Here are a few pointers on finding a Realtor worthy of that commission, because service means more than just listing your property on the local MLS!
1. Make sure your Realtor has a plan for your property. They should be able to spell out what they are going to do, and tell you why it's important. Ask them about their marketing plan. If they don't have one- find somebody who does!
2. Your agent should also diligently manage your listing and renew ads as needed. Has information about the property changed? Your agent should change the listing data too! A price reduction doesn't help much if it isn't being displayed everywhere it was posted. Make sure your property is being marketed and managed properly.
3. Is there an online presence? Your Realtor needs one. They should be utilizing the web to market your property and themselves. The web should make up most of the marketing mix, because most people go online to look for new property before contacting a Realtor. Statistics suggest as high as 80%!
4. Does your Realtor know how to take good photos? What kind of camera do they use? Make sure your property is being presented in its best light. A photo taken with a camera phone is not worth a thousand words. In today's market, agents should know how to take good photos, and they should know how to do basic touch ups to them if needed. There is a catch, however- not all websites allow a large file size to be uploaded so images may look grainy regardless of skill or camera. Agents should still have good high quality images readily available for marketing material, or working with buyer's not able to see the property.
5. What about basic staging? Your agent should be able to give you some good pointers to get you started, and they should always make sure the property is ready to show before showing it! See my "Staging" blog for pointers...
6. Signage. This is a no brainer, and yet many agents don't do it. If your agent has a for-sale sign in your yard make sure it's actually visible. Chances are it's buried under two feet of snow, the snow plow knocked it down, the neighbor kids decided to shoot BB's at it, its leaning, or tall grass is now covering it. Signs are a great way to increase visibility, but nobody is going to pay attention if they can't see it!
7. What about the company your agent works for? Does it have a national presence? How much exposure does their website get? Where do their advertising dollars go? What type of support network is available to agents? Do they offer seminars or courses to keep your agent up to speed with the industry and market?