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When you select a real estate agent, you are really entering into a relationship…”

Gavin Toguchi (R)
Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties
2010 International Presidents Circle

Selling a home is a significant transaction and selecting the right real estate agent to represent you can make a big difference in achieving your objectives in terms of time and money.

There are a number of criteria you should consider before making a commitment to a real estate agent. But, to start with, you will want to make sure you are hiring a full-time, licensed professional…one with an (R) for Realtor or (RA) for Realtor Associate after their name, both of which signify membership in the local Board of Realtors. Something as important as selling a home should not be entrusted to someone who “dabbles” in real estate or who makes a “hobby” of buying and selling real property.

Next, find out what kind of experience the potential candidates have in selling homes in your neighborhood and price range. Many real estate agents specialize in certain areas and have earned a reputation for their expertise in specific types of properties. However, having a strong focus on a particular area or on high or low end properties would not mean an experienced agent, who you happen to feel comfortable working with, would not be able to represent you effectively elsewhere.

What needs to be established is that the agent would make it a point to research the market and be able to present you with a marketing plan including data on buyer characteristics as well as selling and asking prices and days on market for properties comparable to yours. What does the agent perceive as your target market -foreign, Mainland, or local buyers?

What is the competition in terms of comparable properties that are also available for sale? Have other sellers in the neighborhood upgraded their properties?

Does the agent advise rushing onto the market and, if so, why? Maybe you would be better off waiting for a period of time to paint, remodel, or simply clean up and declutter the home possibly enhance its curb appeal by touching up the landscaping? If you rush to market, you may not achieve your financial objectives. Beware of an agent who is ready to list today, even if you’re pushing them to do so!

Establishing the right selling price is critical. If the listing agent recommends a price, ask them how they came up with it. Make sure they have a strategy and that it makes sense to you…even if it’s not the price you would have liked to hear.

Ultimately, it all comes down to mutual trust. When you select a real estate agent to represent you, you are really entering into a relationship…so don’t hesitate to ask questions and consider all the criteria.

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