…Your choice of a real estate agent is extremely important. Agents are not created equal, anymore than doctors, dentists or hair-dressers are equal. A real estate company is only as effective as the agent asking for your business. Whether a franchise sells a home a minute or whether they are the largest home seller in the state is not as important as the quality of the agent asking for your business. Choose your REALTOR® by credentials and commitment – here are a few questions to ask:
TEN QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK A REALTOR® BEFORE YOU LIST
Most of us sell only a small number of homes in our lifetimes. With limited experience in real estate how are we to be capable of maximizing the profits from our home sale? Many home sellers make the critical mistake of thinking all REALTOR® are the same. They list with the first agent who comes along. Does it make good business sense to put the responsibility of selling your home with someone who has no plan or qualifications? This special report will educate you with valuable information that will help you make the best decision concerning: Which real estate agent should you list with?
Start by doing a few hours of research. Ask around…get to know who has the most signs, ads and marketing material in your neighborhood. Who’s the most active agent, compile a list of agent names and use these questions to help you determine which agent is right for your.
1. Could you send me some information about yourself?
You can often get a good idea of which agents are the most professional by looking at their promotional materials. If the materials aren’t professional, how are they going to market your home, if they can’t market themselves? Track how long each agent takes to respond to your request and how quickly they follow up. If they don’t respond efficiently to your listing requests imagine how they’ll handle potential home buyers.
2. How many homes have you listed and how many homes have you sold in the last six months?
Look for an agent who has experience with homes similar to yours and is active in your area. If your home has special features look for an agent with experience in those areas. Your agent should have a good record of selling homes, not just listing them, after all this is your ultimate goal.
3. What is your average length of time from listed to sold?
Don’t automatically assume the shorter time on the market the better. That could reflect selling homes quickly at low ball prices. Look at what the asking price was compared to the selling price. An agent who sells close to the asking price and quickly is effective at helping clients determine the right price and helping them get it.
4. How long have you been in business and what professional organizations do you belong to?
The length of time a real estate agent has been licensed is not a sure fire sign that they’ve been an active seller. They may have been in business for 10 years but only part time, whereas an agent who’s been in business for 2 years may be a real top producer. So take into account what professional organizations they belong to. The minimum should be a licensed professional who’s a member of the local real estate board and multiple listing service as well as the state and National Association of Realtors. Local community groups and associations are also pluses in terms of networking and commitment.
5. Do you have an assistant or support staff?
By employing someone to handle the details of their business the agent can spend more time servicing your needs. However, make sure you know how much time an agent will spend and how much time their assistant will spend on the sale of your home. It may be fine if the assistant does most of the legwork as long as the agent is there at the most critical times of the transaction period.
6. How often will you hold open houses?
Will they be public or by appointment only? Simply putting a sign on your lawn and holding open houses every Sunday will not sell your home. Too frequently open houses make the property a target for low ball bidders. Look for an agent with a specific plan for each showing. The plan should be just one facet of a complete marketing plan.
7. What listing price do you recommend and what is that price based on?
Pricing is the most critical step to selling your home. Take great care in choosing an agent with the knowledge to price your home effectively. Keep in mind the selling price should attract prospective buyers to your home, get you top dollar in the current market and reflect the condition of your home. Be realistic and avoid Yes agents, who will say ‘yes’ to any request or price while your home languishes on the market. Low ball agents will try to talk you into an artificial price to simply sell as fast as possible.
8. What does the listing agreement entail, what are the beginning and expiration dates, and what are the fee amounts I will be paying?
Have your agent go over every detail in the listing agreement with you until you understand it completely. Make sure the beginning and ending dates are on the agreement, a good standard for length is six to twelve months. Know exactly what fees you will be paying, and remember less is not always better. If the agent stands to make very little commission you can bet it will be reflected in the amount of time and effort that is spent marketing your home. If the agent reduces their commission to get the listing it may mean they intend to spend very little money promoting the property.
9. What disclosure laws apply to me and what do I need to be aware of?
Make sure your agent helps you with locating professional inspectors for the various home inspections that may be needed in your area. Create a home marketing file that may include a property fact sheet, a property condition report, pest control report, applicable environmental zone reports, structural engineering report, property profile from the title company, plans for alterations or additions, and special equipment report for pools, spas, sprinklers and alarm systems. Your agent should be able to direct you in this.
10. What types of things separate you from your competition and will you give me some feedback?
How effectively will they advertise? Do they have 24 hour advertising capability? Will all the leads be followed up on by your agent’s team or will they go to other agents who may have other listings they would prefer to show? Agents who are innovative and offer new methods of attracting home buyers will measurably outperform agents who rely on methods of the past. To market effectively in the 90’s and beyond requires progressive strategies that add value and service for both buyers and sellers!
We sincerely hope these tips and ideas are of value to you. If there is any way we can be of service, please contact our office…we would consider it a privilege to be of service to you! If you would like a FREE consultation call our office::
Sherman & Co., Realtors
Use this checklist as a guide for interviewing and selecting a real estate professional to work with you. make at least three copies and use it during the actual interview as your guide to selection of an agent.
REAL ESTATE CHECKLIST
Company Name: ______________________________
Agent Name: _________________________________
Agent has the REALTOR® designation Yes ____No _____
Is a Certified Residential Specialist CRS Yes ____No _____
Is part of the Kerrville MLS System Yes ____No _____
Has a computer Yes ____No _____
Has office based technology to create color home brochure Yes ____ No _____
Has written credentials Yes ____No _____
Can provide up-to-date statistics for personal production Yes ____ No _____
Offers a Home Warranty Yes ____ No _____
Has national web presence Yes ____ No _____
Is a member of local Chamber of Commerce Yes ____ No _____
Has strong local image Yes ____ No _____
Has sold majority of homes in my community Yes ____ No _____
Can provide written record of listings & sales Yes ____ No _____
Advertises regularly Yes ____ No _____
Kerrville Daily Times Yes ____ No _____
Homes & Land Magazine Yes ____ No _____
Real Estate Review Magazine Yes ____ No _____
TelevisionY es ____No _____
Has direct mail database Yes ____ No _____
200+ cooperating agentsY es ____ No _____
Has a past business database for regular mailings Yes ____ No _____
Has a personal support staff Yes ____ No _____
Is a full time agent with no “other job” Yes ____ No _____
Can provide career production record Yes ____ No _____
Knows their percentage of sales in this community Yes ____ No _____
Knows their record of list price to sale price Yes ____ No _____
Knows MLS average days on market Yes ____ No _____
Knows their own average days on market Yes ____ No _____
Has achievement & production awards Yes ____ No _____
Has the agent provided a well researched market analysis in written form Yes ____ No _____
Has the agent explained the whole process from beginning through the closing Yes ____ No _____
Do you believe this is the best agent in the business to work for you Yes ____ No _____
The top agents in your area should be able, usually, to answer all of these questions.
Asking the above questions may make the difference in saving you thousands of dollars as a consumer. Take advantage of working with a top agent in an area.
HOW TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU LIST AGAIN!
Interview With confidence…Make A Choice That Will Help You Sell Your Home Faster And…For More Money!
If your listing has expired and you may be wondering what to do. The most important question you must ask is, “where did I go wrong?” The answer is not usually within you, but with the agent you entrusted. Be prepared with the right information so you can interview your prospective agent with confidence and assure you make the right choice this time.
With hundreds or even thousands of dollars at stake and weeks of time invested don’t risk making mistakes. Make sure your agent is eminently qualified to sell your home. Don’t risk this decision out of obligation to a friend, family member or acquaintance.
Typically, most people will ask business associates, family or friends to recommend someone who they’ve had good luck with…someone they can trust. Other sellers will watch neighborhood real estate signs to see who is listing many of the homes. Still others rely upon the reputation of the major national franchise companies. Then, of course, there’s always the yellow pages. All of these methods could prove to be a disaster!
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS FIRST!
When selecting an agent, he or she should be someone you feel good about, someone you’re willing to trust with one of the biggest financial transactions you may ever engage in. This report is designed to empower you with the information necessary to make the right decision before you arrive at the place where you’re ready to sign on the dotted line again. Don’t allow the prospective agent to dictate your time table. If an agent is impatient you should consider them automatically suspect…be careful.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Ask for References From Past Sellers – Before you sign a listing agreement check out references from past sellers. Flattering letters praising the agent’s work…in a presentation book…are a great start, but dig deeper. Ask for telephone numbers and names of the past three sellers and names of at least two current listings.
Know The Companies Reputation – Ask your business associates, family and friends about the company or agent and listen carefully for the very first thing they say. A company has a reputation in the community…listen closely for it!
DON’T STOP ASKING!
Ask for a comparison chart of last years sales to this years sales. How is the agent and company doing? Ask for a history of the agent…how many companies have they been with and why did they change? If the reason is always money there may be something wrong! Be careful because if your agent changes companies your listing belongs to the broker and you may get a new inexperienced agent as your replacement…this could be very costly!
Define Planning Times – Establish a time with your agent to go over the marketing results within the first 15 days. Ask for all showings and feedback from other agents. Help the agent understand that any news is good even if it’s bad because it helps you make adjustments in your marketing plan.
If you follow these suggestions you’re sure to avoid the mistakes of the past. Make sure you’re dealing with a competent professional…making the right choice is worth thousands of dollars and a great sense of “peace of mind”.
We sincerely hope these tips and ideas are of value to you. if there is any way we can be of service please contact our office…we would consider it a privilege to serve you! If you would like a FREE consultation call our office:
Sherman & Co.
819 Water, Suite 170
Kerrville, TX 78028