Home Selling in 44111>Question Details

Bill, Home Seller in Cleveland, OH

Should I list my home with a realtor who has sold in my neighborhood before?

Asked by Bill, Cleveland, OH Thu Jul 12, 2007

Looking for a realtor with experince selling my neighborhood. Is it necessary? What should I look for if friends have been no help in refering one?

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Michael Ford’s answer
You definitely want someone with at least a few very local deals under their belt. Their local knowledge makes it difficult for them to be bufalloed by other agents and gives them a leg up on the many calls/questions that precede a showing or offer. The business is a local one in my opinion and the closer they are located to you the better for a dozen reasons. Local local local.

Agents have the ability to show you what they've sold in the past and how those deals stacked up vis-a-vis the norms. Ask for that. The discussion that follows from that will give you a glimpse into the deals and their style for getting the deals into and out of escrow (sold). If they double end alot of deals that is a sign that they do "sell" the home and the 'hood. "Double ending" is when they bring the buyer and the seller together without the aid of a second brokerage. It happens less than most folks think.

Generally the longer an agent has been in town and with the same broker the more likely they are to be a steady performer and have the skills you need. An agent with years in the trenches is a better bet than a newbie, all other things being equal

I agree completely with Robert Kroon...if the agent has to drive more than a few minutes the home will not get the attention it needs. Ditto on "buying the listing"...an overpriced listing is a waste of YOUR time and puts you in the position of being "the closer" for the other listings. Neighborhood expert is a sign they sell at the local realtor service center...look for numbers of sold homes. In my case I have about twice as many sales as any of the three or four "Neighborhood Experts" in my own 'hood.

good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2007
Hello Bill,

THis is s big part of the selection of a Realtor. One that has the kowledge of your individual community is very important. The more a Realtor has sold in your neighborhood the better the chance is that they are going to sell yours. First take note of the Realtor signs that are in your neighborhood, check the local newspapers and see who is advertising in your neighborhood, check with on line web sites and see who is listing in your neighborhood, call local real estate offices and ask who sells the most in your area. Once you have a few names interview all the Realtors and one very important question to ask is how many homes have you sold in my neighborhood and who were your clients. Then ask if they would mind you calling a few of them for a reference. Experience, knowledge and success in your neighborhood is VERY important.

Best of luck to you,
Linda J Sears
Coldwell Banker Ellison Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2007
While being active in your neighborhood is a good criteria it is not the only one you want to consider. Just as important (if not more so) is whether you can work well with them. Selling your home can be a very emotional process( yes, even if you're not an emotional person by nature). The agent you choose out of the minimum of three that you interview should be someone you feel you can trust to guide you through the process with your best interests in mind.

Another qualification is the scope of their marketing plan. It had better be comprehensive. The traditional marketing methods should be merged with an ACTIVE internet presence. That means more than just putting the listing on the MLS and the brokers website too. Take the time to investigate the way the agents current listings are being marketed.

Ask each agent for referals or testimonials from past clients. The information from these will speak volumes.

What ever you do, make sure you DO NOT pick an agent based on the list price they suggest. This is a sure fire way to make yourself crazy. Believe it or not, there are a few agents who will elevate the suggested list price as a strategy to get you to sign with them knowing very well it will never sell at that price. You may choose the agent with the highest list price but do it because all the other factors are in place, not because of the price.

Donna Saylor & Carolyn Mitchell
The Power of TWO!
5 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 10, 2007
Listing your home with a local agent is usually the best choice. They know the area, what's happening in the market and often know agents who may have clients looking for a particular property. Google your area and see who seems to have an active presence.. look at who has signs up in the area. What you are looking for is who "sells" property.. a good agent is often not the one who lists the most homes but the one who lists and sell them.. Good luck
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2007
Kaye Thomas, Real Estate Pro in Manhattan Beach, CA
Bill, some good info here. Your neighborhood has almost 400 homes for sale right now; I think the best thing you can do is interview a few agents. FInd someone who will tell you all about what has sold, not sold and why. You will need to price your home competitively with all those homes on the market. You may need to make some improvements to your home and still not be able to get a ton of potential buyers through; not as many buyers looking in your zip code as some other areas, at least that is the experience I have and it seems to hold true from my discussions with other agents. Talk to each agent you interview and get a feel for what you want to do. You and your agent can work as a team if you really have to sell right now. . I really do want you to think about this: do you really need to sell right now or can you wait until some of the homes for sale can get absorbed back into the 'sold' inventory. These are questions the agents you interview will ask you as well. Good luck with your search
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2007
Hi Bill,

It usually is better to work with a Realtor who is familiar with and is actively working in your neighborhood. You have a lot of great advice below. If you still need additional help in interviewing and selecting a realtor to help you, please let me know and I'll make some phone calls and will pre-interview for you.

Good luck with selling your home,
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2007
Where you looked first was absolutely the place to find your next Realtor - via referrals. Just as good as you mentioned is definitely the Realtor that has sold lots of homes in your area because this is validation that he/she can sell yours. Local market knowledge is definitely key. But many times you can also find agents who may even do a better job then the local expert because they have superior pricing skills, marketing skills, and negotiation skills. Find 10 competent agents that you think you would want to do business with. Interview 3 of them. Select the one that knows your neighborhood, that can show their written marketing plan, and the one that you want to spend the next 3-6 months working with.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2007
Listing with a specialist in your neighborhood could be a good thing. I would suggest you interview a couple of agents first. You want to know what they know about Real Estate. Ask them if they know the absorption rate, days on the market for your neighborhood. Get comparable of solds, actives, and expireds. Have them explain what they mean. Don't forget to ask them about their marketing plan. How do they intend to market your house. Give a strong interview. When you are done, you will know who you like best and who is going to do the best job.
Web Reference: http://carriecrowell.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 11, 2007
Listing with a local broker is the best way to go. I would interview three Realtors in the area and take strong look at their marketing and their ratio of listeds to solds. How many days on the market before the property went into escrow. I would also ask for a list or referances to follow up with.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 10, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
Hi Bill,

I don't know if you are still trying to figure out which Realtor to choose, but one thing to keep in mind is that the Realtor who has the listing isn't necessarily the one selling the home. Their job is to market the home effectively and aggressively. So, be sure when interviewing Realtors ask them to show you how their marketing plan has been successful and how they plan to market your home.

I would also ask them if they plan to contact top selling agents (the ones who have sold the homes, not listed them) in the area who have sold similarly priced and featured properties to yours. They can search closed sales by selling agent to determine that.

Cathi Weaver
Web Reference: http://www.cathiweaver.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2007
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 22, 2007
Hi Bill: You should definitely consider the agent that has produced the most sales in your neighborhood. Neighborhood information and recent comparable sales information is very important to potential buyers, and this agent would be the most knowledgeable in those areas. Additionally, he/she should have a list of prior interested buyers and their contact information from any open houses they attended, private showings or even buyers who may have had offers in on homes in your neighborhood that didn’t come together. That would be a great avenue to pursue! Check with your old and new neighbors that worked with he/she and ask them about their experiences for reassurance.

Best of luck,
Melissa Mancini, Realtor, CBR, GRI
Web Reference: http://MelissaBMancini.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2007
Interview a few agents and select the one who is familiar with the area, local, and has the best marketing plan. I don't feel that having sold homes in a particular neighborhood is especially better. It doesn't mean they have lists of people waiting to get in. Probably most of the buyers who have been to the other homes have moved on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 30, 2007
List with a Realtor that does the most advertising.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 30, 2007
In some areas pricing is extremely neighborhood driven. An agent who has had success in a particular neighborhood has the latest information on what price is selling, as well as a list of possible buyers who have been looking in the area. This could make for a shorter market time and a better selling experience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 30, 2007
Maybe, maybe not! Yes, it's a great benefit for your Realtor to have sold homes in your neighborhood before. That should mean that she knows the values of the homes, the area, the trends, the builder, the schools, and so on. My only word of caution is to make sure the realtor has a solid marketing plan and is not just relying on the fact that she has sold in your neighborhood in the past. Some area experts can become lax and just assume you will hire them based on their past performance. I wouldn't be as concerned with how they sold your neighbor's home as much as how they plan to sell yours! Good Luck.
Web Reference: http://www.amywengerd.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 14, 2007
I would certainly suggest listing with a neighborhood specialist, if you actually have one. We have several in our marketplace that claim to be specialist in this area or that one, but have never sold more than two homes there - which does not make them a specialist. Ina neighborhood of 96 homes, I sold 24 of them in one year, as they were being built, and re sold some later when the people moved on or moved out - I knew everythign about that neighborhood, the builder, the developer, all about the city, the HOA there, etc. it was GREAT to be able to help those people when they needed the help.

I would go with the specialist in the area, or pick an agent who can show you stats of what they list and what they sell. having a lot of listings does not make you a good agent, having the nerve to turn down a lot of listings and only list the ones you think you can honestly sell makes a GREAT agent.

We have turned down 32 listings in the last 60 days, if that brings it into reality for you. We only list what we can sell, maybe that is why we sell 80% of what we list and carry a low inventory as we have a high turnover rate of listings.
Web Reference: http://www.SWOhioRealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2007
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 15, 2007
You have had some very helpful answers. My perspective is this: Do you know people that provide services in your town or area that have been in business a long time? Are there any that you just know you would not want to do business?

Length of time in a business, "knows the neighborhood", are helpful factors, but not the end all. I suggest analyzing their market plan, how well they relate to you and your situation, and above all, do you trust them? My experience is that there are Realtors that "sell in a neighborhood:, but just as "bigger is not always better", so is "neighborhood expert".
Another good question to ask is the sale price to list price ratio. That will tell you their ability to properly price homes. If they are a good agent, in a "normal market" it would be 100%, meaning if a home is listed at $100,000, it sells for $100,000. If their ratio is 97%, that would mean the home was listed for $100,000 but sold for $97,000. If it was listed for $100,000 and sold for4 $104,000, that would be 104%.

You don't want your home to sit on the market, you want it sold. Overpricing a listing is called "buying a listing". A good Realtor knows how to set the price right. Sometimes "neighborhood experts" aren't as "good as you think". Do you investigative work, and make the choice that works for you.
Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2007
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Without a doubt there are many advantages to working with a realtor who is very familiar with your neighborhood and the surrounding area. Lots of good advice below from agents. I agree, lots of signs in your neighborhood does not necessarily mean the best.

In the end you want someone you feel comfortable with and feel you can work with who also.......as they said in the Music Man......"Knows the territory" ......

We see many cases where agents from across town [ as much as 15 miles away ] just do not make the drive to service the listing.

Interview a minium of 3 agents......one with local knowledge will be a major plus.

Good Luck !
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2007
A realtor who has sold in your neighborhood has many advantages:

They are familiar with the layout and floor plans of your particular subdivision. They may have a database of interested buyers that came through the previously listed homes that are interested in your particular floor plan.

In the end - you should interview at least three - but most definitely include the one who knows your neighborhood.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2007
The number of signs dominating a development does not always mean excellence. Interview 3-4 agents; select the one that has the most business-like demeanor. Ask if they are incorporated. Consider that a fair barometer of their focus on protecting your assets. Real Estate is much about transaction management. Getting the price right is done through statistical analysis. A CMA might be perfect in a high absorption rate development, but in most areas, I use 7 different valuation methods. If they line up, I know we are right!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2007
I think it is a great idea to work with someone who has experience with the market in your area, but make sure you are comfortable with that agent. You need to have a good relationship with your Realtor because selling your home is a partnership. You need to be able to trust each other to get your home sold.

If you are not sure who to go with, talk to friends and family members to see if they have Realtor they know and trust.

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2007
Interesting question. One benefit is that they will have knowledge of the neighborhood and should have a good idea about comparables and prices and demand. I would not make that my only decision. There are plenty of guides that can help you ask the right questions that are beneficial to you. Some people want a local Realtor, some want one that has sold in their neighborhood, some may want one that lives in the neighborhood, some may want one that has 40-50 other homes for sale, some may want a Realtor with only 3-4-5 homes for sale. You may want to deal only with the Realtor or you may want to deal with their team. A lot depends on how you want to work. Let me know if you need a list of potential questions to ask.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2007
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX

In addition to making sure the Realtor has extensive knowledge of the current market conditions in your neighborhood and the area in general, there are several other factors to consider when hiring. The depth and reach of the marketing program they offer, the consultation on staging the home, repairs to be made, correct pricing, their excitement and assertiveness in representing you and their overall business service are some. One of the best ways to find the right agent is to ask your friends and colleagues who've they had a great experience with before. While the right person may not necessarily sell the most in your neighborhood, they may have the best programs and overall service to meet and exceed your needs. If you know of a good Realtor in another area of the country, they may also be able to help you find a good agent in your area. Most of us have an extensive network of referral partners around the country. Best of Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2007
Your best option is to look around at the signs and names of companies in your neighborhood and immediate area and call a few to set a time/date to interview them and go with the one you feel will work best for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2007
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