When it comes time to list your home for sale, it may be difficult to choose which local agent to represent you. Some people pick the agent with the most for sale signs in their community. Some sellers go with the company with the most pages of advertising in the real estate magazines. Some list with a friend or relative. Some people prefer to work with strangers because they don't want to mix family or friendships with business. And some list with a discount broker in the hopes of saving money on the commission. Any of these choices might be the right one for you, if you get lucky. However, there are some important things you should look for before you make that decision.
1. Does the agent you are considering have a strong online presence? The following are statistics from the National Association of Realtors: 90% of buyers begin their home search on the internet. 36% will find their home on the internet. The statistics for the usage of Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. are astounding! If you want your house to be seen on the world wide web, find out if your agent has a professional website with the ability to search for up-to-date properties, is blogging daily, posting live videos on YouTube about your property, and telling their sphere of influence about your home on Facebook. The buyer for your house could be across the country or living in the house next door. Either way, they can find you online!
2. Does the agent you are considering place value on photos? Since you just read about how many buyers are looking online, you can understand why photos are so important. Some agents post 0-3 photos and stop there. If you have ever purchased any items on ebay, amazon, etc. you know the importance of photos. Photos can make up for description that might be missing. Agents used to pay a lot of money for professional virtual tours which, at the time, were pretty and effective. Today, we have video cameras on our cell phones that we can use to make our own virtual tours. They may not be as professional looking, but the potential buyer can hear about the house and see the expert speak about his/her listing. In the blink of an eye, your house can be posted on YouTube for the whole world to see.
3. Is the potential agent honest? If you interview five agents and four of them are relatively close in price but the fifth agent thinks an inflated price might work, who will you believe? Yes, you might want as much money as you can get, but if you want your house to sell quickly, it should be reasonably priced. If it's priced too high, you may be insulted with what you might consider low offers when they may be reasonable. It the listing is priced too high and doesn't get any offers, it will get stale. Ask potential agents for their past property listing statistics for days on market and original list price to sale price ratios.
4. Does the agent you are considering work well with other agents? This may be a harder question for you to answer but ask how quickly your agent responds to phone calls from other agents? Ask if you will get feedback from other agents after all showings (this can take 2-3 calls and/or emails). Ask if documents associated with the sale (plats, property disclosures, septic permits, etc.) will be listed for easy access to buyers and their agents. These documents should be available in the form of a brochure inside the house, on the Multiple Listing Service for the agents to access, and in an info box on vacant land. The more information available to buyers, the better they are able to make an decision. There are listing agents who take days to provide such information to selling agents when these documents should have been collected at the time of the listing.
Now you know the necessary things you should learn about a listing agent before you list your property for sale. You can now call Mrs. Sells Everything or Uncle Joe and start interviewing listing agents.
If you are selling in Oconee County, SC call or text Sharalyn Kluke 864-888-7195. You can also find me on facebook, Twitter, by email, my website, on YouTube, etc. You get the idea :-)