You are about to sell one of the biggest investments in your lifetime. You've put several improvements into your property every year. For some it's more than a few years, it may be more like 10 or 20 years. Why would you consider hiring anything but the best to market and sell your home?
The National Association of Realtors reports that 80% of Realtors leave the industry within the first year on the job; another 80% leave within 5 years. The average Realtor makes $12,000 a year; only completes 4 to 6 transactions a year and only work part-time. It's the top percentage of Realtors who get the job done.
You want to get the best. Here's what I recommend for the Omaha Metro Area real estate market. Contact 3 top Realtors in your area. Listen to their marketing presentations before making your decision. Here are 8 specific things to look for during that interview:
1. Does the Realtor explain how "Agency" laws work in your State? This is crucial to know. You already know the Agent will represent you but what about other Agents who show your house?
2. Has the Agent prepared a report on houses like yours in the area and the final closing price? The houses they compare to yours should be like your home. If you live in a 2-Story you don't want to know what Ranches are selling for in your area. This report is critical in assisting you and your Realtor on arriving at a list price for your home.
3. Does the Realtor have a prepared marketing plan? The plan must contain more than getting your home listed on the MLS and getting a sign place in the yard. You want to look for a strong blend of colorful flyers with descriptions that make a potential Buyer clamor to see your home, effective internet marketing, marketing to a wide pool of area Realtors (regardless of the Company they work for) and networking.
4. What is the Realtor's area of expertise? If you are selling a condo/townhome then ask to see the Agent's success with selling on condos. Perhaps the Realtor is an expert on your part of town. Perhaps the Realtor is very sensitive to your culture and will make you feel at ease. Find out if their strengths match your needs.
5. The Realtor should prepare a statement showing you what your expenses will be (including the commission) in selling your home for a specific price. A great Realtor will have the tools handy during the interview so they can prepare several of the statements if you haven't settled on a final price.
6. The Realtor should present a Communication Plan to you. Do they promise to send you a weekly or monthly activity report? Do they promise to call you after every showing to discuss the Buyer's reactions, likes and dislikes. Will the Realtor promise to return phone calls? Does the Realtor have an email address they check at least once a day?
7. Being a Realtor is an expensive proposition. The Realtor pays for all the marketing they present to you in their plan. Many effective Realtors offer other important services such as Staging Experts.
8. Finally, the Realtor should act enthusiastically about the opportunity to market your home. Enthusiasm is so important. If your Realtor is not eager to get a positive message about your home to the market then don't hire them.
A lot of Realtors don't want you to have this checklist because they fall short of the mark. Don't you make that mistake. You're risking a lot and you need the best choice. If you live in the Omaha area I hope I'll be privileged to make a presentation to you when you're ready to sell.