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.
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
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!
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,
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.
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.
Best of luck,
Melissa Mancini, Realtor, CBR, GRI
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.
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.
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 !
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.
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!
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!