So you’ve taken that job offer in another state, 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.
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.
How to Choose a Realtor – Speak to More Than One Agent
It’s important to get a good feel for someone before committing- not only are you selling one of the largest assets of your lifetime but you will be in a working relationship with your agent for an extended period of time. You have to be compatible and comfortable with whom you hire.
Many times, I hear people will just list their home with an acquaintance or a friend of a friend. The problem with that is you need to be sure your real estate agent is an expert at not only selling homes but is an expert in your neighborhood. The fact is, there are many agents that are just part-time in real estate. You need a listing agent who is able to fully commit to the sale of your home.
There is a lot more work that goes on behind the scenes rather than simply snapping a few photos and sticking a sign out in the yard.
What Price Is the Listing Agent Recommending?
It is common knowledge in our industry that some agents will attempt to “buy” themselves a listing. This happens when an agent will throw out an absurd listing price that will be higher than what others recommend. While more dollars can sound tempting, be wary.
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.
How Are You Going to Get My Home Sold?
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.
How Will We Communicate Throughout the Process?
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.
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.
What Suggestions Do You Have for Me As the Seller?
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! More resources when selling your home.
Lisa Kohl is a full-time real estate professional in Boise, Idaho. Lisa’s experience as a Realtor helps her clients successfully complete real estate transactions without a hitch. Questions about this post, send us and message. We love receiving questions from our readers. They allow us to focus our content on issues that are important and relevant to sellers and buyers in Idaho.
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