So, you’re thinking of selling your home and you’re not sure where to start? It occurred to me the other day that, while this isn’t a thought that would enter my mind since I’m in the business, it’s probably something that enters the mind of sellers fairly often.
Whether you’re in Florida or Alaska, this post is intended to give you a few general guidelines for ensuring you’ve chosen the right agent for the job. I know as well as anyone, that real estate agents can be a pretty funky bunch sometimes.
4 steps to help YOU choose the right agent:
- According to the 2012 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, roughly 40% of sellers find their agent through a personal referral. The remaining sources include: Agents used from a previous deal, the internet, open houses, etc.
- Use social networks to see if you have common acquaintances that you could use to gain insight into their work ethic and success in the business.
- Most sellers only interview 1 Realtor (around 65%) before signing on the dotted line of the listing agreement.
Consider the old LendingTree.com commercial that said, “When banks compete, you win.” In my opinion, a little competition gives you the best chance of getting the highest performing agent possible.
- Avoid looking down the street for a neighbor that’s “in the business” and going with them simply because of their proximity.
- First, they may not be doing much business. You don’t want your listing being the only thing they’ve done in real estate for the past 6 months… regardless of how close they are.
- Second, if things go awry, it could be awkward parting ways and finding a new agent since they’re a neighbor.
- How much volume (total price of all homes sold) have they done in the past 12 months? How many units?
- Have they sold homes in your neighborhood/area before?
- Get a recommendation from a previous customer.
- Do they work full time?
- With the average Realtor in Northeast Florida selling less than 4 homes per year, it’s a valid question!
- Does the agent work as a team or individually? If individually, what happens if they go out of town? Get sick? Or, are unavailable?
- Do they seem willing to price your home wherever you choose? BEWARE! Pricing real estate isn’t like selling clothing in the mall. Get it wrong, and you could lose big $$$. You should be confident in the Realtor’s skill and market knowledge to appropriately come up with a pricing strategy for your home. No one has a crystal ball when it comes to predicting what a buyer will pay. But, pricing correctly is as much science as it is art.
- How much do they charge? What is common for your marketplace? Are they splitting the commission 50/50 with a buyer’s agent or keeping a larger portion for themselves?
- The person sitting in front of you should be the expert. So, allow them to “sell” you on the benefits of their services over the competition.
- What is their strategy for selling your home?
- Does it sound as if they have thought it through?
- Do they have a professional presentation and approach for the marketing and advertising?
- Do they “think like a buyer” in order to put your home in front of the right people?
- Are they using YouTube, Google, and other search engines to expose your listing?
- Did they provide you with a list of homes they’ve sold?
4.) Test Drive
- How are buyer’s going to find your house? Will they inquire on sites like Zillow, Trulia, or the agent’s personal website? Try the agent on their response time. Submit an inquiry on one, or a few, of these sites to see if they’re responsive and engaged.
According to the Real Trends 2012 Online Performance Study, the average real estate professional takes 72 hours to respond to an online lead. However, 56% of consumers expect a response within 30 minutes.
- Sign up to search for listings on the agent’s website. Did they call you? Were there additional attempts to contact you after the first try?
- Professional Photography is an absolute must these days! Look at their other listings to see if they look good, or do they look like they used their grandfather’s kodak?
Originally posted 2013-02-27 08:01:45.