Tips for Selecting a Real Estate Agent

Dated: March 24 2023

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Tips for Selecting a Real Estate Agent 

When it comes time to buy or sell a home, there is a lot to consider. The process can be stressful and complex for first timers and those who have bought and sold before. But working with a professional Realtor can make the process much smoother and simpler. Justin Thorstad, founder of Libertas Real Estate, with branches and agents all over the valley, offers tips for selecting an agent. 

Thorstad recommends buyers and sellers seek a Realtor with many years of experience — as evidenced by numbers of homes sold, not just amount of time holding their license. He also suggests reviewing the agent’s marketing plan and most importantly, reviewing their market data and recommended list price (when selling). 

“What market statistics did they compile in addition to just comps? Are they aware of the market area’s supply and demand? What about recent sold data that shows typical list price to sold price based upon how long the homes were on the market?” he asks. “This data can set proper expectations for you as the seller.”

He says it’s also important for the buyer or seller to do their homework when it comes to selecting an agent. Check out any and all online reviews — but don’t take them at face value. “An agent with only a ton of five-star reviews is a red flag,” he says. “The more people you serve, the more inevitable it becomes that someone didn’t like something about the agent or how their transaction went. But too many bad reviews is also an issue.” 

Overall, treat the selection process as an interview and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Trust is required when working together through a home selling or buying transaction. He suggests asking potential agents the following: 

-How long have you been in business as a full-time agent?

-How many houses did you sell last year and what is the average for other agents?

-What is your average list-price-to-sales-price ratio and how does that compare to my market average? (Thorstad notes: “The higher the better! So long as their average is not above 100% and not lower than 97%.”)

-What are your average days on market and how does that compare to my market average? (“You’re looking for as close to 30 days as possible,” Thorstad says, adding, “If it’s more than 30 days, they tend to overprice properties; if it’s significantly under 30 days, they underprice properties as a marketing strategy.”)  

-Do you have a list of past clients I can call for testimonials?

Bottom line – don’t go it alone. It’s always in the buyers and sellers best interests to work with a professional who knows the ins and outs of the residential real estate industry, who are up to date on the current market and who can help guide their clients through a transaction and all its nuances. Libertas Real Estate Realtors are professional, full-time agents with the knowledge and experience to help both buyers and sellers through the process. 

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Justin Thorstad

Justin Thorstad is a local expert real estate agent and associate broker. Licensed since 2003, nearly 20 years he has specialized in representing sellers. He has a long history of selling homes fast a....

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