Looking for a Tacoma realtor to sell your house? You’ve come to the right place. I’ve been a real estate agent in Tacoma since 2005 . Over the past 2 decades I’ve had the opportunity to work with and even do training for some of the top real estate agents in Pierce County. After all these years I have a lot of information that clients often don’t consider when making their choice. Here is my best advice for finding the best real estate agent in Tacoma for YOU. Let’s go!
The Tacoma real estate market (like most areas of the country) is really going through it right now. After years of price increases, bidding wars, and multiple offers we are seeing a big change. The increase in interests rates means fewer buyers can afford to buy in Tacoma. The time a house spends on the market has tripled. The number of homes on the market in Tacoma are up 50%. Frankly, selling a house in Tacoma has gotten harder. We wrote about what’s happening right now in this blog post “Number of Pierce County Homes Sold is Falling.” Experts are still analyzing the fallout of interest rates on markets across the country, and recovery in Tacoma will look different than elsewhere. That said, experts seem to agree that prices will not likely not begin to improve until March of 2024.
March 2024. That’s when @GoldmanSachs‘ forecast models predicts U.S. home prices are poised to bottom out.
— Lance Lambert (@NewsLambert) November 7, 2022
How to Choose the Best Tacoma Realtor to Sell Your House
The agent you choose to help you sell your house in Tacoma REALLY matters right now. Real Estate Agents are not commodities, so make sure to choose an expert! This is such a strange sentence but it is the most important thing regular people do not understand when they are selecting a listing agent. I personally think it’s the main reason people have bad experiences with their real estate broker. While any realtor licensed in Washington State can sell a house to anyone anywhere in the state- the process is better for everyone when you use a specialist.
Real estate is an incredibly complex business everywhere, but it’s also LOCAL. Whether a realtor admits it to you (or themselves) most agents have a specialty and expertise in a particular area and type of transaction. Your goal should be to identify what kind of real estate deal you’re going to do and then find an expert in that exact transaction. You don’t want to choose an agent who has no experience in what you’re doing. If you need help choosing an agent, contact me, I’m happy to answer questions and help you select someone.
What kind of agent do I need when the market is declining for sellers?
Most sellers want to sell their house and keep the most money from the sale. In a market like this, the amount of preparation the seller puts into the house with their agent before they come on the market won’t just impact how much they get for the house- but whether it sells at all. It’s VERY important.A great seller’s agent will know which things are worth fixing and which things to leave alone. A great seller’s agent will also have contacts for painters, contractors, stagers, and more to help you get ready so you’re not left fumbling around trying to get help. To learn more check out this video on How to sell your house when it needs work:
In a changing market where prices are beginning to decline and buyers are gaining more power, it’s even more crucial that you choose an experienced seller’s agent. Over the past few years in Tacoma the market would sell your house for you. Rising rents and low interest rates meant home buyers were clamoring for any and all available houses for sale. While photography, video, marketing, negotiation, etc are always important for a property- a house would sell (though maybe for less) without them. Going into 2023? This is o longer the case.
These are the skills you should be looking for in your Tacoma real estate agent when you list your house to sell:
Make sure you hire an agent who knows how to sell a house in a declining market. Agents who started in real estate in the last 5-6 years have very little experience with marketing and selling a property that takes longer than a week to sell. An agent who has worked through other stalled or declining housing markets will know what to do when the house doesn’t sell itself. Marketing Tacoma properties in 2023 is just as much art as it is science. The truth is most buyers find their house online while searching by themselves. A well presented house is marketed like a product launch. An excellent seller’s agent needs to have an understanding of photography, videography, social media marketing, network marketing, and print marketing to cover all of the areas that buyers will be searching.
It used to be that only luxury properties had things like professional photography, videography, and content marketing and social media marketing. Nowadays these things are standard even for the most affordable homes. I’ve trained real estate agents in marketing for Windermere Real Estate, Coldwell Banker, and many other companies across the country. There is a HUGE gap in understanding between seller’s agents in how to do this kind of modern marketing online. Some agents work in teams and have a dedicated person who does nothing BUT marketing sellers homes for sale. Check out Kim Colaprete, one of the best seattle sellers agents as an example of what I mean. Her team has multiple full time team members who do nothing but stage, photograph, create videos, and market the homes for sale.
Ask your agent to show you examples of homes they have sold RECENTLY. Like within the past 6 months. What does the photography look like? How is the home presented? Make sure your agent has sold homes in your neighborhood. Ask how long the homes were on the market and what percentage of the initial list price they finally sold for. Ask them to tell you WHY. You’ll learn a lot about an agents process by having them break down what they have done in the past.
Deep Market Knowledge
Running the numbers and looking at the data may seem boring but that is the nerdy skill that a great listing agent needs in order to accurately price your home. In the last few months the number of homes on the market has been increasing quickly. That means Tacoma home buyers have a lot more homes to choose from. If homes are not priced correctly right out of the gate they will linger on the market. Buyers are always skeptical of a house that hasn’t sold right away. At the same time, if you and your agent don’t read the comparable home sales data correctly you could accidentally underprice the home and leave money on the table. That is a terrible feeling.
Make sure the real estate professional you hire can show you the data trends for your neighborhood and for homes similar to yours. Here are some questions to ask your agent when you are interviewing them and pricing your home:
- How many homes are currently on the market that would be competition for your home?
- How many days has it taken homes in your neighborhood to sell?
- Are they selling for over list price still or under list price?
- Have the sellers received full price offers but paid concessions, closing costs, or made repairs for the buyers?
Your agent has access to the market data in the NWMLS, but they can also reach out to other listing agents and ask them about the terms of the sale post close. This extra insight can be incredibly valuable for developing your pricing and marketing strategy for your home. Again, hiring a local agent who lives and works regularly in your neighborhood is going to be a huge advantage.
In addition to insight a well connected agent can market your home to their peers. Top agents in Tacoma hold “Brokers Opens” which are special open houses targeted at fellow real estate agents. Every week agents get together and tour each others new homes for sale for their buyers and give feedback to the agent on things that are great and that need improvement. Your agent should be able to expose your property directly to agents in this way.
Good old fashioned negotiating skills
It might sound old fashioned to say so, but ultimately when you’re hiring a real estate professional to sell your home in Tacoma you are hiring a negotiator. Forgive me, you are hiring a closer. Agents can be incredible at pricing, great at marketing, and then absolutely fizzle when it comes to assertively advocating for their clients, negotiating, and getting their clients the most money. Watch how the agent negotiates with YOU when you hire them. How do they negotiate their own commission? Do they negotiate what price you will bring your home on the market for or just put it wherever you tell them to? How much work will be done on the house before you list it? Your agent will be negotiating with YOU before they ever negotiate with the buyer for your house- so watch how they do it.
How can I tell if my agent has actually sold homes in Tacoma in the neighborhood I’m selling in?
When I’m vetting real estate agents for clients I have the extra tool of being able to look in the MLS and see who is selling really selling houses in each neighborhood. It’s a great piece of information to have. While regular folks can’t just go into the MLS and see stats, you can look on sites like Zillow and Redfin. Also, many real estate agents will feature their sold properties on their websites. Take a look and see if they are familiar with selling homes are in your neighborhood and price range. You can also reach out to me directly, helping folks find real estate agents is what I do!
Conclusion: How to find the best agent to sell your house in Tacoma
The best Tacoma real estate agent for you is going to be someone who is an expert in the type of home you are selling. In addition to being an expert they should be a local expert and ideally live and work in the neighborhood you will be selling in. Above all they should be a personality fit and have community values that compliment yours. Selling a house in Tacoma right now isn’t always easy, but with the right realtor it can be an excellent experience.
Marguerite Martin is a different kind of Tacoma real estate agent. Reach out to find out answers to questions you have about neighborhoods in Tacoma and Pierce County. When the time is right to start looking, Marguerite can connect you with a local real estate agent who specializes in the neighborhoods you love most. You can see reviews from past clients who’ve worked with Marguerite on Yelp and on Google.