Finding a real estate agent to assist with selling your home may be a challenge if you do not know anyone in the business. Because the Atlanta real estate market is heavily dependent on personal relationships, you may ask friends for recommendations. It is important to make sure that you and your real estate agent agree on important issues related to home sales. When you speak to agents, have a list of questions ready. Here are a few examples:

How many homes have you sold in the last year?

A proven track record is one indicator of a successful agent. Ask how many homes the agent sold in the last year and in which areas they were located. Local reputation is important in real estate, and many top agents spend time cultivating solid, long-term business relationships to ensure their clients’ success.

What is your negotiation strategy?

When an interested buyer steps forward, how does your agent plan to handle the bidding process? Will you be heavily involved in price negotiations, or will the agent take the lead? You and your agent should establish how you will communicate: phone, email or face-to-face meetings.

Ask the agent how he or she intends to follow up with buyers. Even potential home buyers who tour your home and are not interested in making an offer should be able to provide feedback to help you. A successful real estate agent will be able to gather this feedback for you in an efficient manner.

What is your fee structure?

Real estate agents may charge a combination of flat-rate fees and commission for selling your home. Keep in mind: Both the agent for the buyer and agent for the seller are paid by the seller during settlement. A commission calculation worksheet may help you estimate the cost of selling your home.

How will you attract buyers?

Technology has significantly changed the home-advertising process. Rather than poring over print listings in newspapers and magazines, many of today’s home buyers prefer to shop online. Ask your potential agent about an online marketing plan and how he or she plans to use social media.

How will we agree on the list price?

Your home’s list price should be based on recent sales in your neighborhood, which are also known as comps. The range of comps may vary significantly because of extra features such as updated kitchens or bathrooms, a finished basement or a new roof. When a proposed bid comes in, your real estate agent may make a recommendation for whether you should accept the bid. This recommendation will be based on your list price and the current market, but the ultimate decision should be yours.

Choosing a real estate agent who works well with you is an important first step to a successful transaction. Aside from local reputation and negotiation skills, you want someone who is on your side and whom you can trust to get you a fair selling price in an efficient manner.

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