Lisa, some key considerations in choosing the best agent are
(1) expertise and track record in local market, years in the business,
(2) membership in National Association of Realtors a must (only NAR members are REALTORS),
(3) customized marketing plan for your property, including most important Internet presence (multiple photos, virtual tours), color property brochures, weekend and twilight open houses, etc.,
(4) realistic reccomended range of value, as validated by an accurate market analysis,
(5) if referred by a trusted source that has had a positive experience with that agent,
(6) agent's and broker/franchise national and global networking resources,
(7) availability of agent, method of communication and regular reporting, reliance on assistants and/or backup while absent on vacation or conventions, and
(8) whether during the interview process you feel a certain chemistry with that agent as you will be interacting with him/her frequently.
Commissions are negotiable; however, I feel that in today's challenging market you should expect to pay at least a 6% brokerage fee and to list the property for a realistic period of time (depending on turn-around time in your market). High inventory levels affect the days on market and therefore the agent's marketing costs. We Realtors are Independent Contractors working strictly on commission, without benefits. Marketing dollars come out of our pockets, and advertising is expensive. Commissions are shared with the selling agent, the broker, and additional fees to the Franchise (if there's one) must be paid. You will find some agents that will provide "a-la-carte" services for a lower fee, but your exposure will be lessened and your goal is to sell the property quickly and for the highest bottom line to you - and your net has more to do with accurate, realistic pricing and agressive marketing than commissions.
Hope this helps, Lisa ... good luck in your selection! Do let me know if you need a top-not Century 21 agent in your area, and I'll be more than happy to recommend a colleague. We have over 8,000 offices worldwide, in 58 countries and territories. Terri
Terri Dominguez, REALTORÂ®
ABR, AHWD, ALHS, BBA, CIPS, CRS, ePRO, GRI, TRC
Senior Broker Associate, Master Brokers Forum Member
Century 21 Premier Elite Realty
305-898-7028, direct line
Your REALTORÂ® - Global Resources, Local Expertise.