Many realtors acquire business by word-of-mouth referrals. So first, inquire within your social circles for realtors with noteworthy reviews. If that approach is unsuccessful, look online for top realtors in your area, and in your local newspaper and mail for advertisements. During your preliminary research, be cautious of any disciplinary issues associated with a realtor’s license. Some states have specific websites that detail a realtor’s violations, or you can search realtor review websites to gain insight. Once you create a short list of realtors, schedule in-person interviews to see if any continue to meet your criteria.
Prior to each interview, prepare a list of questions surrounding sales knowledge and approaches; during the meeting take notes. Discuss the realtor’s recent sales in the area, but primarily properties that can be used as a comparable (“comp”). It is important to know if the realtor has experience with homes similar to yours. Additionally, ask if the realtor works independently or as part of a team. Typically, a team approach provides more resources to assist in the sale of your home. Furthermore, ask about the realtor’s pricing strategy. For instance, does the realtor like to price a property high to test the water, or price it low to create a bidding war? Be wary of high listing prices that seem too good to be true. A realtor may inflate the true value of your home just to gain your business.
Though money can be uncomfortable to discuss, commission rates factor into your decision. After finding out the commission, ask if it includes marketing materials. Despite the answer, inquire about the nature of the marketing materials and request examples to evaluate if the cost is ultimately beneficial. Common marketing trends are advertisements in the newspaper, open houses, direct mail campaigns, and online posts. Also, discuss if the price of professional photos are included in the commission. Again, despite the answer, ask for samples of the realtor’s photographer of choice so that you can conduct a cost-benefit analysis. Keep in mind that a commission may be negotiable, so a commission rate alone should not be a deal breaker.
More than Strategy
Not only should expectations on a sales strategy align, but you should also have a personal connection with your realtor. Ideally, your personalities will mesh and there will be an open and easy flow of communication from the beginning. In addition, you need to establish a level of trust and dependability. Remember, this individual will be in your home showing it to strangers while you are not present. Another aspect to consider is the mode of communication that will work best for your partnership ( i.e. text, email, or phone call).
Finding, and hiring, a competent realtor to list your home may take time. However, as with any major decision, it is crucial to do your due diligence by researching and interviewing individuals. At the end of the day, you want to do your best to ensure a timely and profitable sale.