Home Selling in 93950>Question Details

Robert Breit…, Home Seller in 93950

I'm considering selling a property in PG, and am tentative in hiring a local realtor.

Asked by Robert Breitmore, 93950 Sat Jun 6, 2009

In the past 15 yrs, as executor for family members, I’ve dealt with selling three other PG properties ($750K to $1.2M). I interviewed extensively, and all three realtors that I retained were complete amateur hour – I’m still stunned at the errors that were made (I note that one posts to this board regularly). I used to work for a well-known LA realtor, and hope that I know a little about what to look for when retaining a realtor. Any suggestions on screening local realtors? I’m considering importing from SJ or SF at this point!

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14
It appears this question is old; however, still a great question for others. I recommend interviewing 3-4 agents. Have a list of questions prepared prior to the meeting and follow your list exactly so that you are comparing apples to apples. I was recently video taped during my presentation so the owner could re-review later before selecting. You are right to be selective, as real estate involves big money. You must find an agent you trust, who is knowledgeable on market trends, and who is able to keep up with marketing and technology changes in terms of advertising these days. It is a different world now and individuals need to stay informed. Trulia has a mixture of agents, meaning a mish mosh of good and bad advice - take the good and ignore the bad and you will be ahead!
Juliette Ferguson, Broker Associate, John Saar Properties, Carmel, CA
http://www.JulietteFerguson.com
http://www.MontereyDunesHomes.com
Juliette@JohnSaar.com
831-402-3800
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
It appears this question is old; however, still a great question for others. I recommend interviewing 3-4 agents. Have a list of questions prepared prior to the meeting and follow your list exactly so that you are comparing apples to apples. I was recently video taped during my presentation so the owner could re-review later before selecting. You are right to be selective, as real estate involves big money. You must find an agent you trust, who is knowledgeable on market trends, and who is able to keep up with marketing and technology changes in terms of advertising these days. It is a different world now and individuals need to stay informed. Trulia has a mixture of agents, meaning a mish mosh of good and bad advice - take the good and ignore the bad and you will be ahead!
Juliette Ferguson, Broker Associate, John Saar Properties, Carmel, CA
http://www.JulietteFerguson.com
http://www.MontereyDunesHomes.com
Juliette@JohnSaar.com
831-402-3800
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
It appears this question is old; however, still a great question for others. I recommend interviewing 3-4 agents. Have a list of questions prepared prior to the meeting and follow your list exactly so that you are comparing apples to apples. I was recently video taped during my presentation so the owner could re-review later before selecting. You are right to be selective, as real estate involves big money. You must find an agent you trust, who is knowledgeable on market trends, and who is able to keep up with marketing and technology changes in terms of advertising these days. It is a different world now and individuals need to stay informed. Trulia has a mixture of agents, meaning a mish mosh of good and bad advice - take the good and ignore the bad and you will be ahead!
Juliette Ferguson, Broker Associate, John Saar Properties, Carmel, CA
http://www.JulietteFerguson.com
http://www.MontereyDunesHomes.com
Juliette@JohnSaar.com
831-402-3800
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
Robert,
It's important to have the agent give you all the facts up front, I.E - comps for your property, advertising for the property, open house schedule, etc. It is also a very good idea to check with their references to make sure they have done an upstanding job for other Locals in the PG area. There are several offices in PG who know the market well.

Please give me a call to discuss further if you like.

Annette Boggs, REALTOR
The Jone Group - Coast & Country Real Estate
Pacific Grove, CA.
(831) 601-5800
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
Robert, So sorry about your experience. No telling what happened, but there are some mistakes that just should not have been made, and than there are some that were not the Realtors fault, but we take the blame. Look for intelligence and passion.
Judy Bristol, Broker/Owner
JBristol Realty
Pacific Grove, CA
93950
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 4, 2010
Robert,

Interrviews should include the tough questions as well as easy ones and a "warm and fuzzy" gee let's get to know each other experience.

Consider touching upon these topics:

1. What is your advertising budget?
2. What is your companies advertising budget?
3. Explain your comprehensive marketing plan
4. How do you plan to specifically market my unique property?
5. Why are you the best person to list with?
6. What are your gross sales for the past 3 months? Last year?
7. Explain your internet presence.
8. How do you and your company attract foreign buyers?
9. Are you a "full time" agent?
10. What do you personally do to attract business.

These are just a few of the topics that can be addressed. Our recommendation is to get any issues you might have, onto the table prior to entering into an agreement. This could prevent headaches in the future.

Good luck
The Eckler Team

Michael Saunders & Company
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 19, 2009
Robert, I've read all the answers at this point and I'm surprised that nobody has pointed out that you're methodology for getting the service you deserve is flawed. Just to let you know, I'm a broker in Florida so I'm not interviewing for the job ... :).

In today's real estate market, it takes much more than a great real estate agent to help you sell your home. You need a company that is focused on customer service and one that ensures that every agent is supported in their customer relationships. So, with this in mind ....

You will be paying a fee in excess of $50K, so I think you have the right to interview the company's head of operations and demand a tour of the facilities and support staff that will be working to sell your home. At a minimum, I would demand to see their marketing plan (with emphasis on their internet distribution system) as well as their company-wide leads management system.

Leads management is the key to making sure that prospective buyers of your home get immediate service when they call on your property. Most agents (especially good ones who are working hard) follow-up with new calls too late to convert them into appointments. Companies that have a call center and leads management staff do a much better job, in my opinion, then companies who rely on agents to do all the work themselves.

Again, you're spending a lot of money ... demand to see what you are going to get for it!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 19, 2009
My suggestion is to find a local agent who is more familiar with the local market, and there are more than a handful of reputable and loyal agents and brokers in Pacific Grove and Monterey Bay area. What takes precedence above all else is that they are responsive to your needs and criteria and not the other way around as some agents will be more reluctant to concede anything or be flexible in their approach. They should be highly professional in their approach and ensure their client that all bases are always covered. Another highly important factor to consider is the broker they are working for--are they flexible and have a good reputation--these are the things you have to consider when choosing a good realtor to work with! This is my suggestion as a seasoned investor who has dealt with many realtors in the local market. Thank you and good luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 19, 2009
Robert, one issue against hiring "out of area" agents is the ability to "service the listing". When a potential buyer calls who's not working with a Realtor, is your agent going to jump in the car and drive down to show them the property, or will he call you and ask you to do it?

How often will they check to see if the flyer box is empty? Will they be paying close attention to the local market conditions and keep you up to date on what other properties in the area are doing? Will they notice if the sign blows down in a windstorm? If the property is vacant, will they periodically tour inside and make sure everything is in working order?

I've seen and heard of a few "out of area" nightmares. In one, a leak developed in the bathroom that spread to the bedroom carpet. The agent never visited the home and after several weeks, the carpet sprouted grass, the walls turned green with mold and the wood floor underneath rippled. It was a very expensive repair that the seller was not happy with. Another time, someone showing the home used the toilet and the chain in the tank came off. The toilet ran for a solid month and the homeowner got a 1,000 dollar water bill.

If you are living in the area and feel you can keep an eye on it, then an out of area agent can work. If you are unable to do that, it seems a bit risky.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 11, 2009
There is nothing wrong with choosing an agent from another area, interview as many agents as you like and choose the person who made the best impression on you based on your conversation . Don't shy away from newer agents, oftentimes they prove to be just as good as seasoned ones.

Anna
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 9, 2009
Robert-
I'm curious to know which errors were made that stunned you? Was it an inaccurate assessment of the PG market? Was it more an error in negotiation with the buyer? Was it an error in contractual understanding that caused you additional cost? Perhaps you'd be willing to explain a bit more.

We all have differing levels of expertise in Pacific Grove and some of that expertise is more current than others. Expertise notwithstanding, I believe that it's important for any seller to articulate his/her expectations of an agent at the initial meeting. I think you have the right to ask if those expectations are congruent with what the agent intends to offer you. I think it's reasonable to assume that, if you can't agree at your initial meeting, representation later on will be problematic.

Regards,
Maureen Mason
Web Reference: http://www.maureenmason.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 9, 2009
Robert, Grant Heinrich with Coldwell Banker here. I will admit that all Realtors are not created equal, but I'd venture a guess that you will be much better served finding a top notch local Realtor, even if it takes a bit of searching, than to get a top notch Realtor from the Bay Area that doesn't know the area well. As evidenced by the referrals we get from our Bay Area Realtor friends, even they will admit that they can't service a Pacific Grove client like a local Realtor can.

Here are three suggestions for screening local Realtors: 1) ask for a contact list of their last 10 clients (not just their favorite clients) and call a few, if not all of them, 2) Thoroughly investigate their web presence. Is their website up-to-date, attractive, and useful? Do they utilize the latest technology to market their listings and attract potential buyers? 3) Google them. This will tell you not only how they present themselves online, but you might also find some reviews on their level of service.

Good luck. Let me know how I can help further.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 8, 2009
Robert, Curt Abramson from Bailey Properties in Santa Cruz here. With the advent of the Internet and regional MLS data, there is less advantage to using a local realtor than in the old days. At any rate, local market knowledge is only part of the equation - how well do they understand and utilize the laws and regulations pertaining to a transaction? Are they able to negotiate with buyers and other agents in a mature and professional manner? How do they address and resolve problems and issues? Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that a realtor from outside the area is any more (or less) proficient than the local ones.
My suggestion: visit open houses and talk with the agents hosting the homes. That is the most efficient way to screen for quality. You can identify potential candidates ahead of time if you want, and check their websites to see their open house schedules. You don't need to share your plans initially; see how you are treated, then decide whether or not to open up. Do they listen to what you have to say or are they more interested in telling their own stories? What kind of information do they share with you - is it a sales pitch about the house, or are they able to give you perspectives about the market in a broader sense? If you find some strong candidates, ask for them to follow up later with some information about the local market. Pay close attention to their follow up: is it timely, is it accurate and complete, how do they present themselves and their services?
My experience has been that agents who perform poorly give indications from the start that they will not deliver the service promised. Failing to answer their phone or promptly return calls, failing to send information they have promised, being unavailable when needed, or responding inappropriately to issues or challenges are all red flags that should tip you off that they are not prepared to do a professional's job.

I hope you find this helpful. Good luck in your quest.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 6, 2009
I'm sorry to hear that you were unhappy with the local agents that you interviewed. Importing an agent from outside the local area is definitely an option, but I'm confident that you'd be better served by having a local agent. There are lots of agents - very professional and competent agents here locally that will do a fantastic job for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 6, 2009
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