Overestimating the selling price for a property is one of the oldest tricks in the real estate agents book.  The idea is that the seller will be so impressed by the inflated figure, they will choose this agent over other competitors.  But the overpriced property is likely to sit on the market for months, while the seller loses money.

This practice, known as buying a listing, is just one trick that real estate agents may use to secure a client’s business.   Savvy purchasers will steer away from such marketing ploys if they even find your listing.  They will also detect and spot those genuine brokers willing to to go the extra mile.

By using these tips, not in any particular order, sellers can find the right real estate agent/broker to match their needs – get their property sold.

  1.  Interview Them.

Never go into your first meeting with an agent expecting casual conversation.  Treat the meeting as seriously as you would a job interview, with the agent vying for the position and you having the final say.  Go armed with a list of specific questions designed to find out more about their experience, sales history, understanding of current market conditions, and how they operate.   As a rule, interview at least three agents before making a final decision.

  1.  Google Them.

These days a person’s online persona can tell you plenty about the way they do business.  From their website and social media accounts, you will get a good sense of the type of work they do.  Most importantly, look at what online marketing channels they use and how effective they are in reaching potential buyers.

  1.  Look Into Licensing.

When looking for a real estate agent/broker you can trust, the first thing to take note of is their license and other credentials.  Always ensure that you are dealing with a licensed agent/broker.  In SC, you can locate licensing at http://www.llr.state.sc.us

  1.  Ask For References.

Both buyers and sellers should always ask an agent/broker for written references from past clients, including their contact details.  Call some of the agents’/broker former clients to ask a range of questions:  Did the agent/broker communicate well?  Did they effectively guide them through the selling process?  Above all, would they use this agent/broker again?

  1.  Look For Local Expertise.

Finding an agent with in-depth local knowledge is key because every geographic location and neighborhood, even on a small island has its own challenges’ when it comes to real estate. They will be well versed in factors including the location, environment and have a true understanding how government regulations are likely to affect the sale.  They will know the ins and outs better than most residents. 

6.  Remember:  Asking price isn’t everything. 

While many people will be tempted to focus on the estimated selling price, there are other factors that are much more important.  An agents’/brokers’ negotiation abilities, for example, are key to securing the best deal possible, regardless of the asking price.  Ultimately, you should look for an agent/broker with whom you can build a rapport and who can be trusted to look at for your best interests throughout the entire sales process.