My friends needed to hire a good Realtor to sell their home. Well, actually it was their parents home and it was outside of my area.
They had no idea what questions to ask- so I create a form to make their lives easier.
Here are the data points I think you should have on each agent you consider and how you can interpret the answers.
A large real estate company doesn’t help the homeowner one little bit. Global marketing and television ads are useless for helping a specific homeowner get top dollar for their home! If a small company has a great reputation with the local residents and local agents then rest easy.
Years in Business
Again, a long time in business is not a guarantee of a great agent for you. I know lots of dinosaurs who are terrible agents and lots of newbies who are doing amazing things. In general, years of experience is a good and valuable thing for you, it just isn’t the only thing.
Number of Transactions in the Last Two Years
This is a more important indicator of a good Realtor to sell your home. The average agent does 6 transactions per year. Ask your prospective Realtor what they have sold in the last two years. You might find an unusually valuable agent if they are doing more than the average.
List Price to Sales Price Ratio (vs Area Average)
This number tells you how invested the agent is in selling homes for their highest dollar. If they get more than the area average they might be an unusually good Realtor to sell your home – they might be talented marketer and negotiator.
Average Days On Market
Beware the Realtor who habitually sells in just a few days. In this market, it usually means the agent is going for the easy and quick deal, not necessarily the best deal. Also, be careful if their market times are longer than average. That Realtor is might be quoting high prices as a way to get the listing or they are unskilled in getting homes sold.
Average Dollar per Square Foot (vs area average)
Average Dollar per Square Foot helps illustrate an agent’s ability to sell the home for more money.
Solo vs Team
Either can be great for a seller. Take time during the listing interview to find out how everything gets done and who is responsible for your ultimate satisfaction.
A good Realtor to sell your home has an even better team of people behind them. Even solo agents have people who help them out, even if it is a shared resource like a transaction coordinator. Find out who is involved and what their duties and responsibilities are.
Reviews are a great way to decide who is a good Realtor to sell your home. Most real estate reviews are written at the request of the agent. Therefore, most reviews are super positive and 5 star. However, there is still much you can learn. No one is good at everything and you’ll see what your potential agent can do and, by omission, what they do not.
List of References
This is similar to reviews. Everyone on this list will say glowing things about the Realtor. Listen to what they do NOT say and have a few questions prepared that reflect your unique concerns.
The answers to these next questions are to give form to the questions you ask in the actual interview. You will likely receive a list of “features” (I do this, this, and that). A good Realtor to sell your home goes beyond writing a check to describing why thier service is unique (i.e. “professional photography” is just writing a check. “I have the best architectural photographer in the land and his photos are shown in Dwell Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar and Claremont Life” is unique)
Almost all good Realtors to sell you home will specify they “ensure your listing is seen on hundreds of real estate internet sites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com”. Look for an answer that goes beyond the simple syndication to these sites.
How will the home be shown? Find out what they do to make this intrusive process more convenient, less stressful and more effective than the others.
There are at least four separate negotiations in every transaction. Find out if the agent has thought about negotiation strategy or if they are just “winging it”. A good Realtor to sell your home will have a clear strategy for every negotiation in the transaction.
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