Tell the agent that you are interviewing several agents and that you would like to set up an appointment for them to come to your home. Once they get there, you can get to know them a little better. Be careful that you don't place too much important on commission amount because as with anything, you usually get what you pay for. It is much more important to ask what type of marketing they will do for your property.
As far as big company? There was a time when that was really important, but with the advent of the internet, I personally don't believe it is as important - and I work for a very big company. The agent can make or break a deal. You want to make sure that they stay on top of things. Make sure they check agent ID before allowing a showing. Ask them how often they will keep in touch with you even if there is nothing new to tell you.
As far as the timeline, once you have chosen the perfect agent for you, you will be asked to sign the listing agreement. Make sure you thoroughly understand it before signing. Ask questions. Then do everything your agent suggests. If he or she tells you to paint, then paint. If he or she tells you to rent a storage to get clear out your home, then do it.
Remember we do this for a living so we know what prevents homes from selling. I know I have mentioned this before on Trulia, but I'm going to say it again because it is sooooo important. We are in a beauty contest right now due to the large inventory. We have to go one step above the rest to appeal to the buyers.
My hubby, bless his heart, once told me that if there was a two-foot square empty space in the room, I would find something to put there and he is right. I prefer my home to have things around me that have meaning. However, I know that if I were to put my home on the market, I would have to rent a storage unit and empty it by at least half. It is not junk or clutter. These are just things that we get used to living with. The buyer will be turned off by it.
And last but not least, I'm not sure of the current market conditions where you live, but where I am, we need to give the listing a six month contract. Agents are spending more and more time and money to help their clients and they want to know that you will commit to working with them to get the home sold. If you turn into a seller that wants to agent hop every couple of months, you will not get a good quality agent and the buyers will start to wonder what is wrong with the home.
Good luck to you.
What is more important, the realty company or the agent? In otherwords am I interviewing to find the right company or the right person? Do you have any suggestions on what questions I should ask? Is this done over the phone or when she/he comes to see my house? I am unclear as to the timeline of what happens when.
Please come back and give us updates. We love to here success stories!
With regards to selling, as you stated, a house NOT "as is"...
After a home inspection, it is "typical" for a buyer to ask a seller to address some issues which have been discovered at the inspection. You are under no obligation to address these issues, but most sellers try to work with the buyer on "reasonable" requests. I would advise you to interview recommended realtors in your area, and ask them to be more specific about what you might expect and your "obligations."
Good luck with the sale of your home.
Associate Broker, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut
Berkshire Property Agents
12 Railroad Street
Great Barrington, Massachusetts 01230
Michael has already made some great points here. But your question is still a bit vague. If you let us know what is really on your mind, we could give you a short precise answer.
That said, I can tell you that if you are looking to sell quickly and are not needing absolute top dollar then you need to declutter and clean. However, if you are not in a hurry and you are needing to receive top dollar, then there are a list of things that I would strongly encourage you to do.
1. Use a RealtorÂ® - I know this phrase gets old to most, but it is so important that you have someone that is experienced and knows how to negotiate through the ins and outs of a sale. I am not trying to solicit business - as you can see, I am from Wisconsin. Just stating a fact.
2. If your agent doesn't have a certification in staging, it wouldn't hurt to pay the minimal fee to hire one at least to give you direction. (There are agents qualified to give advice without being certified, however, some are not so good.
3. Do what they tell you to do whether you think it is important or not.
4. DO NOT limit your showings to evenings and weekends if you can help it.
5. DO NOT cook strong smelling foods the night before showings such as garlic or fish. (Remember that the sense of smell is one of the strongest senses of the human mind. It can provoke good or bad feelings.
6. Make sure that all things that should shine, do shine such as microwave; toaster; front of t.v.; mirrors; chrome trim on appliances et cetera. This gives the feeling of a clean well maintained home.
7. Do get a pre-sale inspection. After you have successfully negotiated an agreed upon price with the buyer, they are going to have an inspection. After the inspection, they are going to attempt to get you down on your price to offset the needed repairs.
8. Do not be on the premises during showings.
9. Remove any personal items such as collections and/or family photos. Buyers are trying to picture themselves living in your home and it makes it more difficult with those types of items around.
10. Remove 3/4's of the things from your closets and cupboards. You don't want buyers to leave with the impression that there is a lack of storage.
11. Fresh neutral paint colors is always a plus.
12. A new welcome mat in front of the door is a nice touch.
The list goes on, but when you locate that perfect agent, he/she will be able to be much more specific about your situation.
Hope that helps. Good luck with the sale of your home.
Some of the reasons why it's not wise to sell 'as is' are; Buyers will be expecting a discount off the value of the home that is often greater than the actual cost of repairs. Certain defects (like peeling paint, broken windows) would prevent a buyer from using FHA/VA financing and would limit your pool of buyers. As 50 plus percent of todays buyers use FHA, you are potentially losing half your market.
If you have the money, it's best to fix up a home to make it move in ready. Check with a Realtor in your area to determine how much work you should do to make your home comparable to homes that are for sale in your neighborhood. Checking with a 'neighborhood expert' can keep you from either under restoring or overspending on your renovation.