Expert tips on hiring a pro listing agent.

by Jennifer Sperry

High demand and low inventory have created an intense seller’s market on the Cape and Islands. Homes are hitting the MLS and going under agreement quickly, with multiple offers—some exceeding asking price—reaching inboxes all at once.  

Even though houses are going fast, you still need an experienced listing agent by your side. Recently we sat down with Sarah Lapsley Martin and Gregory “Marty” Martin, the powerhouse real estate agents behind the Lapsley Martin Team at Kinlin Grover Compass in Yarmouth Port, to ask for their tips on hiring an experienced listing agent. Here is their step-by-step advice. 

 

DO:

Ask around.
Reach out to family and friends and ask for referrals from anyone who has sold a home recently. If they had a good experience with their agent, it’s likely you will too. 


Read the reviews online.
Agents typically have a presence online and reviews should be easy to find.  


Interview 2–3 agents in person, if possible, or via a Zoom or conference call.
Remember that you’re entering a working relationship. It’s important that you feel comfortable and that the person seems honest and trustworthy. You also want to make sure they will be available to you—that they communicate in a timely manner and in your preferred method. 


Assess their sales and marketing.
You’ll want to know their plans for open houses, online and print advertising, mailers, and social media promotion. Video tours are especially popular right now and can be done by a professional or with a phone. 


Ask about photography and floor plans.
Photography is so important in terms of first impressions and the appearance of your property online. We always recommend professional photography. Also, with some clients buying homes sight unseen, it’s helpful to have floor plans readily available.


Look at the agent’s past sales.
How were the photos in the listing? How did the description read? How many days was it on the market? 


Consider geography.
Your agent should be knowledgeable about the area and the current market. When buyers want showings, either in person or via Facetime, it’s important that your agent responds quickly and professionally. Plus, their network of local contacts—electricians, plumbers, landscapers—can come in handy for curb appeal tweaks. 

DO NOT:

… hire an agent based on the highest recommended list price.
Pricing a home correctly is so important. If it’s priced too high and lingers on the market too long, buyers start to wonder what’s wrong with it. 


…hire an agent based on the lowest commission.
You want to make sure you are getting the full service your transaction deserves. An agent’s negotiating skills are particularly important right now with sellers receiving upwards of 10 or more offers with differing contingencies. Choosing the right agent can help you get the most money for your home. 

Sarah Lapsley Martin 508-331-1404 sarah.lapsley@compass.com

Gregory ‘Marty’ Martin 508-505-7370 gregory.martin@compass.com

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