Helpful Tips on Selecting the Right Real Estate Agent from a Stapleton Dad (and Realtor)
By Scott Petersen
There is much to consider when selecting the right real estate Agent for the purchase and/or sale of your home. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for helping to make this process easier:
• Ask your Stapleton friends/neighbors for their neighborhood Agent recommendations. Get 2-3 recommendations.
• Hire a Stapleton Agent who lives in the neighborhood. They have the inside knowledge on what challenges exist on a home-by-home, street-by-street basis; homes that are yet to hit the market; specific builder defects to be aware of, historical knowledge, etc.
o Hire the Agent that helped you buy your home if you do not hire a neighborhood Agent. This way, you can negotiate favorable terms regarding his/her commission for your repeat business in the future.
o Hire an Agent when buying a new build through a Builder. They will NOT discount the sales price of your new home if you choose to represent yourself. The commission is built in to their pricing whether you have Agent representation or not. Therefore, you should hire an Agent so they discount their commission when you sell it in the future.
• Negotiate your Agent’s commission. If you like two neighborhood Agents the same as far as competence, experience and approach, base your decision on the overall commission percentages. Everything is negotiable and cheapest/most expensive are not always best.
• Take an active role in helping to create the game plan for buying/selling your home, including milestones and what happens at those particular milestones (e.g. lower the price after being on the market for XX days).
• Trust the process and your trusted advisor (your Agent).
• Do everything possible to make your home show as well as possible. Staging is oftentimes unnecessary (if you have all of the pieces in place), but do know that there is a higher expectation for how Stapleton homes should show once they hit the market. The bar is set high in this neighborhood. Your greatest chance for selling your home quickly and for top dollar is to have your home priced right and have it show exceptionally well.
• Hire an inspector for every single home purchase. Your inspector(s) should complete a full inspection, conduct a radon test and scope the sewer line. Yes, it can be expensive to check all three (3) (e.g. inspection, radon & sewer line), but you would rather have the Seller incur these costs before they move out than you after you move in.
• Put a high premium on honesty. You don’t have the time, energy or expertise to guess your way through the home buying or home selling process. You want someone that will tell you what you need to know in a manner that’s honest and direct.
• Ask your co-workers or out-of-state friends for their Agent recommendations. You really want an Agent who knows your specific neighborhood. Selling is typically more difficult than buying and your Stapleton Agent will most likely be more than able to help you buy your next home, whether in Stapleton or not.
• Pay full-commission for any Agent, because this is a competitive real estate market and your Agent should be no different.
• Automatically assume that the Agent who spends the most money on marketing and advertising is the most successful, respected or best fit for you.
• Panic. Oftentimes, there is no reason to panic, because the market changes with little rhyme or reason. Put together a game plan with your Agent and stick with it, but recognize the best-laid plans may need to be adjusted from time-to-time in order to remain competitive.
• Make the assumption that the highest offer is always the best. With the challenges in the Lending world, a lesser cash offer may be best for your family. Your Agent should be able to help advise you through this stressful decision. Trust your gut! There are a number of great Agents in this business. Stapleton is fortunate to have Agents who not only live/work in the neighborhood, but who genuinely have the best interest of the local real estate market in mind.
Scott Petersen is a neighborhood Realtor, Resident, Co-Founder of the Jets Lacrosse Program and Father of Four.