Last Updated November 10, 2022
First things first: your choice of a real estate agent in Eugene, Oregon or elsewhere does matter. Who you choose as an agent can have a big impact on your bottom line, and it can also impact your whole experience of getting your home sold.
Don’t worry: we’re not going to just tell you, “Work with us, we’re the greatest.” On the contrary, we always recommend interviewing multiple agents.
Needless to say, your prospective agent needs to have the knowledge and experience to get the job done. Different seller’s agents bring different skills to the table.
But you also want to hire an agent who gets you. Your seller’s agent needs to be on the same page with you in terms of your goals and how you want to achieve them.
But your agent also needs to be able to deliver difficult truths to you. Selling your home is a process, and your agent needs to be on top of their game at every step of the way.
Read on, and we’ll cover all the essentials of what to look for in a seller’s agent in Eugene (or anywhere else for that matter).
- What is a Real Estate Seller's Agent, and Do I Need a Seller's Agent?
- What to Look for in an Agent
- Why You Need a Top Real Estate Agent in Eugene, OR
- Why LOHR Real Estate?
What is a Real Estate Seller’s Agent, and Do I Need a Seller’s Agent?
The answer may seem obvious: a listing agent is someone whose job is to help you sell your home. But before you start interviewing real estate agents, it’s helpful to understand exactly what a seller’s agent does.
The question often comes up: do I even need a real estate broker? It might come as a surprise, but our answer is: “Well, maybe not.”
Hiring a seller’s agent will definitely save you a lot of work and take a lot of stress out of the process.
If things get contentious with the buyer, having representation is invaluable. And, even after subtracting Realtor commissions, statistics indicate that you’ll probably net more money by hiring a real estate professional to help sell your home.
At the end of the day, though, it’s a decision that you need to make for yourself, and it should be an informed one.
So with all of that said, here’s what your seller’s agent should bring to the table.
Calculating How Much Your Home is Worth
First, a seller’s agent establishes an appropriate market value for your home. This may not seem like such a big deal – getting a Zestimate for your home is a piece of cake, right?
But it’s actually a huge deal. Real estate markets are incredibly dynamic, and they’re subject to factors that a computer just can’t take into account.
Overpricing your home will result in longer time spent on the market. Buyer’s agents will be much more likely to play hardball on price, and chances are good you’ll net less money than if you priced your home right in the first place.
In other words, don’t just go with the agent who gives you the highest number for what your home’s worth.
An experienced seller’s agent will have an approach that is highly detail-oriented and based on up-to-the-minute data. They’ll be familiar with homes that have sold in your neighborhood and all the different factors that affect value.
Mind you, an agent should be able to provide you with a detailed opinion of value free of cost, with no implication that you’ve already decided to list your home with them.
Many real estate agents use automated software to pull their numbers and dress it up in a fancy presentation. Make sure a prospective agent can explain their methodology and elaborate on their opinion of value.
Needless to say, the right approach is the approach that nets you the most money. Just be aware that an inflated list price can hurt you more than help you.
Marketing Your Home
Next, a seller’s agent markets your home. This is the bread-and-butter of what we do as real estate professionals, and there are several distinct phases.
First, a seller’s agent makes suggestions for improving the marketability of your home. Maybe you’re looking for easy cosmetic improvements, or maybe significant renovations are a possibility.
In either case, your agent should be able to perform a clear cost-benefit analysis of your various options. That analysis should be tailored to your specific location and price point. A few high bang-for-your-buck improvements can potentially go a long way.
Ideally, a seller’s agent will be able to recommend specific contractors and have detailed knowledge of the potential work involved. Our owner, Kip Lohr, has extensive experience as a high-end contractor.
Another crucial step is troubleshooting problems that might pop up later on and derail a real estate transaction. These include both potential structural issues potential legal issues that might hinder your ability to transfer title.
Some agents will insist you cross those bridges when you get there, but it’s better to be informed up front.
Next, it’s crucial for your agent to get a skilled photographer into your home. You may want to have your home professionally staged beforehand, and that’s another area where an agent should provide you with a clear cost-benefit analysis.
Buyers are “window shopping” online more than ever. Especially with homes starting to spend longer on the market in Eugene and elsewhere, it’s crucial to get as many interested buyers into your home as possible.
Photos are your number one marketing tool. In this day and age, it’s surprising to see sellers and their agents still settling for mediocre photographs.
One you’re on the market, your seller’s agent coordinates showings and open houses. He or she will answer questions from other agents.
Most likely, informal verbal negotiations will begin prior to receiving offers. That brings us to our next topic.
Negotiations and Closing
Real estate sales are a high-stakes process for both parties. No one wants to leave money on the table or give up more than they have to. At the same time, skillful compromise can be a necessary part of the game.
The negotiation process actually begins when your agent sets the listing price for you home.
Start too high, and your home will likely linger on the market, giving buyers and their agents extra leverage. Start too low, and buyers won’t offer as much as they might otherwise, unless your home is the type to attract a bidding war.
A skilled seller’s agent will set the right tone in conversations about potential offers, letting other agents know about your expectations and inviting them to sweeten the pot.
It’s a delicate dance. Your seller’s agent needs to represent your best interests, and part of their duty is not to disclose anything to other parties that you haven’t explicitly authorized.
It’s important to have a conversation with your agent clearly defining your goals and expectations before your property goes on the market. You’ll also want to have a similar conversation after receiving offers.
Now more than ever, the offer review process is much more complicated than taking the highest offer. Your seller’s agent needs to be familiar with all of the nuances and different pros and cons of the various kinds of offers you might receive.
While Eugene is a strong seller’s market, the advantage won’t automatically be yours. Your seller’s agent needs to know how to take advantage.
Once you’re in contract, several other important negotiations usually take place. Property inspections can be a source of anxiety for both the buyer and seller, and buyers will often request specific repairs or a closing credit to cover the cost of repairs.
Your agent should be able to apply a critical eye toward issues pointed out by an inspector.
Home inspectors strive to be as thorough as possible in identifying potential issues. That doesn’t mean you should have to foot the bill for everything the inspector calls out – especially for items typical of homes of the same vintage and location.
It might be necessary to bring in subcontractors for more detailed evaluations. Your agent should have contacts who can perform a bid on short notice.
Compromise is generally key with inspection-related negotiations. Coming from a well-informed position definitely helps your case, though.
Appraisals are another source of potential negotiations. It’s a topic too big to include this article, but your seller’s agent needs to have a game plan in place for if your property doesn’t appraise at the sale price.
From there, getting to closing then across the finish line is typically a straightforward process.
Nonetheless, your agent needs to have an eye out for the potential roadblocks that can occur. If the buyer is receiving financing, your agent needs to be in close contact with their lender to make sure they stay on point.
What to Look for in an Agent
We’ve already covered a lot of the basics above.
To review, the best real estate agents have the tools and the savvy to properly establish market value. They understand what steps to take to increase the marketability of your home, and which steps simply aren’t worth the time and money. Finally, the perfect real estate agent will bring considerable negotiation prowess to the table.
Still, there’s a lot more that distinguishes a good seller’s agent from a top real estate agent. Here are a few other items to pay attention to.
Real estate agents often get a bad rap for being pushy and for putting off a “sales-y” kind of vibe. We get it: too many Realtors rely on elaborate sales pitches without delivering the goods.
That’s why it’s important to pay attention to communication style when you’re interviewing prospective seller’s agents.
Does your would-be agent ask plenty of questions, and are they actually interested in getting to know you? Or do they mostly just talk about themselves?
An agent’s job is to represent your best interests and help you achieve your goals. In order to do that, your listing agent needs to understand what makes you tick.
Selling your home is a process. You want it be as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, and personal fit is a big part of that equation.
You’ll be in communication with your agent quite a bit. If conveying your needs and getting questions answered is difficult in the earlier stages, it might be wise to go with a different agent.
Extensive Knowledge & Experience
It’s no secret that that it’s fairly easy to get a real estate license.
That isn’t necessarily a knock against new licensees. Everyone has to start somewhere, and new Realtors will often have a support network they can tap into.
All the same, it definitely helps to work with someone who has been around the block more than a few times. Selling your home can be pretty straightforward, but there are also countless obstacles that might arise.
Agents with decades-plus experience in their local markets have seen it all, and they know how to nip potential problems in the bud.
If worse does come to worse, the best real estate agents know how to interact with buyers agents and other parties in a way that doesn’t jeopardize the sale of your home.
Experience isn’t a guarantee of success, though. Your agent needs to remain attentive throughout every step of the process.
They also need to keep up to speed with the latest market conditions. Especially in the past couple of years, Eugene’s market has transformed significantly, and many traditional ways of doing business no longer apply.
Will Your Listing Agent Negotiate on Commissions?
Speaking of “traditional ways of doing business,” many seller’s agents in Eugene and elsewhere refuse to budge on commission. They may even imply that any agent asking for less than a 6% commission (with 3% going to the listing agent and 3% to the buyer’s agent) will offer subpar service.
It’s true that so-called “discount brokerages” have become more and more common in recent years. The savings are real, but so are the compromises.
A discount broker may live outside your community, and they may have very specific way of doing things that don’t align with your particular needs.
But that doesn’t mean you necessarily need to compromise in order to save money on concessions. Not all properties require the same amount of time and energy to market, and brokers who insist on a one-size-fits-all 6% rate ignore this reality.
5% and even 4.5% or 4% commissions have become increasingly common among full-service brokerages. It’s a conversation that a prospective seller’s agent should at least be willing to have.
We’ve gone through all the ins and outs of Realtor fees in a separate article.
Why You Need a Top Real Estate Agent in Eugene, OR
Okay, the heading above is a bit misleading. When people talk about “top real estate agents” or “top producers,” they’re usually talking about sales volume.
By itself, that tells you very little about the kind of service you’ll receive, let alone the amount of money that you’re likely to net from a sale.
Simply put, there’s no magic formula for increasing the sale price of your home. Name recognition doesn’t guarantee success – you need to consider the whole package.
The top Eugene real estate agent for you is the agent who can understand your goals, work to get them met, and do so in a way that causes you the least amount of stress possible.
We keep driving the point home, but it’s important to interview multiple agents. Don’t simply take anyone’s word for it, and beware of promises that don’t hold up to scrutiny.
One or the other of Eugene’s “top agents” may be a great fit for you, or they might not. But it’s undeniable that more boutique brokerages bring unique qualities to the table. That includes us, which brings us to the next topic.
Why LOHR Real Estate?
You’ve probably known this was coming. We are, after all, a team of Realtors based in Eugene, Oregon (and in Bend).
So, here it is: we think we’re great to work with, and you should definitely consider us.
Maybe you have a sense already of how we do things differently than many other Realtors.
Basically, we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all approaches. Your home is unique, and so are your goals and your needs.
We’ll work with you every step of the way to make sure you’re getting the best experience – and the best outcome – possible.
With that said, we won’t presume that we’re the best agents for your situation – or even that you’re necessarily looking to sell your home.
Putting your house on the market is a major decision. Part of what we’re here for is to give you the data points you need to make to make the right choice for yourself and your loved ones.
We’re happy to have a preliminary conversation, including a detailed valuation of your home. Just let us know, and you can start by clicking the “Contact us” button to the right.