4 Questions to Ask your Agent BEFORE you hire them!

Did you know that 85% of sellers hire the very first agent they talk to?  This might be their neighbor, their aunt, or their friend's friend from high school.  Do you realize it takes 10 times more training to become a master barber (yes, a BARBER) then it does to become a licensed real estate agent?  Unfortunately this industry is flooded with wildly under trained "professionals" and you have to weed through the masses to find the agent to trust your home sale with.  Most times this is the largest monetary deal you will ever make in your life.  Doesn't it make sense to trust it to someone who has a very well thought out plan to protect you and to market your property?

1)  WHAT IS YOUR MARKETING PLAN?

If you don't market a home, it won't sell.  Or more correctly, it won't sell at top dollar, and it won't sell quickly.  And if you don't ask how the agent plans to market your home, you're not doing your due diligence, according to Cheryl Eidinger-Taylor, COO of ERA Key Realty Services in Whitinsville, Mass.

"Sellers really need to ask agents how they plan to market their home to the greatest number of potential buyers," says Taylor. "Find out what your agent's philosophy is for marketing listings, and ask what the agent will do after taking the listing."

Taylor says it's key to check out the agent's marketing track record. By looking at past listings, sellers can see how well the agent raises a home's visibility online -- a must-have skill because most buyers find their home through Internet listings. Make sure the agent you hire uses quality photos for the online listings. And increasingly, Taylor says, agents need to be able to show sellers examples of virtual tours they've created, because that tool is becoming important for buyers.  Click below to read about my detailed marketing plan.

I have heard over and over, but real estate agents cost so much money!  I get that!  But on average, houses that are listed with a truly talented agent garner roughly 13% more than houses sold by owner, according to the National Association of Realtors.  Again, and I cannot over state this:  Your Real Estate Agent's Top 2 jobs are:  1) Market your home and make it STAND OUT from the others, and 2) Save you a LOT of work and worry!

2) SHOULD YOU HIRE BASED ON A GUT FEELING?

When it comes time to list their home, most sellers have two questions for their real estate agents: How much will they get for the property and what will the commission be? Beyond that, real estate agents say few sellers take time to ask additional questions, and many hire the first agent they meet, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

"Most people hire an agent on appearance and gut feeling," says Lou Cardillo of Cardillo Real Estate in Mahopac, N.Y. "But selling a home is a very big and important transaction, and sellers should probe deeper to find out why that agent is better compared to another agent."

A better approach, real estate agents say, would be for sellers to treat that first meeting with a listing agent as an interview and ask a wide range of questions before they make a decision. Here are seven questions that sellers should ask prospective real estate agents.

3) WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE?

It may sound like an obvious place to start, but surprisingly many sellers don't ask potential agents about their job experience, says Rob Levy, a principal broker with Keller Williams Realty Professionals in Portland, Ore., and Palm Springs, Calif.

"A home is typically the most expensive business transaction someone will be involved with in their life," Levy says. "Unfortunately, many people ask more questions when getting their hair cut than they do buying and selling their home."

There's no magic number when it comes to experience, according to Levy. But sellers should look for agents with enough sales under their belts to comfortably handle deals from listing to closing. Equally important, says Levy, agents need to know the area and have familiarity with the local inventory. So, ask agents about their recent listings.

4) WILL YOU HELP ME STAGE & PRICE MY HOME TO SELL?

During the pre-listing stage, this is when your realtor needs to provide comprehensive reports beyond the typical Market Analysis to help guide you in finding the price that will maximize your profits, but also will create foot traffic and a large amount of interest.  When houses are priced properly and staged beautifully, they receive much more traffic which can result in multiple offer situations. 

The first stat to check with your agent is the list-to-price ratio, which is the final sale price divided by the most recent listing price, expressed as a percentage.

"If the percentage is over 100 percent, the agent's homes sell for more than their list price," says Hager. "Understanding this percentage helps sellers determine if the agent is knowledgeable and is not inflating the price just to obtain the listing."

An equally important stat is how long the agent's listings stay on the market.

"The average days on the market figure reflects the agent's ability to price appropriately, as well as effectively market the property," says Hager. "For a seller, finding an agent whose homes are on the market for a below-average amount of time will provide confidence that the agent is an expert who will handle their home sale quickly and efficiently."

 

I would love to get together with you to discuss how I can help you sell and market your home in the DFW area!  I am so excited to share with you my marketing plans and background! All photos on this website and in each post were taken by me.  I have been a full time professional photographer for 15 years, and 80% of my work has been in real estate for the past 4 years.  Each time one of my good friends told me they were selling their house and they were going to "make their agent use me because my photos are the BEST," and then 2 weeks later, I would see their listing with extremely sub-par photos, I would get so frustrated!  My friends deserve BETTER.  Now my clients and friends can use me to sell AND photograph their homes, ensuring the absolute best marketing out there.  They never have to settle for less again!

Please click below for more information or call me, Heather McClelland, REALTOR at Clark Real Estate Group at 817-771-1360 for an individual consultation.