Based upon input I’ve received about this post, I’ve modified my list of tips for finding a great Realtor to sell your home. (Aren’t blogs great? You can go back and fine-tune your messages based upon valuable contributions provided by readers! See comments below.) I’ve also expanded the list to include a few more I’d like to mention:
Now… here’s the updated post:
Even though home sales are crawling in many areas, there are still buyers out there looking for homes and real estate agents who are successfully selling them. That’s why it’s important for home sellers to do their homework when it comes to picking the right agent.
Here are a few tips for choosing an agent who will work hard to sell your house:
1. Is the agent successfully selling homes in this market? Look for recommendations for agents who are actively selling homes in your area right now. (If you’re thinking about working with a high-volume agent with many listings, find out who exactly will be working with you. Will you be receiving personal attention from the agent, or will you be communicating primarily with the busy agent’s assistant?)
2. Does the agent provide you with up-to-date, detailed information about the other homes on the market in your area, recent sales activity and trends, and then based on this data, determine a realistic asking price for your home? (Be careful of agents who suggest that you ask the highest price, just to get you to list with them.)
3. Does the agent have a solid long-term marketing plan? How does the agent plan to target and promote your home to buyers and other agents? A good agent will also have a comprehensive Internet marketing strategy to ensure your home gets maximum online exposure.
4. Does the agent provide you with tips and suggestions on how to enhance the visual appeal of your home? Good agents will (politely) let you know if you need to remove excess clutter, and will give you ideas for staging your home so it looks its best. They may also provide you with a list of experts who can help you, such as handymen, painters, home stagers, landscapers or gardeners, depending upon your needs.
5. Is the agent responsive to your calls? When you try reaching the agent, does he or she answer or return your call in a reasonable amount of time? This is important because if you have a hard time reaching your agent, so will house hunters and potential buyers. A good agent will also keep in ongoing contact with you to let you know what is going on, and the progress being made… even if it is slow.
6. How many photos will the agent be posting online? Will they post the maximum amount the MLS allows or will they go beyond this number to get even more exposure of your home? The more attractive visual information you can provide home sellers, the more likely your property will be remembered and visited. (One top-selling Realtor I know will post over 100 photos of a single home on her site, giving buyers a close-up view of everything from the granite countertops to the beautiful bathroom fixtures.)
7. Will the agent create a highlight sheet detailing the features and benefits of your area? (And, is the agent savvy about the amenities in your area?) It used to be that you only needed to describe the features in your home, but now, with the increased inventory of houses on the market, it also pays to post and promote what’s unique about your particular neighborhood. For example, easy access to public transportation, schools, parks, stores and restaurants, or if your area has a lower tax rate than surrounding areas.
For hundreds of other tips to help you sell your home faster, easier, and saner read the Home Seller’s Blues and How To Beat Them eBook, available for immediate reading.