Home Selling in 11209>Question Details

Sedr, Home Seller in 11209

Looking for advice on finding a good broker.

Asked by Sedr, 11209 Tue Aug 26, 2008

We have been trying to sell our apartment by owner, in large part because we know that we will put 110% effort into selling it. We've worked with several brokers over the years, and are always left feeling like they aren't doing their job. How can we make sure we find a broker that will really put the work in to get our apartment sold?

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I think those questions that Rockinblu posted are excellent questions to ask when looking for a listing agent.... they are insightful, clever, and to the point.

In fact... hold on a second [ aside: what's that??? yer' kiddin' right?... who, me?.. I thought they looked familiar. ].. - ahem- back, sorry.... yep, very clever, indeed. They should provide a sound base for a good interview.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL

In choosing a Realtor possibly the first thing I would look for is some letters behind the name. These do lend some sort of creditability. Certainly having a referral to him or her is a plus, but is not a sure thing. The agent that was referred to me by three friends was an absolute disaster. As for as choosing one on your own, drive around the neighborhood and look at signs to find out what brokerages are represented and look their site up on the web. Go to the agents roster and try a few. I may be wrong, but I would prefer an agent that was not representing a house in the immediate area. If there is a reason I shouldn't feel this way, I hope an agent will straighten me out on that matter. I would try to find the Realtor's listings on Realtor.com and see whose listings are the best described and are showcase listings with multiple photos and a virtual tour. From those use the criteria below. Some of the ctiteria are obvious, and couple not so much so.

1. Your call to the agent was answered, or returned in a prompt manner.

2. The agent showed up on time for the appointment, and was neat and professional in appearance.

3. Be sure to mention the names of other agents you have talked with, or will be interviewing. If the agent you are interviewing gives any indication that could be interpreted as a knock against the competition, he or she has failed on an important criterion. If, on the other hand, the agent is complimentary about his or her colleagues, that is a plus.

4. The agent should be prepared with facts and figures, marketing plan, and offer suggestions. When an agent says "This property is perfect. You don't need to do a thing to it," it could very well be a big red flag.

After finally finding four that have met all of the above criteria, of the four suggested listing price ranges choose between the agents that have the two in the middle. Of those two, choose the agent you felt the most comfortable with. There is a lot to be said about trusting your "gut." The reason I disqualified the one with the high suggested price is that it could be a good chance the agent is just giving the info that you want to hear to get your listing. Not a very honest practice. I threw out the low, based on the possibility that this agent is just looking for a easy and quick sale at your expense. However, easy and quick are not adjectives normally found used in this market. If all four or even three suggested prices would come in extremely close, just go with the Realtor that you have the best feeling about of the group.

ELV!S posted these great interview questions below on another thread. They should be of some help as well. I changed one to fit a scenario of interviewing four instead of three. Good luck and remember commissions are negotiable.

• How many homes, of my type, have you sold? (recently, 6 mos, 1 year, 5 years)
• What is your list / sale ratio?
• What is your average "days on market"
• What is your marketing plan for my home?
does it include internet (where?), do you offer multiple photos, virtual tours, color brochures
• Do you do open houses (why / why not / how often?)
• What is your price recommendation (why / how did you arrive at that / do you have comps to back that up?... do you have a "quick sale" price, and a normal sale price")
• What is your plan if I'm not under contract in 30 days / 60 days / 90 days ...etc....
• Why should I hire you? What do you bring to the table that's different than the myriad of other agents out there who want my listing.
• Will you offer a reduced commission (why / why not?)
• Are you a full-time agent?
• Do you practice dual-agency? (why / why not?)
• What do you think of Agent A, B, and Agent C (the three other agents you're interviewing)
• Are you planning any upcoming vacations or are you going to be unavailable, and who is your back-up when you're gone?

and lastly

• Is there anything I haven't asked you, that you think I should have?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2008
I would suggest that you meet with the prospective agents that you will be working with. Once you meet some of the agents you will get a feel for what they are like. Second, ask for a marketing plan and find out how they will advertise your property. Lastly, nine out of ten times you will sell your home for more $ if you use a real estate agent, this is partly due to their negotiating expertise (they are not as attached to the house and are able to be tougher with the prospective buyer), and partly because they have access to more buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
Hey Sedr Hows everything? Selling by Owner 1st off im sure you've got hundreds of calls from realtors asking you to list. And listing is obviously the best way to go. But who do you chose to sell your place for you? Id go with the best option in the business. Many agents do real estate as a Hobby and not as a career. You need that full-time career oriented agent. INterview A few, find out who do you mesh with best. Go with that person. Personally I'd go with the company who can best serve me as well. Not only do you need an agressive knowledgable sales agent you need a company behind that agent that will do everything in thier power to market your property aggressively. The goal is to get the most money possible, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of invconvienence. You need to go with the best...Myself and FIllmore Real Estate. Please feel free to google me or check out my profile on fillmore.com. Fillmore is NY's largest privately owned real estate, we sell on avg 5 homes per day! Thats pretty ridiculous. Obvioulsy there is no pressure to do a thing, interview as many people as you want until you feel that "connection" with the agent. Any other questions feel free to contact me at anytime.


Lou Belisario
Fillmore Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 23, 2008

Interview a number of candidates and request a copy of their comprehensive marketing plan. You want to know about everything they do to promote and sell their listing. Also request a specific plan for marketing your home that will include pricing decreases. It's important to have a plan for this as it's important to keep step with the local market activity. Both the amounts and time of price decreases should be pre-determined and advertising campaigns planned accordingly.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 15, 2008
Hi Sedr,
Call area agents and act as if you are a buyer seeking additional information. See who is efficient at getting back to you. You might be surprised as to who does not. Is the agent or their assistant that follows up?
Check the larger Internet sites and see who is strong with the listings, completion, number of pictures, good clear full decriptions, etc.
Got to go.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 15, 2008
Good Afternoon Sedr, You have received some very insightfull answers. I wanted to let you know that the key is definately to ask all the questions before signing, make sure you are comfortable with the agent. I think the most important things are do they sell properties like yours, do they sell in your area, what is their marketing plan, where do they advertise and most important do they do assisted showings. Alot of agents fo switched to unassisted showings where someone calls a showing desk, usually out of state and they are given a lock box code for your place. now you have a stranger in your home. but then again there is no one there to answer their questions or show them what makes your property special. Goo dluck in your sale.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 15, 2008
Here are some great ways to find a great broker agent.
1. Look for signs in your area and speak to owners and ask them about the agent they are currently using. Findi out exactly what the agent is doing for them, hours putting in, activity level, and what is their marketing plan.

2. Go to your local real estate office and speak to the broker/owner. Ask the owner how important it is for you to sell your home and if he or she can recommend an experienced, skilled and full time agent to work for you.

I hop these tips helped you.

Rhonda Holt
Licensed Real Estate Professtional
Weichert Realtors, H.P Greenfield
1712 Utica Avenue, Brooklyn NY
Cell: 646-725-5941
Web Reference: http://www.KandHhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 15, 2008
When brokers/agents do not meet the expectations of their clients, that client will move on, and many will entertain the idea of selling their own property. Unfortunately, too many sellers are left with a cynical view of the business.

Sellers should understand that the success of a real estate sales agent is determined by his/her level of commitment. Many agents enter the real estate field because the freedom is appealing. We can take some classes and an easy exam, then choose our own hours and work from almost anywhere. Well, lack of structure isn't for everyone. Many sales agents lack the aggressive attitude and motivation to truly exceed the expectations of their clients and customers.

It is very difficult to sell your own property. The resources that a professional agent can provide are invaluable. A good agent will work for you every day, whether you are checking in or not. A good agent will look past just closing the deal and see the human needs of both buyers and sellers. A good agent will be your objective representative in what really is an emotionally charged business deal.

How do you find a good broker or agent? Nothing beats referrals or testimonials. If other sellers went out of their way to say good things about an agent, that agent must have met their expectations. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 12, 2008
First look for a realtor that has lived and worked in the area that your apt will be listed. This way you can be assured that they know the market in that area.Second do not choose a friend or a relative. As much as you think they will do the best for you, someone will be taking advantage of someone because of the relationship.Look for someone energetic and motivated. Rookies often are very motivated and do not have many listings to supervise so you will get full attention. Designations are a good way to tell if your realtor is serious about their job. If they invest in themselves then you can bet they will invest their time in getting your apt sold.Lastly see how fast they get back to you when you leave a message.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2008
"In fact... hold on a second [ aside: what's that??? yer' kiddin' right?... who, me?.. I thought they looked familiar. ].. - ahem- back, sorry.... yep, very clever, indeed."
At least someone has some personality around here. :)

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2008
Not all agents are created equal.
I do not work in your area, however I'd be happy to refer you a top Realtor that you can interview. I recommend interviewing three Realtors, then you pick the best one. If you don't compare side by side, then you'll never know.

You can contact me via my Trulia profile.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Interview those who can provide you with a WRITTEN marketing plan and a written guarantee that if they are not doing EVERYTHING they promised in writing to do, that you will get an immediate release.

Make sure the marketing plan includes a multitude of internet placement websites...my plan calls for immediate placement on a minimum of 35 sites.

I personally feel that the most important aspect of an effective Realtor is how they treat the other Realtors and how they are thought of by their peers. When you hire us, you do not hire us to sell your property; you hire us to get your property sold. Big difference!
Web Reference: http://GailGladstone.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2008
Number one: look for and agent and/or broker who really needs and wants to sell your apartment! People tend to go with the agent that has the most listings or someone that has sold a home of someone they know. There are many agents that specialize in getting listings but once that's done they just add it to the inventory and look for another.That may be the kind you've had in the past? I know from experience as a seller how frustrating that can be! I owned a couple of beautiful riverview lot in Rockland county and went through various agents who did nothing to promote, advertise, market or sell my land. One kept bringing me "straw" buyers and presssuring me to accept $200 binders and another "star" agent/broker had my listing for a couple of years while I was working as an agent in Arizona and never advertised it or put a sign on it though it was on a main road (which would have promoted their business as well) and when I finally got him to put a sign on it it was tiny and not visible from the road! I finally advertised, marketed and sold it myself at top market value to a builder.
Some other ideas are:
Hold interview/ listing presentations with 3-10 different agents, perhaps on the same day, to see what they have to offer in terms of experience, enthusiasm, creative marketing ideas, open houses and staging/preparation and what suggested selling prices and comps they bring and then chose your agent from the best... You could also consider incentives in financing or a higher commision split as that will make your home stand amongst similar homes for sale, to other agents that have buyers who are actively looking in your area.
Let me know if you want me to refer you to a broker in Brooklyn!
Good Luck, Jolie
Jolie Muss
Licensed Real Estate Broker
331 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10023
Office: 212 721-3301
Email: jolie@joliemuss.com
Web Site: http://www.joliemuss.com
Trulia: http://jolierealty.com
Real Estate Blog: http://www.myspace.com/nycexpert
Web Reference: http://joliemuss.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2008
Sedr, get the marketing plan in writing, and keep the listing to a shorter time frame (90 days) with the understanding that, if all goes as represented in terms of marketing, you'll extend the listing. Making clear, in writing, what you expect is not unreasonable, and a good real estate agent will be fine with this.
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2008
Good Morning Sedr....... Is your apartment a condo (residential) or an apartment building (possibly commercial)? If you are selling residential property, use a broker specializing in residential properties. If you are selling commercial property, use a broker specializing in commercial properties. Interview any broker that you are considering hiring. Make a list of your concerns and see if the broker can provide you with satisfactory answers. Ask for references from the broker's past and present home buyers and sellers. Call these references to see what kind of service the broker provided these past clients.

Good Luck,

Yvonne Baker, Real Estate Consultant
Web Reference: http://www.YvonneBaker.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2008
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