Real Estate Sales Representative with RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage


We will be doing a series of articles on "Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience" and for your convenience you may follow the links below:

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 1)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 2)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 3)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 4)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 5)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 6)

Make Buying or Selling Your Next Home a Fun Experience (Part 7) 

In part one we laid the foundation for selling a property

; preparing the home for market. Now let's move on to the second level. 

Ok,  You Have To Choose an Agent, How Do You Select the Right One?

We suggest that you interview two or three Agents that you see are active in your area.  We can't believe we said that, can you?   We would love you to just call and hire us, but we have to be honest.

Today's the Day; Set It Up Right.   What we mean is, even before the first Agent steps in the door, make sure your home is in "showing" condition.   You've already spit polished it, so this won't take long.  You just have to tweak the presentation. 

Add a vase of fresh flowers to the kitchen and dining room tables, fluff up the pillows, turn the television off and play some soft, quiet music.  Bake cookies or bread for a fresh down home aroma. Not a baker? No problem; drop a few drops of vanilla extract on a red hot stove burner or a few cinnamon sticks in a pot of boiling water and, viola, same enticing smell.  Think of a romantic dinner here, no, we are not trying to romance the Agent, but we do want them to fall in love with your property!

If it's night time and cooler temperatures, turn lights on low and have a fire going if you have a fireplace.  In summertime, have the patio furniture displayed complete with chair pillows, umbrella up and again pots of flowers around. Do you see where we are going with all of this?

Point to ponder - It's best to have the children and pets away at the babysitters or at the very least playing quietly in a separate room. You will be having important discussions with these Agents, and you don't want to be distracted.

Set up appointments with those two or three agents. Book the appointments one in the afternoon, one in the evening or on different days, rather than booking these agents an hour or two apart. This is less stressful on you; you won't feel rushed or worried that the next Agent is going to be at the door soon.  The Agents will appreciate it as well, no uncomfortable feelings as they exchange places.  Besides, how much real estate talk can you actually take all in one evening!

Ask them to bring the comparable sales for your property (recent sales), and properties that are currently listed (your current competition). Ask them to show you their marketing program (their plan of action) and outline their strategies and experience for you.

This probably will be one of your biggest investments, you want to make sure the Agent you hire is experienced and knows how to negotiate very well.  Remember it will be YOUR money they are dealing with.  This is not the time for friends and family, we are looking for experience here and what's best for YOU. Sorry to be blunt, but just because Uncle Bart, neighbour Sue or best friend Joe has a real estate license doesn't mean he/she is your best choice. Family is family, friends are friends and you probably want them to remain as such.  If things aren't going to plan, it is harder for you to make that shake up call or worse, if it comes time to say "YOU'RE FIRED" to them!

All Agents are not the same.  Working with an Agent to sell your property is a lot different than working with an Agent to buy a property.   

The selling Agent must have a plan of action that includes many things in addition to MLS.  Whereas a buyer's Agent need only show enough homes to you until you find one you would like to buy.  We would lean to an Agent that has several houses listed for sale, usually that is a sign of a strong listing Agent. 

The tougher the market, the more experienced an Agent you need.  Don't be afraid to ask questions that you may have that were not covered in the Agents presentation. 

Here's a few need to know questions:

  1. How long have you been selling real estae?
  2. Why do you work for the Company you work for?
  3. How many homes have you sold this year?, last year?
  4. How many homes do you have listed right now?
  5. Is Real Estate your full time profession?
  6. How, how often and where will you advertise our home? 
  7. How close is your sale price from your suggested listing price?
  8. How many listings do you take that do not sell?
  9. How long is your listing contract?

Point to ponder - Do not choose the Agent because they suggested a high listing price (oldest trick in the book to get a listing) or one that offers a commission that is less than you found to be the average (2nd oldest trick in the book to get the listing).  Base your decision on the Agents experience and performance that way, you can't go wrong. 

One of the things to keep in mind and to yourself during these interviews is, IF the reason you are selling is due to a separation or financial issue. The reason we say that is, you will only be hiring one of these agents. There is a possibility that down the road one of the other two, may be representing the Buyer for your property and there is no advantage to you for them to know your situation.

While you are conducting these interviews, make note of which Agent really listens to your wants and needs, not their own and spends time with you. See which Agent you feel comfortable with, who has your same thoughts and ideas in mind, and who you "click" with personality wise. 

We are sure at the end of these interviews you will know who you want to work with and you will also be very knowledgeable about the market in your area and what to expect.  

Good luck with your decision making!



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Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Al & Peggy, great series! I read this last night, but was so tired I couldn't type a thing! I love it, it is certainly good advice for anyone in any area, Canada, USA, east coast, west coast.

Yes, stay away from Uncle Bart, LOL.

Aug 16, 2009 11:56 PM #1
Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage - Brampton, ON
Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!

Hi Andrea, we were up late last night trying to get it done.  Had to revise a few things this morning that weren't on the right wave length.  This Bob guy is working us hard.  He's probably going to make us sell a few extra homes with all this stuff.  Work Work Work 

Aug 17, 2009 01:13 AM #2
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Al & Peggy, This is already a great series.  I have heard of some agents here who are telling people there homes are worth much more then they'd go for at this time and I'm sure it's all over.  It must be the oldest trick in the book!

Aug 17, 2009 02:34 AM #3
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

Super series!  All the homes I sold I got some great cleaning habits.  Unfortunately they fell by the wayside when we bought the next home :-(

Aug 18, 2009 01:15 PM #4
Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage - Brampton, ON
Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!

Hi Carole, Ya, then they keep reducing, reducing, reducing, trying to get the property sold!  Thanks for coming by!

Hey Renee, You and us too! We have a garage with quite a few 'things' stored.! Thanks for checking in on us!

Aug 18, 2009 02:44 PM #5
Jenny Kotulak
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage - Oakville, ON
Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate

You have done an incredible amount of work on this series.  Bravo.  I like to tell my sellers that they have to buy their wive's flowers every week while the house is on the market to help sell the house.  Not a bad habit to get into either lol.

Aug 22, 2009 02:52 PM #6
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Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers

Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!
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