How to Find The Right Realtor To Sell Your Home
Thinking about selling your home? Whether relocating, cashing out on your investment, or needing to up/down size it is important to find a the Realtor to list your home for sale. Your home is a big investment and proper representation can help you make tens of thousands of dollars more than simply assuming all realtors put homes on Zillow. A well experienced pro will also make the process simple and quick while protecting your best interests. Here are our tips on how to find the right real estate professional to sell your home.
1) Ask For Referrals
When selecting an agent its best to start by asking friends, family, and neighbors. But approach the question logically. Asking "do you know a realtor" is a great way to get a list of friends of friends. Instead ask your question like this " Do you know someone who has sold a home in the area recently?" This narrows the referral field substainially as it eliminates the newly licensed from potential suggestions. There are so many stages to a real estate sale that having a seasoned pro is in your best interest. An experienced local pro will know how to market your home, they probably even have a couple of potential buyers ready from the home they just sold down the street.
2) Test Your Agent
Once you have your list of agents ready its time to start narrowing the field. The first measure should be response time. Send your potential agents an email or text message (call their office as well). Now sit back and wait. This is to measure the agents response time. Ideally your agent is immediately responsive or has a team that handles these matters swiftly. This test is to gauge the level of service to expect. Imagine if you had an issue come up with an appraisal or home inspection? As a seller you would want immediate attention to any and all issues that would come up, so chart your prospects response time.
3) Ask the Right Interview Questions
Treat your realtor as a potential employee. You can ask about their services and track record. Ask the following:
A) How long have you been in business?
Aim for agents with a couple years experience and who sell homes full time. Being in business a couple years means they have formulated a marketing plan, while being a full time agent means that this is their livelihood and your satisfaction is a priority.
B) How many houses did you sell last year?
General rule of thumb is to look for agents who sell more than 30+ homes per year. This shows that they offer outstanding service that leads to referrals and have a sense of marketing to find potential buyers.
C) What percentage of your listings do you sell?
Just like grade school percentages are important. The higher the better. Do not consider an agent who sells less than 70% of their listings.
D) What is the average list price to actual sell price ration for your listings?
This can fluctuate depending on the state of the market. Nonetheless you should set expectations for a high percentage. Look for a ratio above 93%. Accurate pricing is one of the most important factors in selling a home. Being off on price causes you to sit on the market. Time on market leads to price reductions and price reductions lead to lower sales figures.
4) Ask For A Marketing Plan
Its not rocket science, to sell a home you need to make sure its viewed by as many potential buyers as possible. Use these questions to gauge your realtor's marketing prowess:
A) How will you market my home?
Its 2018, every agent and brokerage has a website, listings syndicate to Zillow, and the local newspaper is saturated with for sale homes. Buyers are no longer local and you want your home to stand out. Look for a realtor who is regularly featured in local magazines, has a social media marketing campaign, and an online marketing department (most buyers first see the home online). Give bonus points to realtors with large databases, an investor could be interested in purchasing your home and putting it back on the market as a rental.
B) What offline materials do you use?
While digital marketing is a growing industry you still want to have a print presence. Fliers, yard signs, brochures, etc. The "take home materials" are important, you want your flier to be the one that stands out in the collection from a weekend spent viewing open houses.
5) Do Not Go For Cheap
The least expensive agent is seldom the right choice. An agent who is confident in their abilities and has track record of success will stand by their pricing. Think about it this way, if your agent can not protect and negotiate their own cost, do you really want them trying to get top dollar for your home?