1. Show me your IRS 1099 for last year? â€“ More than ever, you need to make sure that your REALTOR can actually afford to advertise, market and promote your home. This doesnâ€™t mean donâ€™t give help to someone who needs it. It means make sure they can actually do the job and be focused on selling your home. Beware of part-timers or people who simply can't afford to advertise your property
2. Explain your lead development/sales plan without using the following words; sign, craigslist, â€œhand outâ€ or mls. â€“ Everyone and anyone can sell in a good market but this isnâ€™t that market. This is where you should be hearing a lot about online advertising. Since 89% of all buyers use the internet to find a home, 89% of the "process" better be to get your property out there. I advise you to consider that there are 100+ â€œother waysâ€ to online advertise, promote and sell, many of them free. Itâ€™s in your best interest to hear 5-10 other options quickly and without hesitation from the agent.
3. How are you going to use video to promote my home? â€“ If they arenâ€™t using video, they probably donâ€™t deserve the interview. If they canâ€™t afford a flip cam â€“ see #1
4. Give me three reasons why I would not want to work with you. - A fun question that measures creativity and honesty. Anyone can answer â€œ3 reasons why we should work togetherâ€ in these times, you have to challenge your realtor to be better than averageâ€¦
5. Show me the written sales plan that sells the home in 30-60 days. â€“ This should be written, chronological, with assignments, some assigned to you, many to them. This gives you an idea that the person has a plan and is structured.
6. Name 5 homes you have sold within a mile of your home. â€“ Agents typically work an area and know it well. You'll find that I recommend certain agents because they know/master certain areas.
Trulia requires you to be an agent to list on their site. There are other sites that will allow you to list. Honestly though, you are doing yourself a diservice by not using a Realtor. NAR states that 90% of FSBO sellers end up having to hire an agent anyway. Save yourself time and aggravation and hire a Realtor.
Here are few reasons:
Education & Experience
You don't need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. Henry Ford once said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are. The trick is to find the right person. For the most part, they all cost about the same. Why not hire a person with more education and experience than you? We're all looking for more precious time in our lives, and hiring pros gives us that time.
2. Agents are Buffers
Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you're a buyer of new homes, your agent will whip out her sword and keep the builder's agents at bay, preventing them from biting or nipping at your heels. If you're a seller, your agent will filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from lookie loos and try to induce serious buyers to immediately write an offer.
3. Neighborhood Knowledge
Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but an agent will know it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.
4. Price Guidance
Contrary to what some people believe, agents do not select prices for sellers or buyers. However, an agent will help to guide clients to make the right choices for themselves. If a listing is at 7%, for example, an agent has a 7% vested interest in the sale, but the client has a 93% interest. Selling agents will ask buyers to weigh all the data supplied to them and to choose a price. Then based on market supply, demand and the conditions, the agent will devise a negotiation strategy.
5. Market Conditions Information
Real estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your selling or buying process. Many factors determine how you will proceed. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market and ratios of list-to-sold prices, among other criteria, will have a huge bearing on what you ultimately decide to do.
6. Professional Networking
Real estate agents network with other professionals, many of whom provide services that you will need to buy or sell. Due to legal liability, many agents will hesitate to recommend a certain individual or company over another, but they do know which vendors have a reputation for efficiency, competency and competitive pricing. Agents can, however, give you a list of references with whom they have worked and provide background information to help you make a wise selection.
7. Negotiation Skills & Confidentiality
Top producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It's part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer's offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client's case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.
8. Handling Volumes of Paperwork
One-page deposit receipts were prevalent in the early 1970s. Today's purchase agreements run 10 pages or more. That does not include the federal- and state-mandated disclosures nor disclosures dictated by local custom. Most real estate files average thicknesses from one to three inches of paper. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands. In some states, lawyers handle the disclosures, thank goodness!
Trulia requires listers be licensed Realtors, however the other guys that start with Z and end in illow will let you post your home for sale. That said over 91% of the time a Realtor will be able to sell your home for more than a FSBO-For Sale By Owner. It is what we do for a living so we know the ins and outs of the business. A Realtor can make sure the home is priced right and ready to show, to help you get top dollar for your home. There is no substitute for experience.
For example I had a client that purchased their home for $165K ten years ago. The husband wanted to sell it for $200-$225K. I ran the comps and told him we should list it for $279-$289. He was shocked at that price jump, because he had no idea about the current market. The end result was we were under contract within ten days and closed for $4K over asking due to multiple offers. If you want help please let me know.
Betina Foreman- Realtor, C.N.E.
Austin Home Girls Realty