Choosing the right agent to list and sell your New Orleans West Bank home has become more important than ever. Inventory rates are at historic highs in some neighborhoods and choosing the person who is responsible for helping you move on to the next phase of your life should NOT be based on:
- The fact that they charge the lowest commission
- The fact that they are your sister-in-law's cousin twice removed who just got their license and could use the business
- The fact that you've seen their picture in the newspaper and they just look like a such nice person
Instead, here are 4 things that choosing your West Bank REALTOR SHOULD be based on and what you have a right to expect from them:
- A killer Internet presence. According to the National Association of Realtors, over 84% of home buyers begin their search on the internet. Before you find yourself married to an agent for the next 6 months, take 2 minutes to Google their name and see how they rank in the search engines. This is a good indicator of how actively they are advertising on the internet and networking with other agents who may have buyers relocating to your area. You are welcome to check me out here.
- Up to date, local market knowledge and information. Sorry, but I cringe every time I have to call a long distance number to set an appointment for a property. No matter how good that listing agent may be in their own market, that knowledge doesn't necessarily transfer from the North Shore to the West Bank and don't you deserve a local West Bank real estate expert?
- Advertising that draws buyers in. Sadly, too many agents still think that putting just one photo of a listing in the MLS is sufficient. They couldn't be more wrong. Even our local REALTOR association has gone on record encouraging agents to upload all 8 photos that are allowed, but I continue to see listings with one or even (gasp!) NO photos. Why not choose an agent that goes above and beyond and creates a website for every property with multiple photos and community information (see a sample here) and includes virtual tours as a standard service?
- Honest advice. I'm not talking about being Dear Abby or your therapist. I am talking about someone who is willing to possibly disappoint you with the real selling prices in your neighborhood and doesn't sugar coat the market realities. Someone who will tell you the truth about the things that need to be fixed or changed in your home before it goes head to head with the other homes already listed and you learn the hard way what buyers are saying about your house.
All of the real estate gurus out there will tell you to interview at least three agents before making a choice. Truthfully, I completely agree with that. But, before you decide who to invite into your home, be sure you are interviewing three agents who can give you everything you should expect.
Copyright 2008. Lisa Heindel and West Bank Living All rights reserved.