Choosing the Right Realtor for You
Finding the right real estate professional requires doing a little research and asking a few questions. You need to know everything about the selling process. What is the marketing strategy? What kind of advertising will be done? Is the Realtor capable and willing to communicate effectively? Can the Realtor effectively present and sell the less-noticeable assets of the property?
Real estate professionals also need to be knowledgeable about the community. They need to have a feel for the history of the area and the approximate price that people will be willing to pay.
Also, real estate agents should know what the competition is and how much it will effect your sale.
NEVER choose a Realtor on price alone. Remember that a Realtor cannot magically raise the selling price of the house. Consider the buyer. The purchaser won't willingly pay too much; it's most likely that he or she will do research on the market and try to find the best product for the best price.
The facts simply cannot be changed, no matter which Realtor you select. In spite of these unchangeable factors, the Realtor you select must still be diligent and knowledgable.
If your property does not elicit attention within the first few weeks, the cause can most likely be attributed to one of these three factors: location, condition, and price. The location obviously cannot be changed. You should consider examining the conditioning of your property and reevaluating the marketing strategy.
Ask your Realtor to offer an explanation of the competition and your pricing strategy.
Mistakes made when choosing a Realtor
Selling a home should be like any other business transaction, but all too often sellers make emotional or impulsive decisions that cost them money and time. Choosing the right Realtor to market a property and negotiate the sale is the most important step in the process.
"This agent will hold an open house every week."
Open houses can and do sell homes, but usually not your home. Only a small fraction of the homes held open are sold as a direct result of the open house. More often, "open houses" are a way that real estate agents "prospect" for potential clients. If they develop a rapport with those visitors to your open house, they can find out about their housing needs and sell them the home that most closely matches those needs. Meanwhile, the person who eventually buys your home may be visiting someone else´s open house.
Good agents know better than to pin all their selling efforts on an open house. They use their time in more effective marketing methods. The most effective marketing is not directly to the public, but to other agents. By getting other agents interested in your home, your listing agent multiplies your sales force beyond just one individual.
"I´m going to list with the agent who has the lowest commission."
You get what you pay for. Paying a cut-rate commission will often get you a sign in the front yard and placement in the Multiple Listing Service, but little additional effort from your agent.
Realize that agents and real estate companies put up their own funds to market and advertise your home. Marketing and advertising costs money -- the lower the commission, the less incentive for an agent to put up his or her own money to market your home.
Incentive plays a very important role in sales. A "full service" agent earning a full commission will often "drop everything" to handle any challenges that come along. An agent earning a small commission does not have that same incentive.
Incentive is also important to the buyer´s agent. Since there are almost always two agents involved in every sale, they split the commission according to the listing agent´s instructions. One agent is your listing agent. The other agent is the buyer´s agent. When your listing agent dropped his commission, did he also reduce the commission that will be paid to the buyers´ agent? If so, you won´t find as many agents willing to show your house, they´ll be showing houses that offer a customary commission to the buyer´s agent.
Finally, negotiating ability is an important skill in a listing agent. Are you willing to put your faith in an agent who can´t even negotiate his or her own commission?
"You´re the only agent who agrees with my selling price."
Some agents tell you what you want to hear. In the real estate profession, this is known as "buying a listing" and is employed by shortsighted agents who are more interested in themselves than they are in you. However good it works as a short-term "sales tactic" in getting your listing, it is an extremely poor strategy in selling a home at the highest possible price.
You see, your house gets the most attention from other agents when it is a "new" listing. If priced properly, lots of agents will show it to their buyers. If you price it too high, no one will show the house and it will sit on the market for some time. When you finally drop your price to reflect its real value, your house is "old news" and buyers may think you are growing desperate. Therefore, the prices you are offered will come in lower and lower and you may find yourself accepting a price that is below what you could have received had the house been priced properly to begin with.
Besides, pricing your home too high will only make similar houses for sale look that much better. Overpricing helps sell those houses, not yours.
"My friend (or family member) sells real estate."
Friendship alone isn´t enough to establish a professional´s credentials. Use tough standards when selecting an agent, just as you would when hiring an attorney, a doctor, or an accountant to handle your taxes. A true friend will understand and appreciate that this is a business decision and will offer their credentials and expect to compete for the listing. Besides, if a problem or challenge develops while selling your home, do you want to risk damaging a friendship or family relationship?
I'd love to help you sell your home!