How to pick a real estate agent – the right way

Here are some suggestions if you are thinking about using the services of a real estate broker to list your property.  NOTICE – I said using, not abusing.

  1. Do your homework.  Go to the internet and use a search engine like Google.  Look up the type of property your are needing a broker for, such as “commercial real estate”.  A Company and/or individuals name will keep coming up several times. The ones listed the most are a good indication they are active in the business.
  2. Go to the Company or individual brokers web site.  If they don’t have a web site – move on.  If they can’t market themselves, how can they market your property.
  3. Check the site for testimonials, clients names and “done deals”.  Go through the site looking for names of people or companies you can contact.    Again, do your homework.
  4. Make comparisons.  Compare “apples to apples”.  Do they have experience with your type of property.  Some agents are skilled at leasing but not selling.  Some are experienced in selling land but don’t have a clue how to sell an investment property. Some don’t have experience in commercial real estate because they sell homes.  There is a difference.
  5. Make sure the agent you interview is the agent that will be handling your property.  It is not uncommon for the Broker of the real estate company to tell you how great he or she is and about all their experience only to find out they will not be working on your property. They plan on assigning your property to a new agent for training.
  6. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART.  Make sure you are absolutely sure you trust and believe the agent. Why?  Because when that agent tells you what they think your property is worth or what it should be listed for, your emotions will get the best of you.  At that point, you will forget about their qualifications and their knowledge and focus only on the price.  I am assuming you were thinking of a higher price.

Don’t get upset if you are not told what you want to hear.  At this point, many people quickly excuse themselves and tell the agent they need to think about it and will get back to them.  You will then start calling other agents and pick the first one that tells you what you want to hear, even if they aren’t qualified to be handling your property.

Chances are they gave you a higher price because of lack of experience – or worse.  Some agents have been known to list an overpriced property to get control.  Over time, they will work on the owner to get the price down to where it should have been all along.  This unethical but hard to prove.

If you did your homework and you are sure you have the correct broker, you should ask your preferred broker to justify the proposed listing price. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.  This is your new team member.  They could be wrong or came to a conclusion without all the facts.  The only way you can know this is to discuss it with them. You always have the option of asking your preferred agent if they would consider listing the property at a higher price and let the market determine value.  Might work or could be a waste of time and money.

There are many more issues that we will cover in upcoming blog posts. Be sure to subscribe to join us as we explore other facets of commercial real estate.

I invite you to go to our web site and use it as a standard to measure other brokers by. Don’t hesitate to contact me.  You can find my contact information on our web site under Matthew Cravey.

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