Working with a professional real estate can be tremendously rewarding. When selling a home, the right agent can save you money and time as well as provide you with peace of mind. To ensure you select the agent best suited for you and your situation, you need to pinpoint at least three agents (from personal recommendations, an ad or marketing piece or someone you’ve previously worked with) and then interview them. A friend’s success with an agent doesn’t guarantee that they are the best choice for you. Below are a number of factors to consider when interviewing prospective agents.
What experience do they have? Real estate has a high turnover and is a complex industry that takes time to really understand. How many houses have they sold in the past year? How many in your area? How much training have they had? Do they attend continuing education classes each year?
Is real estate their full-time job? Or is it a part-time pur suit to earn some extra income? Someone who is not committed to the profession full-time may not posses the knowledge, resources and time availability needed to get your house sold at the best price and in a timely manner. Ask for references and interview them.
How knowledgeable are they about the real estate market in your area? Do they have an idea of what homes have sold for recently, and how long they were on the market? Find out if they are familiar with the competition and how they think this will affect the ability to sell your house.
What specific marketing initiatives would they employ to sell your house? How does this compare with what the competition is doing? How do they plan to make your house stand apart? What is the average number of days their listings are on the market? How close to the asking price do their listings sell?
Be cautious with how agents value your home. The agent that makes the highest valuation isn’t necessarily the best choice. A home that is priced above what the market has recently seen risks few visitations and offers. Instead select the agent who can best support their valuation with facts and information abou t comparable homes. If your home is priced correctly it will sell regardless of location or condition.
What tools does the agent use: computer, cell phone, Web site, electronic marketing system? How technically competent are they? With all the sophisticated technology available today, you cannot expect to compete effectively without these. Ask to see samples of their marketing collateral, such as brochures and ads. How many people visit their Web site each day?
Also important is how you relate on a personal level. You will be communicating with this person a lot, sometimes under stressful conditions. Feeling comfortable with them will help to keep the lines of communication open and effective.
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