I want to sell my first home in the Austin area. What questions should I ask a potential realtor?

Asked by Broc, Austin, TX Fri Oct 18, 2013

I had an awful experience buying my first home. My realtor never returned my calls causing us to miss out on a few homes. I ended up just purchasing a home through the listing agent at an open house I attended. I need to ensure my experience is much better when I sell this home. Please help.

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Answers

49
Elijah and M…, Agent, Laredo, TX
Wed Jan 29, 2014
Broc, definitely ask for a CMA (comparable market analysis). That will be KEY to selling your home.
Pricing will determine how long your home sits on the market. Another question to ask is what kind of marketing will the agent do for you. Merely placing a yard sign will not sell your home. Ask about online sites such as Trulia, Zillow, homes.com, etc. Maybe even a local publication. Also, ask how available your agent is. Some agents will spend all their energy acquiring your listing and once you sign a listing agreement for 6 months they simply disappear off the face of the earth! :X Constant communication is critical in determining how effective your agent's marketing techniques are turning out to be.

Hope this helps!
2 votes
Teresa Stamp…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Feb 2, 2014
Hi Broc, did you have any luck finding yourself a listing agent in Austin? There are alot of really good responses here with alot of good advise. One key thing I can recommend if you haven't already listed, is to make sure you hire a full time Realtor. There are alot of part time Realtors or even alot of discount Real Estate firms. If you hire a part time or discount agent you will get part time and discount services.

Good luck with the sale of your home!
Teresa Stamper Keller Williams
http://www.teresastamper.com
1 vote
Jordan Gouger, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Dec 22, 2013
Hi,

This is a great question! To interview a good listing agent you want to ask for a few things:

1) Can the agent sell my home? Ask the agent to do a full in-depth comparative market analysis on your home to show you the health of the market. If your agent refuses to do that or suggests a listing price that well over the market value, your home will likely sit on the market for a long period of time. It is a proven fact that the longer your home sits on the market the less it will sell for.

2) What is their track record? How many days were homes they have sold on the market? What is their ratio of list price to sold price?

3) Ask them about their marketing strategy. How are they going to actually market your home? At the absolute minimum the agent should order professional photographs. Will they place your home on the internet? Will they market your home to every buyer's agent that has sold a home in that neighborhood in the last year? Ideally, look for an agent that will incorporate floor plans, virtual tours, video marketing, and has a good relationship with a large pool of buyers agents.

4) Do they stage their listings? Do they have the knowledge to make recommendations for selling at top dollar?

5) Ask them if they will answer their phone on the weekends, or at all? I can't begin to tell you how many times I have been showing properties on the weekend and had a question about the property and do not receive a phone call from them until Tuesday!

6) Ask them about their organizational abilities? How many other clients are they working with? Many times they may be too busy to give you their full attention. You want to hire an agent that doesn't have a high client load so that they can be responsive to you.

If you are still looking for an agent, please let me know. I know of a few really good ones.

Jordan Gouger
Realtor
Keller Williams
jordan.gouger@kw.com
512-693-9297
1 vote
sara beth mi…, Agent, monroe, MI
Fri Oct 18, 2013
1st. Make any repairs you have been putting off. You will want your home to look it's best.

2nd. Pack away any unused items, less is more and will make the rooms feel bigger.

3rd. Clean Clean Clean!

4th. Ask a few realtors for a CMA to make sure your price is competitive with homes that are listed in your area.DO NOT OVERPRICE!!

5th. When talking to these Realtors tell them your concerns.

6th. Put away any small valuable items before showings and try to be available and ready to show your home with a moments notice, though 24 hours would be nice.

7th. If your going to accept an FHA or VA offer or some other type of government backed loan type offer, you will want to ask the Realtor what type of repairs/improvements and inspections you will need.



If your home is in a good location, and the condition is good and you price it right then, you should have a smooth, quick sale.....Every Realtors Dream :)
Good Luck to you
1 vote
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Experience is key. How long have they been a full time Realtor?
Call several and ask them to come do a CMA on your house. See what they say.
If you pick the busiest agent out there they don't have time to return calls quickly. A sellers agent needs to be found when buyer agents call them with questions.
1 vote
Jacob Hood, Agent, Hutchinson, KS
Fri Nov 21, 2014
Don't be afraid to fire your agent if they are not working for you.
0 votes
Jacob Hood, Agent, Hutchinson, KS
Fri Nov 21, 2014
During a interview walk-through of your house a good realtor will not be afraid to tell the seller what needs to be done to make their house sell for more money and as fast as possible.
0 votes
Jim Morelli, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Nov 21, 2014
I would look deeply into online reviews and past sales activity. Make sure to find someone with a proven track record listing and selling those listings. Here is also a great article on the subject http://news.yahoo.com/9-red-flags-watch-picking-real-estate-…
0 votes
UpNest Top R…, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Thu Nov 20, 2014
Hi Broc,

Sorry to hear about your terrible experience, that's terrible thing to hear about and it was probably extremely uncomfortable and stressful.

One way to ensure that you find the right agent is to interview as many as you possibly can. Don't just interview one and pick them, make sure to ask as many agents as many questions as you possibly can. Pick an agent that fits all of your needs, and pick the agent that you feel most comfortable working with on a daily basis. We have a great article about the agent selection process. Below is the link.

http://www.upnest.com/1/post/home-selling-step-1-choosing-an…

We (UpNest) are an innovative online realtor market place that helps you find top local realtors that will be competing for your business. When using UpNest, within 24 hours you will receive multiple different proposals customized by some of the top local agents in your area. You will be able to compare commission quotes, length of contract, and services such as number of open houses, staging, marketing and virtual tours that the agents are willing to offer.

After reviewing the different proposals, you then can pick the agent that you feel is best suited for you and your particular situation. Because agents are competing for your business, they will be offering lower than average commission rates, saving you thousands of dollars.

For more information on UpNest and how we operate, please check out our website at
http://www.UpNest.com.
0 votes
Kevin Nonmac…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Oct 27, 2014
So sorry that you had this experience. My thoughts are that the agent must have been too busy, or just wasn't committed to making sure your needs were met. Did you ever figure out the reason they did not perform?

Hopefully your next agent will give your situation the focus it deserves. Make sure the agent understands the real estate climate and homes in your area. If the agent comes with references it's good to check on one or two to verify previous client experiences. As a seller you want to know that your agent will give a timely response from inquiries by other real estate professionals. This is doubly important if you foresee needing cash from the sale to purchase your next home.

If your home is not within a price range typically handled by the agent, they may not understand the tempo in the market, available financing, or who might be a prospective buyer. I would think if they have sold many homes within 30% of your list price range they may be a good fit.

Reputation is key in this business, so get those references!
0 votes
Ranee Bray, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Oct 18, 2014
Sorry you had such a bad experience with your buyers agent. I find that if agents feel you may fire them they may work harder! I frequently hear people say they hired a Realtor and then they never saw them again. That just frustrates me as an agent... so I can imagine how angry that must make a buyer or seller.

I would ask for details on the plan to get the home sold. Not what marketing the agent does for themself - what will they be doing to sell YOUR home!

I would attempt to understand if the pricing of the homes makes sense to you. Your a homeowner, potential buyer in the market, consumer. Does the price seem ridiculously high or low? Be careful with this one - pricing homes are hard. A generic price per square foot does not work.

What is their plan of communication with you. How frequently should you look at your competitiveness and what data do they use to advise you.

Most importantly, you must TRUST the person you hire. Not blind trust. But trust. If you don't feel you can trust their judgment then you aren't going to obtain the best representation.

Best of luck. I am an agent who specializes in North West Austin, Cedar Park, Leander and Round Rock. I know great agents all over Central Texas though, and frequently refer clients who know other area's better. Local market knowledge is important!
0 votes
Also, be careful with the "get what you pay for" marketing. Not all agents charge 6%, and not all agents who DO NOT charge 6% are newbies or horrible! I don't charge 6% and have never done any less marketing based on price! Good luck!
Flag Sat Oct 18, 2014
TopAgentComp…, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Fri Oct 17, 2014
Hi Broc,

Sorry to hear about your terrible experience, that's terrible thing to hear about and it was probably extremely uncomfortable and stressful.

One way to ensure that you find the right agent is to interview as many as you possibly can. Don't just interview one and pick them, make sure to ask as many agents as many questions as you possibly can. Pick an agent that fits all of your needs, and pick the agent that you feel most comfortable working with on a daily basis. We have a great article about the agent selection process. Below is the link.

http://www.lessthan6percent.com/1/post/home-selling-step-1-c…

We (LessThan6Percent) are an innovative online realtor market place that helps you find top local realtors that will be competing for your business. When using LessThan6Percent, within 24 hours you will receive multiple different proposals customized by some of the top local agents in your area. You will be able to compare commission quotes, length of contract, and services such as number of open houses, staging, marketing and virtual tours that the agents are willing to offer.

After reviewing the different proposals, you then can pick the agent that you feel is best suited for you and your particular situation. Because agents are competing for your business, they will be offering lower than average commission rates, saving you thousands of dollars.

For more information on LessThan6Percent and how we operate, please check out our website at
http://www.LessThan6Percent.com.
0 votes
, ,
Fri Oct 17, 2014
You want to find out how much business they do a year. Make sure they know the area and listen to you. The worst realtors are the ones that try to push you in a direction or have a strict set of rules they go by and don't listen to their clients. They should put your needs, wishes, hopes ahead of their agenda.

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Brad Neumann
Branch Manager
Crosscountry Mortgage Inc.
Phone: (855) 893-1177
Email: bneumann@myccmortgage.com
Licensed in CA,IL,IA,IN,MT,TX
NMLS# 948036
0 votes
Judi Monday,…, Agent, Green Valley, AZ
Sat Oct 11, 2014
Start out by doing a little research on them first. Check out their website and take a look at other listings they have--how is the quality of the photos, the overall presentation of the listing? During the interview, ask them how they are going to market your home; what is their track record--how many homes have they sold, how many of those were their listings; how will they keep you informed; and ask for reference--specifically from other sellers.

All the credentials in the world won't mean a thing it that agent isn't a good fit for you. Just like in dating good chemistry between you and the agent you hire is critical for success.

Best of luck to you!
0 votes
Amber Gunn, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 10, 2014
Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, has great questions to ask! Check out my answers!

http://www.reiclub.com/realestateblog/10-questions-every-dav…
0 votes
Gari Gresham, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Jul 23, 2014
By the way, don't use a discounted agent, (ones that charge less). You will find that the service you get is not good. And you want to get the most for your money and not just have a sign in the yard. You really do get what you pay for . So anyone who charges only 1 percent is not going to do very much for you to get your home sold quickly and negotiate to get the best offer.
0 votes
Gari Gresham, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Jul 23, 2014
Find out how long they have been a realtor. Are they a full time realtor, or one that has another job with a real estate license. I have been a realtor since 1986. I send out an email newsletter every month. I will be happy to add you to my letter, just send me your email. That way you can keep up with what is going on in the market without spending a lot of time researching it on your own.
0 votes
Carlie Sky, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Jul 23, 2014
That sounds awful! I don't know if you already sold your home or not, as this post is pretty old, but if you are or need help with something else, I would like to help. You can read my reviews here and see for yourself, if you'd be interested in using me.

Good luck!
0 votes
Angela D'And…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Feb 9, 2014
The best thing you can do for yourself is speak with several references of folks who have worked with the agent you are considering hiring for the job. If your selling a property then speak with seller references specifically. Find out how they work (some will not work on weekends/evenings) find out how they handle multiple offers/low ball offers and let them know what communication method and frequency you expect from them ( showing reports, marketing efforts, etc). Have them show you what their marketing plan would be for your specific home and ask alot of questions about how they arrive at a list price for the home. Correct pricing is of utmost importance to you. Ask them what their policy is on syndication (proliferation of your listing to consumer websites). Many agents do not support syndication because they think they will lose control of the listing. The flip side is higher visibility for your listing. figure our how you feel about this and make sure your philosophies on this matter match.
Good Luck!
0 votes
Scott R Hami…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Feb 2, 2014
Here are some good questions for you...

1) Are you a licensed REALTOR®?

2) Will you explain your marketing plan to me in detail?

3) What will your availability be like –particularly once an offer has been submitted? Will you be readily available to help with the selling process and answer questions?

4) Do you have an effective system or method to get lots of showing feedback?

5) Will you create a unique website with its own domain name for my home?

6) Will you create multiple videos/virtual tours of my home & post them to multiple websites including your agent website?

7) Will you be taking professional photos of my property?

If the agent you are interviewing cannot answer these questions to your satisfaction and assure you that all of these things will be provided, politely choose another agent. This level of professionalism & top-notch marketing takes lots of time and attention to the marketing of your home.

Here's wishing you success with your sale!

All the best,
Scott R Hamilton
REALTOR, CNE, CANTERA REAL ESTATE, TREC LICENSE #612886
VIDEO & QUESTION EXPLANATIONS: http://www.scotthomesales.com/good-questions-to-ask-potentia…
0 votes
Justin Pisto…, , Waco, TX
Thu Jan 30, 2014
It seems you have some highly motivated agents competing for your business, Broc. Living Local ATX believes in the different lifestyles that Austin provides, and we keep our client list manageable in size so that we can provide each person or family with the experience they deserve. The three things you need are a great web presence, vast resources and complete attention to your list of needs. Please contact us so we can show you why complete attention makes this process effortless.

512.808.6358
http://www.livinglocalatx.com
0 votes
Carlos Arana, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Jan 1, 2014
Broc,

I always answer my phone and I have a 100% Success rate with my listings!

Let me know when you'd like to meet.

- Carlos
Web Reference:  http://www.AranaCapital.com
0 votes
Dave Ottley, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Dec 31, 2013
Broc, what you'll find is that a lot of Realtors don't respect their number one asset: their clients! Being available is the most important aspect of being an agent, and also a very rare human trait in general. With the current market you have probably already happily sold your home, but if you haven't, please give me a call day or night and I will help you get top dollar in YOUR timeframe.

Dave Ottley 512-590-3990.
0 votes
Susie Kay, Agent, Dallas, TX
Wed Nov 6, 2013
Interview your agents, you can schedule a time to meet face to face or on the phone. Those who didn't even bother returning your call can be crossed out. Ask them how soon do they respond to you, I would think at the latest the next day (there are things that cannot wait the next day and a good agent should know that). I would suggest being frank about what you had experienced and that you want to make sure that the agent you are hiring is responsive. Ask for a referral from the agent's previous client(s). Open communication between clients and their agents are very important and being upfront on what you expect and your plan are equally important.

Let me know if you need help finding an agent in Austin, I know of a good one.

Good luck,
Susie Kay, Realtor®
GRI, CHMS, SFR
Residential/Commercial/Investment
English-Indonesian-Hokkien
------------------------------------------------------------------
United Real Estate
III Lincoln Centre, 5430 LBJ Freeway #280
Dallas, TX 78240
469-371-2899
susie_k@att.net

http://www.dfwdreamhomes.net

Servicing your real estate need is my priority!
0 votes
Susie's right! Interview several agents before making a decision. I suggest that you meet them in person. If they don't have time to meet with you, they probably won't have time for you later in the process! Get those references, and make sure they are from sellers (buyers too if you're going to buy again). You want an experienced, successful agent, but I personally would not pick a "mega agent" with tons of listings, etc.; you want someone who can focus on you and your listing, not one who has zillions of listings. Also, they should know your market area pretty well. Things are hot in Austin now, so there are a limited number of homes available, so priced right, and if you prepare it to show well, it should go quickly with the right agent.
Flag Sat Feb 1, 2014
Ed Marill, Agent, Manhattan Beach, CA
Tue Nov 5, 2013
Ask for recommendations and then follow up and talk to previous clients. Find out what their experiences have been.

I would also ask to see their marketing plan - what do they plan to do for you to help you sell your home.

Ask for comp data and find out who much they know about your area - do they really understand the market where your home is located. Find out how much they know about the comps in your area.

Based on all of this, if you feel the person is qualified and you have spoken to their references, then you should be good to go!
0 votes
Tim Garton, Agent, Vallejo, CA
Tue Nov 5, 2013
Make sure they are full time and have a few years in the business. The MOST important thing is to work with a local Realtor. I see to many agents going in to areas there not from and do not work. If Realtors are looking out for there clients interest which they should that Realtor should refer there client to a Realtor area of expertise.
0 votes
Dwayne Grego…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Nov 4, 2013
I can tell you this...

Ask them how quickly they and their team respond to inquiries about one of their listings. Most Realtors do not repond for 54 hours! I have a national and local team of people to handle all. As a matter of fact, I have a help desk that will respond to all inquiries in 5 minutes! As they say, "Gettem while the iron is hot." We are a client centric company which means you come first!


Broc please contact me to learn more about what I can do for you and your family.


Dwayne Gregory
512-516-1711
0 votes
Margaret Sch…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Nov 4, 2013
Hi Broc,

An awful experience can sour you to the experience using a Realtor again and I certainly hope that whoever you work with treats you with the respect you deserve.

You've got great responses and it is obvious that there are quite a few good agents out there. At my brokerage, our process is a bit different than other "traditional" Realtors. We don't necessarily work with everyone who comes along and our process isn't for everyone - it requires very open communication, work on both sides and a financial commitment from both parties. That said, it does tend to have better results than other "traditional" Realtors. I am more than happy to chat with you and start you down the right path, whether it is with us or another Realtor.

Cheers,
Margaret
0 votes
Don Groff, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Oct 19, 2013
Hello Broc,

I am sorry to hear about your previous interactions with other Realtors. Just like in any profession there are the good and the bad. Unfortunately you had to deal with a bad one and that is unfortunate because buying and selling a home is complicated process and you need to know that your Realtor not only on your side but looking out for your best interests and that is just not possible when they are not available to you or returning your calls.

When talking to perspective Realtors to list your home, and I would love to assist you by the way, you need to ask some pointed questions. With your last experience you do need to know if they will be available to you on your time table. People work different hours and as a Realtor you need to adapt to their schedules. The wonderful part about my profession is the freedom I have but I also have to work some odd hours to help my clients. It's just part of the job.

In talking to the Realtor you want to feel like you can trust that person. Don't just go with the person who is the most agreeable to what your thoughts are or who says they can sell your home for the most money. As a Realtor my #1 job besides being available is to educate my clients. It's not my job to tell you what to list your home for. It's my job to provide you the necessary market data so that we can have a conversation that allows you to make an educated assessment of where to price your home.

Besides pricing it is of utmost importance to ensure your home looks and shows its absolute best. This market is entering the slower period but a lot of homes sell in the fall and winter months with the remaining 60% in the spring and summer. So as you can see homes sell at all times of the year, not just the spring and summer.

One thing I will do for my listing clients is to take them out to see some of their competition. This really helps them get a good idea. I will review with them homes that sold that are similar to yours so you can judge what the market will support as far as the value of your home is concerned.

Going back to insuring your home shows as good as possible comes down to making necessary repairs, cleaning and staging. I spend a lot of time on those areas with my clients because they are so important when wanting to obtain top dollar.

I could go on but I think you can get an idea of what goes into a successful listing and client realtor relationship and what you should look for.

I hope this was helpful.

_____________________________________________________
Don Groff | REALTOR® & Mortgage Broker
Austin Real Estate Pros & 360 Lending Group
o 512.669.5599 | m 512.633.4157 | listings@dongroff.com
websites: http://www.AustinListed.com | http://www.360LendingGroup.com
Web Reference:  http://www.AustinListed.com
0 votes
Carlos Arana, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Oct 19, 2013
Broc, you should just call me because I will SELL YOUR HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!
0 votes
Eric Hegwer, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Oct 19, 2013
#1 - Start with the realtors on this list, who have written to you.
#2 - Call them! Don't email. See who answers the phone. If they don't answer, discard them.
#3 - Set up an appointment with them to come to your house. See who you get along with, personally.
#4 - Don't just go with the person who will get you the highest price. Why? Because they are just trying to get your business and aren't being realistic.

Call me first, and I can help you with more questions to ask:

Eric Hegwer
512-712-5842
Eric@EricEstate.com
A JB Goodwin Agent.
0 votes
Dwayne Grego…, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Sam provided a good list of questions. Broc, I can show you the difference between different real estate firms. I suggest you interview a minimum of 3 Realtors.



Dwayne Gregory
Weichert, Barton Harris & Co.
512-516-1711
0 votes
Sam Wachnin, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Here's a list of some of the questions I am asked most often:

1. Are you a fulltime realtor?
2. How long have you been a real estate agent?
3. Do you have experience selling properties in this particular area?
4. What approach do you take in valuing my home?
5. What is the state of the market right now for homes in my price point and area?
6. Can you provide me a with a list of references whose homes you have recently sold?
7. How can soon can you have a marketing plan ready for me?
8. Do you use a professional photography?
9. Will my house have its own URL for web traffic? And how will that be marketed?
10. Are open houses effective and do you do them? How often?
11. Is staging effective?
12. Is there anything you suggest I fix prior to listing my house?
13. Do you suggest a pre-inspection?
14. What is commission, and is that negotiable?
15. What if a buyer contacts us who is not represented? Is the commission reduced?
16. How fast do you think it will take to get my house under contract?

Sam Wachnin
Moreland Properties
Austin, TX
sam@moreland.com
512-656-3378
0 votes
Rodney Harris, , Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
You should look for a real estate company and agent who make client service and satisfaction their number one reason for being in business. You should seek experienced agents who have been in business for a good long while. You should ask to see a marketing plan for selling your home and it would be a good idea to get references from homeowners they recently sold homes for.

If I can be of any assistance please don't hesitate in letting me know. For your convenience I'm available all seven days of the week.
0 votes
Rodney Harris, , Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
You should look for a real estate office and agent that truly makes customer service and satisfaction first as their primary reason for being in business. You should look for an experienced listing agent that's been in business for a good long time and you should ask to see their marketing plan/systems in place for selling your home. You should ask for referrals for homeowners they recently sold homes for.

If I can be of any assistance please don't hesitate in contacting me. For your convenience I'm available all seven days of the week.
0 votes
Creede Fitch, Agent, austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Easy. Contact me.

Seriously.

Creedefitch.com
0 votes
Scott R Hami…, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Here is a video I shot about questions to ask potential listing agents in Austin! http://www.scotthomesales.com/good-questions-to-ask-potentia…

Scott R Hamilton
Cantera Real Estate
512-660-0400
info@scotthomesales.com
0 votes
Karen Pagani, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
I am sorry you had just a bad experience selling your first home. Your agent owed you more than that.

I think a lot of the responses here are right on the money. You definitely want someone who promptly responds to your calls and emails; has experience and the references to back it up; and will be frank with you about your prospects and what you need to do to make your home ready. It is imperative also to ask about any particular agent's marketing plan. Does the agent use a professional photographer? Stagers (if necessary)? Do they recommend pre-inspections? If so, why or why not? Will they be designing a website for your home? In asking these questions, you should also ask who foots the bill for a lot these services. Some agents recommend a lot of these services, but don't actually put any skin in the game and have the client pay for all of them. Thus, it's no harm, no foul for them if the home doesn't sell (and I think that should be a red flag). AND absolutely look at some of their other listings and see how they presented the properties they have marketed. How are their photos? How complete do their listings look? What does their website look like (if someone cuts corners on their website for marketing themselves, they'll probably cut corners in marketing your property)?

In the end, you'll need someone who has a marketing plan that makes sense to you.You'll also want someone with whom you have a good rapport, and who responds promptly to your queries. My advice: interview a few agents, check out their websites, check their references and then go with the one with whom you feel most comfortable.

Best of luck!

Karen Pagani, Ph.D., Realtor
The Gill Agency
Tel: 512 786 7224
http://www.austinrealestate411.net
0 votes
Doug Vogelsa…, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Wow! You sure got a bunch of responses in a hurry! Here's my two cents:

Know what you want out of an agent. Good communication? Experience? Focus on your area? A good fit on a personal level? (You are going to share a lot of personal information with your agent.) Someone who knows the value of professional photography? Only you know the attributes of your "dream agent."

Don't ask the agent the question (s)he says you should ask an agent. Experienced agents want you to value experience. Agents who sell a ton of homes and have a giant staff want you to value quantity of sales. New agents want you to value their hunger. Etcetera, etcetera. I'd advise you to cherry pick the best ideas from the responses you are getting and ask your own questions.

I DO think that answering the phone and/or promptly returning calls is important. Most agents try to do this and sometimes things slip by even the best of us. However, don't take that as an excuse for why you did not get a return call.

Get references. Not picked by the agent, exactly. Ask for a list of the last three sellers (or three current ones), the listing information for their properties, and their contact information. Interview them over the phone.

Search Realtor.com for listings around you. What do you like about the ones that stand out to you? Make sure the agent you hire will do those things that you feel are important.

Good luck, Broc. You will do fine.

Peace in your home,

Doug Vogelsass
REALTOR :: Agents for Change Real Estate

cell :: (512) 739-0457
email :: doug@myagentsforchange.com

10% of our net agent fees at the closing of our client's property will be donated to a charitable organization of their choice. We do this with ALL clients. This is our way of expressing our appreciation to both our clients and the worthy causes dedicated to the betterment of our communities.

9600 Escarpment Blvd :: Suite 745-75 :: Austin, TX :: 78749
Sponsoring broker :: David Komie, Attorney-at-Law (License# 584762).
0 votes
Claudia, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Do your due diligence and take your time finding the right fit! A great agent can do wonders for your selling experience and bottom line. Interview at least three agents and ask them about their average home sale value (i.e. if your home is in the mid $200s, a million dollar agent might not give you as much attention as s/he would an owner with a higher priced home), their core areas, whether they are full-time or part-time agents and what their individual value proposition is. Last, but not least, get a holistic picture of the agent and brokerage and check references (you can find plenty online these days ;).

Generally speaking, you should have a good chemistry with your agent. You will most likely "click" and feel understood by an agent that thinks and works like you. If you are social-media oriented with trendy mindset, an agent with traditional mindset who dislikes the Internet might not work for you and vice versa...etc. etc.)

Good luck in finding a great agent! Once you've found him or her, listen to our agent's advice! ;-) It' pays off, I promise.
0 votes
Shannon Black, Agent, Pflugerville, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Hi there,

Pick out 5 Realtor's and set up listing appointments with each. (BTW This is a great way to see who answers their phone :) What you are looking for is a marketing plan, ask them what they feel like your home is worth, ask them for any tips or ideas on what you need to do in order get a solid offer, you need to know what their negotiation skills are (you can ask for references and past listings and check their list to sale ratio), and your personalities must mesh well. You can have the best Realtor on the planet, but if you can't connect with them, you may end up frustrated. You need to prepare yourself for an emotional journey and you will need someone to walk WITH you through it. I intentionally upper cased WITH because this is not a slam dunk, I sold your house, deal. You want someone that is professional, yet grounded, and that has experience with your particular type of home. Hope this helps and best of luck!
0 votes
Melissa Galv…, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Broc,

Good afternoon. Seems like you got a lot of great feedback so far. Feel free to view the attached link for Gracy Title's "Home Sellers Guide". It's a fantastic resource I provide to my sellers.

http://www.gracytitle.com/inf/relocation/Additional%20Links/…

I would love an opportunity to interview for your listing. Which I feel all sellers should do to be certain they are comfortable with the business relationship.

Best wishes,

Melissa Galvan
Keller Williams Realty
512-773-5735
mgalvan@kw.com
0 votes
Dan Burstain, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Hi Broc,

With over 40 years of serving the Austin area, JB Goodwin REALTORS is a company you can trust to get the job done right and with excellent results. We work specifically with you every step of the way to make sure your needs are met. Some people like open houses, some people hate people in their home. Some people need to sell fast some people are fine holding off if the right buyer doesn't come around. There are a ton of things that make selling a home stressful and it is our goal to eliminate that and make this as pleasant an experience as possible. We are a one stop shop with title, legal, and lending in house so we can handle any question or concern quickly and professionally. Not to mention I give the best client gifts around. So give me a call or shoot me an email and let our team take care of you from start to finish. I guarantee a smooth and enjoyable ride.

Dan Burstain, Realtor
JB Goodwin REALTORS
Cell: 512-588-3260
Dan@JBGoodwin.com
0 votes
JOSEPH E JAR…, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Broc, I agree with Tim. You need someone with experience who is very good, but is also not too busy to be there for you and any buyers who have any questions, etc. I personally pride myself on being available seven days a week and work extremely hard to make each client feel like they are my only client. I also happen to be one of the top Realtors in the greater Austin area with the #1 company in the greater Austin area, Keller Williams Realty.(I am current #8 out if 330 agents in my office) I have been buying and selling properties for over 20 years, have an excellent track record, plenty of references you can talk to, and will do my best to make sure you do not have another experience anything like you had the first time. I also do not have a team, or hourly assistants who do not really know you or your situation. I do everything myself so I know everything gets done properly. When you hire me you get one single, knowledgeable point of contact who handles every aspect of your transaction from start to finish. I also have an unlimited marketing budget which most agents do not have.

Feel free to contact me and I will discuss in more detail what I do for my clients and I am very certain you will like what I have to say. My marketing package alone is much more extensive than 95% of the realtors out there, and I know how to sell! I am also a Master Instructor who teaches Listing and Marketing Homes, Negotiations, Seller Representation (and all things Residential…)

I'd be happy to talk with you and give you a more detailed summary of what I can do to assist you, and am confident you will be very happy with my extensive services. Joe

Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty, Austin's #1 Real Estate Company, Call 512-261-4415
0 votes
The Roman Lo…, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Hello Broc,

I completely understand your concern. Communication, or lack there of is the most mentioned dissatisfaction when it comes to realtors.

On my website I have the top 10 Questions You Should Ask A Realtor before selling your home. The link below will take you to them.

Roman Lopez
512-947-2250
0 votes
Rita Snyder, Agent, Georgetown, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
As a Realtor for 27 years and I've sold several of my own homes. You will want to know how much experience they have in the Austin area. Have them give you a market analysis of your home to determine current selling value. What type if exposure will your home have to local realtors. There are so many things that can help you feel comfortable with the realtor you choose, do they do professional photos, offer staging if needed, etc. You may also look at Texas Real Estate Commission site to see what type of Realtor based classes they have had.
There are so many things we do that you should be aware of. Followup is very important to everyone.
Good luck and if you have not yet chosen a Realtor, I'll be happy to assist you,
Rita Snyder, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes
Steve Robert…, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
First thing I would ask is how much time will they devote to getting you top dollar for your home. I may also ask if they will be your exclusive point of contact. Some Realtors are so busy they refer you to co-workers etc. Not the same level of experience. I would be happy to prepare a comparative analysis for you at no cost to give you a feel for the value of your home. I've sold ten homes this year so far and will work HARD for you! You're welcome to call or email anytime.

Sincerely,

Steve Robertson
512.925.8333
http://www.RobertsonProperty.com
Robertsons08@gmail.com
0 votes
John Crowe, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Ask the skill and experience questions and make certain you feel comfortable with them. Speaking with past clients is a good idea as well.
0 votes
Steven Nusin…, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Oct 18, 2013
I think the main thing to share with your potential realtor candidates is what your expectations are and make sure they are listening and understand.

I would really appreciate the opportunity to be interviewed for listing your home. Please feel free to visit my website to learn more about my listing program.

Please feel free to contact me anytime.

Steve Nusinow
(512)922-7588
0 votes
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