Hiring the right person to sell your home is critical to ensure that you encounter as few roadblocks as possible during the sale process and earn a good price for your house.
So you’ve taken that job offer in another city, or perhaps you’ve simply outgrown your current home. You spent time personalizing and making the home yours and chances are, you remember the day you bought your property, signed all your documents and got your keys.
Depending on the circumstances, it can be an emotional time for someone to sell their home, but the time has come to put the property on the market. So the question is… how to choose a Realtor to sell my home? Not only is it the home itself that sells the property but choosing the right listing agent to get the job done is of utmost importance. I can’t stress enough how the experience of selling your home can be the difference between night and day depending on whom you choose to sell your home.
You want someone who is more than just a pretty face plastered on flyers and seats around town; you want them to be knowledgeable about the real estate market in your area, to understand your home and its value, and to sell it to the best of his or her ability. Look for an agent with a wealth of experience in the industry as well as selling homes in your price range. Always check references since the most critical factor is not how many homes the agent has sold, but how many homes were sold with the fewest headaches for seller and buyer.
As a Realtor who has sold many properties for clients, I’ll share with you what home sellers should be looking for when deciding how to find the best Realtor to sell your house.
The first rule of choosing an agent is to find someone who is a true authority in their field and particularly in the neighborhoods in which you are interested. True authorities have knowledge of current and past trends on the sale and purchase of all different types of homes in a given community, in addition to knowing all the local facts relevant to your potential home sale.
While many people believe a Realtor and real estate agent are the same thing, only real estate agents with the title "REALTOR" after their name actually belong to the world's largest trade association of agents. Official Realtors earn more industry credibility since they must pass certain eligibility tests, abide by a strict code of ethics and participate in annual extended education courses to belong to the group.
- Use a Realtor for access to the Multiple Listing Search (MLS) database, which comprises the world's largest listing of properties for sale. Only certified Realtors have access to this information.
- Consider working with a locally owned real estate agency. These offices tend to understand local market trends and give more personalized service.
When your home goes onto the market- it will receive the most exposure in the first two weeks. You only get one shot to make a first impression on potential buyers and their agents. Recent studies state that 97% of home buyers start their search online. When deciding how to choose a Realtor to sell your home, here are some key things you should be listening for:
- Pre-marketing your property– real estate agents talk to other agents. Some of which work exclusively with buyers. This is a great opportunity to start creating buzz before your home even hits the market.
- Professional Photography– Some agents may offer complimentary listing photos while others may pass the fee onto the seller. Either way, pictures do speak a thousand words. When you’re selling your home that means – Thousands of dollars!! People will be looking at your home for the first time on the internet and decide if they would like to see it BEFORE they even step into your home. I can’t tell you how many times I see listings in ALL price ranges that look as though the listing pictures were taken with a good old flip-phone. You know… the ones that were the must-haves of 2004.
- Excellent Property Descriptions– this goes hand in hand with the photos. If you have a poor property description, what will entice buyers to want to preview the home in person? Your agent should be highlighting key features and benefits that describe your home and be able to convey a story and paint a picture of your home to a new buyer.
- Where will my property be advertised? Internet syndication is a beautiful thing. Remember, 97% of ALL home buyers begin their home search online. This is HUGE! Your Realtor should be telling you that your home will be posted on all the major real estate sites, gaining maximum exposure. While not as common these days, in some areas an ad in the local newspaper still warrants consideration.
- Hosting Open Houses- Taking the time to open your home to potential buyers remains a tried, true and tested method to find your buyer. The open house schedule should be discussed during your initial conversation with a potential listing agent. This is a lower priority in the internet age but discuss with your Realtor.
Your agent should be able to provide comparable homes sold in your area and should be able to justify their suggested list price. If you speak to three real estate agents and two of them are close in price yet one is substantially higher, ask yourself why? It is a disservice to both the client and themselves by recommending a larger than life list price just to turn around in two weeks and ask for a price reduction.
During the home selling process, your agent should be in contact with you regularly. This includes giving you updates on how many showings your home is getting and any feedback from potential buyers and their agents. You should also be getting updates on the internet searches and views of the home from social media and websites.
Once you do receive an offer, there will be a considerable amount of contact needed during that process. Some clients prefer to communicate via email, while others would like a phone call. Either way, this is something that needs to be determined in order for all lines of communication to be open.
- Ask your potential agent for a list of satisfied home buyer or sellers who completed real estate transactions with the agent.
- Call 2 or 3 former customers to verify that the agent handled their home sale to their satisfaction.
- If any problems were encountered, ask the former customer to share details. Confirm that any issues were taken care of to the satisfaction of all parties involved with the sale.
- Find out how long the agent has been selling homes. Veteran real estate agents may have more contacts to help sell your home BUT newer agents may be more enthusiastic about marketing it and more readily available to you.
- Research the number of homes similar to yours that the agent has sold. Consider the number of sales in your price range that the agent has successfully completed and the agents own knowledge of your specific area.
This is a great question that you should be asking any potential agent. An expert will be able to give suggestions that will get your home sold fast and for the highest price. As a listing agent, we want your home to shine in the best light possible.
Maybe you tried experimenting with some funky paint colors in your bedrooms? Or perhaps some of the flooring in your home looks tired and could use some updating? Not to say you as the seller have to do a complete remodel of your home before listing but even the smallest things like adding some mulch to flower beds can do wonders.
While even the thought of putting your home on the market may seem stressful- it’s important to know that a good listing agent will be there to help walk you through it every step of the way. Remember, when deciding how to choose a Realtor to sell your home, selecting an expert is half the battle. It will only be a matter of time before there is a sold sign in your yard!9. How long do you expect my home to take to sell and what’s plan B if it doesn’t?
If you’re selling your home in a seller’s market, then your home is likely to sell quickly when priced correctly. A seller’s market means that there are more buyers than houses to go around. Supply and demand have a lot to do with how quickly your house will sell. It will sell, if The Price is Right! Homes that are priced properly sell faster.
Another way to get an idea of when your home will sell is by calculating the average days on the market. All real estate agent have the average days on market stats available, so all you have to do is ask.
I like to stay focused on plan A so we don’t get distracted by plan B, C D etc. We have them but our plan is to sell your home within a reason able amount of time and are pretty upfront about that. Yes we have back up plans and can share them but plan A is always our primary focus.10. Are your services guaranteed?
Ours are. This is a partnership for both you and the Realtor. Your Realtor should be willing to stand by their word and back what they say with actions.