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Patrick Dugan's Blog

By Patrick Dugan | Agent in Maryland

Realtor at Pax River NAS

This week I want to talk about choosing your Realtor when it comes time to sell your house. Obviously I want you to choose me, but I thought I would pass on some questions that I and other agents I know have been asked by potential clients who were trying to decide on a Realtor.

The first one most people ask is “How long have you been in real estate?”  When I started in this profession over 6 years ago, I feared this question the most. Now I realize it is actually one of the least important questions to ask.  Yes, experience counts, but more important is hard work and a good plan of action. If your potential agent has a ton of years in the business that can benefit you. However, what if your potential agent has a ton of drive? If they are going to be excited about your business and make sure they talk about it, and advertise it and really work hard, that may make up for experience.

I would say that once you get an offer for your home, that is where the experience factor is going to count the most. So if you do go with a Realtor who isn’t long on experience, make sure that he/she is a  good negotiator and that they have a full time manager in their office who can help them if any problems should arise.

More important questions to me are…”What do you know about this area?” Is the agent familiar with all of your community amenities? Can they sell your neighborhood as well as your house? It is important that your agent be able to talk about the experience of living in that neighborhood.  So it is important that the agent ask you questions, as well as answer them.

“What is your marketing plan” This is a great question and really one of my top three to ask. What is the agent going to do to sell your home? How familiar is the agent with internet advertising? The internet is where buyers start their search 81% of the time. Will they find your house when they start looking? What other kind of advertising do they do? Newspaper, radio, T.V., magazines? Do they do mailings of postcards, or flyers? This is all very important to be sure that they get your home in front of the highest number of buyers.

Next, maybe you could ask for some samples of the agents work. Have them show you some of their past ads, flyers and postcards. This will help you decide who can present your home in the most positive fashion. How are the photos of the houses? Do they show the house in a positive way? Are the ads creative? Do they make you want to go see that property? If the agent is good at marketing, this will help get more buyers through the house.

Ask your potential agent about a time line. A real estate timing analysis is essential. How long will it take to get your home into the multiple listing service? How long until they will have photo’s? How long until it appears on websites?

There are many questions you can choose to ask, how many active listings do you have? How many are in this area. That last question can go two ways. If the agent has a number of listings in your area, they probably know the neighborhood well. They can have an open house and feature the whole neighborhood. The downside can be that you may wonder if your agent is trying as hard to sell your home as they are trying to sell “the Jones’” home which is just down the street.

No matter what questions you ask, never forget that you are going to be working with that agent on a large financial deal, so definitely also consider how you think you will work with that person. Is the agent the type of person you will get along with, and the type of person you want to represent you in this deal?

There are many wonderful agents out there, so take your time; this is a very important decision.

As always, if you have any questions about this article, or suggestions for future ones, contact me at PatrickDugan@mris.com

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