Finding The Right Agent To Sell Your House
There are some questions every seller should ask, because not every real estate agent is alike.
Far too often, consumers will choose an agent to market their home simply because that person has a “license”. How many times have we, as professional Realtors® heard the phrase, “oh, my cousin, brother, aunt, great uncle that I haven’t seen in 20 years (pick one) has a license, and I thought I would use them”?
Sellers need to take the business of marketing their home seriously.
As professionals, we shake our head (knowing that relative never sold a home in their life), wish them well, and watch from a distance as the home sits on the market for months. In most cases, that home is the seller’s largest asset, and from a professional standpoint, it is disheartening to see something with a lifetime of memories, mishandled in a way that is a true disservice to that seller.
Sellers need to take the business of marketing their home seriously. Before any seller decides to allow someone to market their home, they need to ask a few questions. Here are a few some examples.
1. Do you hold a REALTOR® designation?
The REALTOR® designation is a national designation and denotes that a Real Estate agent is a member in good standing with the National Association of Realtors®. This individual generally belongs to a local Board of Realtors® and is required to abide by the Realtor® Code of Ethics.
2. What other designations do you hold?
The National Association of Realtors® recognizes several professional designations. If someone has earned those designations, it means they have taken extra time to learn more about their profession, and that agent shows a willingness to keep up with ongoing trends in the industry.
3. Are you a full-time Realtor®?
Full time means that their primary focus is on real estate, not in another career.
The definition of “full time” means that their primary focus is on real estate, not in another career. It also means they are available when most business occurs, and once under contract, that agent is able to make sure the sale actually goes to the closing table.
4. Is your company a full-service company?
A full-service company will usually have the in-house resources (such as title, mortgage, insurance) to assist buyers with all their needs to purchase your home. The seller wants a company that has the resources, and support that will ensure their home closes successfully, and without complications – either during or after the sale of their home.
5. Does your company have the resources to effectively market the home?
Each seller wants to make sure their home gets as much exposure as possible to as many qualified buyers as possible. Today’s buyers rely extensively on Internet and smart-phone searches. Gone are the days when buyers find a home through print media. In fact, some buyers know more about the market than do some agents. A seller wants to ensure their home receives professional online exposure. The agent’s company should have an array of online tools geared to today’s buyers – either the buyers that are driving around neighborhoods, looking for homes on their own via their smartphones, or taking tours of homes from their computer.
6. How many homes are on the market in this same price range?
In other words, what is the competition? How will the agent position this home relative to the competition, and why?
7. How many homes sold in this price range in the past six months, and how long did it take them to sell?
An agent not versed on current market behavior is not the agent that needs to market your home.
This will tell a seller how the market is behaving, and what to expect. It will also indicate how well the agent knows the market. An agent not versed on current market behavior is not the agent that needs to market your home.
8. How did you arrive at this suggested price range?
NEVER, repeat, NEVER market your home with an agent that shows up at your door and spews a number on the first visit. A professional agent knows what they do not know, and that is – the final price your house will command. A professional agent will view your home, ask pertinent questions, do their research, and then arrange to meet to discuss options that are in the seller’s best interest.
9. How often will you give updates and feedback?
The biggest complaint from most sellers is that they never hear from their agent. Make sure your agent has a system in place that provides timely feedback, based on how you prefer to receive communication.
10. Why are you the best choice to market my home?
How they answer this question is going to tell you if they are right for you. Do they come across with answers that are braggadocios or “salesy”, or do they exhibit answers that show a high level of service and professionalism? When you place your home on the market with an agent, you are going into a relationship. Do not get into a relationship that you are going to regret.
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