Many homeowners decide to put their homes on the market in January and February. These are actually good selling months. Buyers who shop during the winter are serious about buying, and there may be less competition.
However, most sellers don’t know how to choose the right agent among the crop of good, great and not-so-great. Some choose an agent because he or she will drop their commission, or promises to list your home at the highest price. Those are not good reasons.
Here are four tips for interviewing and choosing an agent that meets your specific needs. 1.
Keep It Simple. If an agent offers some complicated commission scheme that seems too good to be true, this “deal” may favor the agent at your expense. There are catchy names like Supersaver, Flexiplan and House Blend (you’re selling your home, not making a pot of coffee!) Some will kick back money to you if you jump through their hoops.
Read these deals carefully, and decide if they’re right for you. Consider hiring the agent who can show just what they’ll do for you and quotes you a fair price for that work. 2.
Get What You Are Promised. Some agents spend less than $400 marketing a listing. It’s no wonder that some sellers feel cheated when so little is spent marketing their home and yet they’re charged tens of thousands of dollars in commissions. Ask agents you interview for a written marketing plan of how they will promote your property and the dollar amount they spend on an average listing. 3.
Get Their Stats. Lots of people can quote the batting averages of big-league ball players, past and present. Agents have batting averages, too. They’re called the list-to-sold ratio and list-to-sale-price ratio.
The former is how many homes the agent has sold compared to the total number he or she listed. For some agents, upwards of 30% of their listings don’t sell. Now a .700 batting average in baseball would be phenomenal. But in real estate, it’s not so good. Do you want to take a chance that you’ll be one of their clients who strike out?
The list-to-sale-price ratio is another measure of an agent’s capabilities. This stat compares the price the home was listed at to the price at which it sold. Below 97 or 98 percent and you might question why there was such a spread.
Every agent you interview should be able to quote you these stats.4.
Make Them Accountable. Ask the agents if they will provide weekly written status reports after your home is listed, showing how they have been marketing your property, the numbers of calls and showings, open house traffic and copies of all ads run. Also ask for updates on all the competition to your property, so you can measure the market.
Status reports are pretty common in most industries, but rare as hen’s teeth in real estate. But you’re the boss, and you can demand that those you hire prove that they’ve been on the job for you.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to save money, but remember that you’re hiring and agent to help you make money. The plan at www.ClickListSell.com
can do both for some sellers.
If you are thinking of selling your home in the near future and have any questions about the process, you may call me at any time for a free over-the-phone consultation.
Peter Bohush is broker/owner of MapleCliff Real Estate Services
and Helpful Real Estate Co.
Call (508) 845-SELL.