Listing Agents and Experience: How Much Is Enough?

When you are looking into the resume of a potential listing agent for your home, experience will be a key factor. Experience does not just mean gray hairs, however. Look for factors that are relevant to the sale of your specific property in order to make a good judgment.

Licensing and Classes

Your real estate agent must be licensed in your state. If they received the license some time ago, check for recent renewals and other classes for continuing education. Finding an agent that is constantly updating their licensing and real estate education can be a great asset. This shows the agent is still looking to grow a business and will likely work hard for a sale. Some experienced agents simply rely on referrals, and they can be less motivated to make the sale.

Annual Sales Figures

Your agent may be willing to disclose sales figures they have posted this year, or in previous years. This is typically the case with agents who have a highly successful book of business. Ask about these figures, and take a look at the response in detail. You are not necessarily looking for sales volume alone. Check to see the average length of a listing in your agent's book. Review whether or not the homes sold for their list price or close to their list price. This information is very telling.

Number of Positions Held

You should review your agent's resume for years of experience, of course, but you should also be concerned with the progression of his or her career during that period of time. It is a good indication to see your agent has been with an agency, or a few agencies, for a number of years. Look for tenure over 3 years. During that period of time, the agent should list promotions in job title. Be very wary of an agent that has worked for a large number of different brokerages and realty companies. This can be a sign the agent was not successful, and they have been jumping between jobs as a result. It is far better to find a person with just 5 years of experience with one company, than another individual with 10 years experience in 9 different companies.

Local Experience

It helps to find an agent who has been successful in your immediate area. You can find an agent's area of specialty by searching other listings on line. For example, has your agent sold mostly multi-million dollar homes? If so, it would not make sense to use this agent in an attempt to sell a home valued at $200,000. Similarly, agents with experience selling urban living spaces may not be able to sell in the suburbs. The more narrow you can make your search, the more likely you are to connect with an agent who truly understands the market you are attempting to attract. This understanding will lead to a much more productive marketing plan.

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