Hard questions to Ask Prospective Real Estate Agents When Selling a Home in a Down Market

Real Estate Agent with Champions Real Estate Services - Lynnwood, WA

Whatever part of the country you are in selling a home or condo right now is not an easy thing. Home prices are down, market times up and sellers desperate to get their homes sold. This is making it harder and harder to successfully market a home. So now more than ever it is vital that you choose the right real estate agent to market and sell your home! Choosing the wrong agent to sell your property in a down market can be disastrous. Above and beyond the normal set of questions I suggest sellers hit real estate agents with, in a tough market like this there are a few extra things you need to ask the agent you are thinking of hiring.

Agent Question #1: Are you full or part-time?  Many agents have given up the business lately, and many more have fallen back to part-time and are working a 'regular' job to make ends meet. While we must all do we have two to survive, if you are serious about selling your home you need an agent that is always on the job working for you. If they are working 40 hours a week in a nine to five job, are they really going to be able to answer calls, follow-up on showings and so on? While they are harder to find, I strongly suggest that you work with an agent like myself, that is still full time in the real estate business to market your home.

Agent Question #2: Are they suggesting a realistic price?  In a down and desperate real estate market such as we are experiencing, you may find agents that are willing to tell you anything in order to get a listing. In the real estate industry this is known as 'buying a listing' and it amounts to telling sellers that their home is worth more than the comparable sales and market conditions would otherwise indicate. In a regular market this is a problem, but in a down market it can be devastating. Now more than ever pricing your home accurately and competitively is vital! Remember you're competing against more homes for fewer buyers. Overpricing your home now will mean no showings and force you into a series of price cuts to gain interest which may actually cause you to sell your home for less than if it had been priced correctly to start with.

Agent Question #3: Do they think you should sell now or wait until the market recovers?  People are always amazed when I tell them that I don't think they should put their homes on the market right now. They are I am guessing, assuming that because I make a living marketing homes that I would be anxious to have another listing. The truth however is that for some people it makes more sense right now to sit tight and wait until the market comes back up to make a move. Talk with your perspective agent and ask them what their opinion of your situation is, then decide if they are more interested in doing what is right for you or in having another listing that might make them a dollar.

Agent Question #4: How experienced are they at short sales?  If you are in that very uncomfortable situation of having negative equity and needing to sell then you must work with an agent familiar and experience with short sales. The process of marketing a home in negotiating the sale not only with buyers but the bank that holds the note takes practice and skill. I know from experience that banks can be very difficult to work with and it sometimes takes special care to keep these three-way deals together all the way until closing.

Selecting an agent familiar with short sales doesn't cost extra, but working with one that is inexperienced can cost you greatly! Those are the extra questions that you need to hit your perspective real estate agents with if you're considering selling a home right now. Selecting agent that is hard-working, has experience and integrity is never an easy task. Never be afraid to talk to several agents before signing a listing agreement, and never feel pressured to work with a 'friend' or relative simply because they are in the business and need the work. Right now you need to be focused on working with an agent that has the experience and capability to get your home sold and do a fantastic job for you.

Call Jacqueline Cliff if you need to sell your home or investment property in Western Washington!
As a professional, full time real estate agent and loan officer, Jacqueline Cliff has helped dozens of home owners market and sell their existing homes and investment properties. Unlike the stereotypical real estate agent, Jacqueline is very involved in the marketing of her clients properties. As a full time professional real estate agent and loan officer, Jacqueline is on top of the latest trends and happenings in the real estate market and passes that skill on in the marketing of her client's properties. Serving Western Washington from Arlington to Seattle and beyond, Jacqueline Cliff is the agent to call if you need to sell your home or investment property!

To find our more about Jacqueline Cliff you can visit her website at http://www.jacquiecliff.com/
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