes in your price point and your community. Be vigilant in your interviewing process. How many years they have been an agent should be your first question, followed by how many transactions they have done.

4. Additional Services Count

Staging, Marketing Professionals, Cleaning Services, Contractors, Photographers, etc. Not only does it take an experienced listing agent to sell a home, it takes a team of experts behind the agent who provide very specialized home services to help get the best price for a home. From home staging experts to photographers to marketing pros, when you interview an agent, be sure to ask about the services they provide and what’s included in their fee and the experience of the people providing those services. 

5. Request References

Request three recent references from the agent and specify they are/were homeowners in your neighborhood. The references should be similar properties, in a similar price-point, under similar circumstances.

6. Check Ethics Complaints and Violations

Check with the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors to see if any of the agents you’re interviewing have had any violations or warnings against their real estate license. They are easily contacted at:

7. Integrity

Probably the most important quality. What is your overall impression of the agent? Are they honest and respectful? Do they speak well of others, including competitive agents? Have they dressed for success for your interview? Have they brought a resume? Impressions count. How Realtors appear and behave is VERY important, as we are representing you and your home to potential buyers. and the more professional we are, the more likely others will want to do business with us. How the agents treat you in the interview is how they will treat your potential buyer.

8. Your Best Interests

Experience? They’ve got it. Local? Yep. Violations? Clean slate. Respectable and professional? Yes. So, if you still have a decision to make, the final thing to look for is their interest in your best interests. Do they have them at heart? Do they ask you about your goals? Do they listen when you tell them what’s important to you? Do they respond with a plan customized for you? Are they passionate about the opportunity to sell your home, and is it genuine? Yes? You’ve found your agent. No? Keep looking—don’t be afraid to continue to interview additional agents until you find the right one for your goals.               

Real Estate has been my passion for more than 15 years. I’d love to be one of the agents you consider in your interview process. I have perfected the systems that have successfully closed more than 1000 transactions and can help you achieve your goals. I hope you have enjoyed the blog. Thank you for taking the time to stop here and read a bit about Milwaukee Real Estate. Happy Selling, Milwaukee!

Experience a seamless home selling and buying process with Powers Realty, Milwaukee’s trusted local experts for over 2 decades. Our tailored approach ensures optimal results. Contact me today to discuss your home needs.

Recent Blog Posts on Real Estate Perspectives

Real Estate Perspectives

May 09, 2024 | Suzanne Powers

Compensation Changes in Real Estate: Insights from the NAR Settlement

Real Estate Perspectives

May 09, 2024 | Suzanne Powers

Whitefish Bay Top Real Estate Team | Powers Realty Group

Real Estate Perspectives

May 09, 2024 | Suzanne Powers

The New Norm for Buyer’s in Residential Real Estate

Powers Realty Group is a distinctive boutique real estate broker focused on the needs of customers delivering exceptional results. We are the trusted local experts. Call us at 414.870.7175 about buying or selling your home.