Most of us are not aware of the trends and fluctuations of the real estate market. Likewise we don’t know the steps necessary to maximize profits on the sale of our home. We rely heavily on the real estate agent to lead us down the path of profits. Considering your home is typically the most valuable asset you possess, doesn’t it make sense to list with someone who will be able to generate the most money in a sale?
This blog post was designed to empower you with critical information necessary to evaluate an agent’s qualifications and help you identify the professional that will best serve your needs. The more meticulous you are in your search for an agent, the higher your profits will be.
Start by doing some research. Find out who the most active real estate agents are in your market. Ask friends, relatives and co-workers for referrals, then compile a list and find out how the agent markets his or her listings to sell.
Place a call to each of the agents on your list. Document how quickly they return your call. Remember, they will be returning calls to your prospective homebuyers. Do an initial interview over the phone so when you meet, you will be prepared.
At the meeting, request a step-by-step marketing plan for your sale including everything from title to escrow so you know exactly what services the agent will provide. Evaluate the team that your potential agent has assembled. Top producers will have established relationships with lenders, title reps, and inspectors. They are there for your benefit. Should any of these people not be prepared to handle any aspect of the sale, then you are not receiving the best possible service.
Request a complete report of your property with ideas for improvements, cosmetic changes or structural repairs that can add value to your property. A small investment up front can pay huge dividends at the time of the sale. Also request detailed information about current market conditions, the competition of other homes for sale and proper pricing. Have your agent educate you on all aspects regarding your sale.
Insist that all potential buyers be pre-qualified to purchase your home. Screen out unwanted prospects before getting to the final stages of negotiating.
Request a complete net sheet, minus commissions and fees, so you know exactly how much money you will profit at the time of the sale.
Insist on a step-by-step marketing plan of how your home is going to be marketed and sold. Look for innovative ways to attract homebuyers. Demand 24-hour advertising, lead accountability, and tracking services. These services do exist and you should make sure they are part of your home’s marketing.
Investigate the agent’s marketing strategy. Do they waste their time cold calling all day or do they have an established marketing plan in place to attract qualified buyer prospects? Do they contact those leads? Also find out what type of direct mail campaign the agent has in place. Is it professional? Does the mailing generate buyer prospects that would be interested in purchasing your house?
What type of advertising will they use? Insist that the advertising be well written and professional in appearance. They should be advertising it everywhere possible. The quality of the advertising will directly affect how well your home will be perceived.
Have a written and well-conceived negotiating strategy. A sound negotiating strategy can make thousands of dollars of difference when the final sale goes through, so your agent must have a plan in place for this aspect.
Finally, have a written closing checklist. You need to know how to conclude the sale of your home in an orderly and legally sound manner.
A strong, qualified agent must meet all the requirements listed in this report if they are truly going to sell your property for TOP DOLLAR.