Posted in: Selling a home

How to hire the right listing agent for you

Hiring a listing agent

According to the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®, 85 percent of Minnesota sellers would re-hire their real estate agent. While the agents in our area are superb, how do you go about hiring the right one for your home? Below, we outline some tactics for hiring the right listing agent in Minnesota or western Wisconsin.

Local market expert

We all know that real estate is local, but that sentiment is especially important when it comes to pricing your home. A real estate agent with experience in your market will know the difference between your home and the one for sale down the road — and how your home should be priced as a result.

But remember, just because someone says they’re the number one expert in your neighborhood doesn’t mean it’s true. You should always ask for stats to back it up.

Proven selling stats

When interviewing a real estate agent, be sure to ask them specific questions about the number of homes they sold last year, for how much, and in what amount of time. Specifically, you should ask for:

  • Days on market, which represents the “age” of a home on the market. This measurement starts when the home is listed, and ends when the seller accepts an offer. According to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR), the average days on market in October 2014 was 72 days in the 13-county metro area.
  • Percent of list price is the amount the home was purchased for, in comparison to its original list price. In October 2014, MAAR reports the average percent of list price was 95.2 percent.
  • Price adjustment is recorded when the price of a home on the market is changed. Usually, this price is made lower. In October 2014, 41 percent of metro area properties had undergone a price adjustment in the last 30 days, according to the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc.

As with anything, the stats shouldn’t make or break your decision, but if you’re not getting the right feeling about an agent and their selling stats confirm your hesitation, they may not be the right fit. On the other hand, if an agent seems incredible but his or her stats are lower than you were expecting, ask for an explanation. If they seem to have learned from a past mistake, or have a fluke story to tell, you may not want to walk away.

Listing price process

Next, ask the agent how they price a home that is about to go on the market. This should be the easiest question for the agent to answer, as most agents and brokerages have a set process they undergo when listing a home.

A listing price should take into account the housing market as a whole, the hyper local stats of the neighborhood (including recently sold, comparable homes) and the condition of the home that will be listed for sale.

Edina Realty agents offer a comparative market analysis, which assesses a home’s current value based on the above conditions, free of charge and without any pressure to hire. If you’re interested in a no-commitment home evaluation, reach out today.

Listing exposure

To sell a home, you need online and offline exposure. More than 90 percent of homebuyers will search for homes online, so it’s critical buyers find your home wherever they look on the web. Edina Realty’s website and mobile apps have over two million average visits per month, which is the highest in our local market. When you list with Edina Realty, your home will also be posted on our local competitor’s websites, as well as national sites like Zillow, Trulia and

Of course, you’ll need more than just a great online presence to attract an offer. A great listing agent will be sure that other brokers and agents are getting private tours of the home, and they may host an open house to drive in more traffic. Last, speak with your potential agent about putting a lockbox on your property. Then, you’ll never have to turn down a showing, even if your agent has a conflicting appointment.

Remember, the market is moving from a sellers’ market to a more balanced, moderate market. So even though sellers are still at a slight advantage, buyers are becoming more particular. In October 2014, homes in our area had 16 showings on average before an offer was accepted (Edina Realty appointment center). Talk with your agent to see how long homes in your neighborhood are taking to sell, and how many showings are standard.

Buyer feedback

When hiring your agent, ask them if they have a process for collecting potential buyer feedback. If your home isn’t selling, you’ll want to know why. At Edina Realty, we provide sellers with an exclusive tool called Sell My Home, which tracks how often your home shows up in search results, how many showings and open houses have been held, and direct feedback from agents who have viewed your home.

While your initial reaction to a slow selling process might be to revamp your entire home or cut the price drastically, feedback on Sell My Home may show that the home needs a neutral paint job and a staging setup with more modern furniture. A great agent will not only tell you how to get more offers, but they’ll have earned your trust before having this difficult conversation.

Wondering what else you should know about selling your home? Our friendly, no-pressure Customer Care Team is free to talk seven days a week and can guide you in the right direction when it comes to choosing an agent. Call, live chat or email today!

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings