We've talked about things to look for when buying. Now it's time to take a look at what to expect from a professional listing broker. Selling the biggest investment most of us will ever make is a big decision, and one we shouldn't take lightly. Here are 4 really important considerations that will help you make the most from your investment.
First and foremost you really need to hire someone you believe can get the job done while representing your best interests. Yes, it's supposed to be a Realtor's ethical duty to represent your best interests, but after over a dozen years in the business I've seen plenty of agents fall short in this area. How do you identify if an agent really has your best interests at heart? The answer is a little different for everyone, but ask some pointed questions like "How do you handle buyers for my property?" Ideally you'd like to hear the agent tell you that they'd delegate that to another agent in the office so you don't have to worry who your agent is really working for. Getting a feeling for an agent's level of care is not always black and white, but more of an intuition. Is the agent willing to do whatever it takes for you, and are they willing to answer all your questions no matter how long it takes?
Does the broker/agent understand your needs and the market? Sounds basic, but contrary to what many believe all agents are not equal. Professional brokers and agents train daily to improve their craft and have their finger on the pulse of the market. What you hear or read in the news is always what already happened, not is happening now and in the future. Your agent has to understand where your home fits in the market, and be able to represent its value in the marketplace. The next agent you hire should take the time to listen and understand YOUR motivations and expectations. They should be able to combine experience with an actual plan to achieve YOUR goals.
Your next agent needs to have a professional presentation and plan to sell your home. If you interview an agent to sell the biggest asset that you own, and they show up with a few comps and a contract you should RUN the other way. Professional agents should have a dynamic presentation that highlights both their value and what they are going to do to get your home sold. This is basic preparation you should expect from your next agent. You need to know how they're going to do what they tell you they're going to do. The 3 P's of Putting a sign in the yard, Placing the home in the MLS, and Praying it sells is not a plan in today's market.
Pricing! This could really be a stand alone post because there's so much that's involved here, but I'll keep it concise. Your next agent has to be able to provide you a logical pricing strategy for your home! Homes are not jugs of milk. They're unique, and the market for your home is an ever changing animal that a professional should know and understand. Your next agent needs to be able show you what's already happened in the market, what's happening now, and what is likely to happen in the future when your home is on the market. Throwing a few comps on the kitchen table and saying "Well the house down the street sold for X so we should sell for Y" is NOT how a professional will help you set the price for the biggest asset you will ever own. It's completely lazy and irresponsible! If you don't price your home properly do NOT expect it to sell in the time frame that you're looking for, and don't expect to have offers and activity. Buyers have more data at their disposal than ever before so it's nearly impossible to trick them on price. A professional agent will have a pricing plan that fits the goals that you communicate. Pricing always ties back into points #1 and 2... Here's 2 quick ways to evaluate whether you're getting an accurate price or not: 1. Did your agent look at your home before suggesting a price? 2. Does the suggested list price & market trend align with the properties that have already sold? Many agents will give ridiculously high listing prices just get you to sign then reduce over and over once you're listed. Beware! Pricing is very important so make sure that your next agent has a pricing plan that makes sense for what you're trying to achieve together.
To maximize the value of your biggest investment it pays to have a professional on your side that's active in the marketplace, puts your needs first, prepares diligently to assist you, and will fight for the unique value of your home. If you'd like more information on how my team can serve you, e-mail me at Justin@welcomehomebend.com and we'll schedule a time to talk.