What is the best way for my daughter to choose a responsible realtor to sell her house?

Asked by Joeb, 08109 Thu Apr 15, 2010

Her listing expires soon and quite frankly, the current realtor, imo has not done a very good job.
Your advice would be most welcome.
I know she looks at this site often and would also appreciate your input!

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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Fri Apr 16, 2010
The key to hiring the right Realtor is asking the right questions.

Here are some tips:

In any given market 75-80% of listings are overpriced. That means that 20-25% of listings are priced correctly and sell within a month or so. That means that selecting the Realtor who recommends the highest price is probably not a good idea.

Every property is different, every situation is different, so ask them to evaluate your situation and to provide you with a written proposal of what it will take get your home sold for the most money.

Given that your home already has a lot of market time, everyone knows the price for which it did NOT sell. So you need to evaluate their ideas of overcoming this stigma....the overpriced listing that no one wanted to buy. Their proposal should address this problem.

Ask for a list of properties, like yours, that have sold since your home hit the market. It there are a few that are still available for show, you should go over and look at them. Why are they receiving offers, and you are not?

Good luck.
1 vote
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Apr 15, 2010
Hi Joeb
I think it is sweet that you are looking out for your daughter...but that's what a good parent does!
I'm even more impressed if she takes your advice! :)

I have nothing new to add to the mix, as you have already received a number of good suggestions (some were a bit loopy, as Don pointed out, but most were good!).

I would only add that you should make sure your displeasure with the current agent has a real basis, and is not just a result of frustration over the house not selling.
List the attributes you'd like to see in an agent.........and.......the actions you'd like to see taken.... refer to them when interviewing new agents.
Certainly, as noted below, you want an agent familiar with, and active in the community where your daughter currently lives...........someone who lists homes on a regular basis....with an impressive track record.

It also helps to have a sense of confidence in the person you select.....and to feel you are in good hands.

Best wishes.....to you and your daughter!
Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Thu Apr 15, 2010
Some odd advice below that sounds as if it's intended to point you in a certain, rather specific direction.

For instance: "Make sure it is an international office that has clients all over the world besides the domestic and local markets." Nonsense! Your daughter is highly likely to sell to someone who lives nearby, not someone who lives in Dubai or Hong Kong.

For instance: "Ask if they do Open Houses." Doesn't matter. The reason: Open houses seldom sell homes. Your agent can be far more productive marketing a home with 3 hours in the office than sitting on a folding chair in an open house on a Sunday.

For instance: "find someone in the town or area she is planning to buy." Absolutely not. She should find a Realtor who is active in the town her property is in--the town she's selling the property in. What if she's moving across state? Or even out of state? No way.

So, that's some of what you shouldn't do. What should you (or your daughter) do:

Interview multiple (3 or more) Realtors. Each will have a somewhat different approach. It's not that one will be "right" and the others will be "wrong." But each should have a complete marketing plan. Each should work for an agency that provides a certain (hopefully high) level of support.

In selection Realtors to interview, find those who are active listing agents in your area. You can do that a whole bunch of ways. Drive around her neighborhood and nearby neighborhoods and see who has a lot of listings. Call a few of the larger agencies in your area. Ask to speak to the broker. Ask the broker who the top 3 listing agents in his/her office are.

Get a CMA from each Realtor. That should be part of the listing presentation. Don't necessarily choose the one that's predicting the highest sales price. Examine the comps. See if they really are comparable. Make the agent defend his/her calculations.

Have your daughter attempt to identify why her house hasn't sold. She should ask each of the Realtors she interviews the same question. Now, the Code of Ethics doesn't permit one Realtor to "bad mouth" another. But it's perfectly OK for a Realtor to suggest that the price was too high, or that the house doesn't show well.

This whole process should narrow the selection down to 2 or 3 really good listing agents. Then your daughter should decide which one she personally feels most comfortable with. That's very important, too. But it's important as a last step--after you already know that the ones you're considering are very good. Don't use that as the initial screening device.

So, those are some necessary things she should do to find a good Realtor to sell her home.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Joseph Manci…, Agent, Sewell, NJ
Thu Apr 15, 2010
I'm sure lots of agents will fill this thread up quickly with lots of advice. You can certainly look for who the top producers are in your area, and thats not a bad start.

The best testimony however is referrals - people who have actually worked with an agent and can attest to their integrity and commitment to their customers.

Also, interview several of those agents and ask them for a detailed discussion of how they will market your property. If you're still worried based on your prior experience, ask them for a short duration listing agreement to prove themselves.... and if they do, reward them with an extension so they can get it sold for you.

Hope these thoughts help - feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions - and especially if you'd like to interview me!! I'd be happy to provide some references from previous clients of mine that you can speak with.


Joseph Mancini
AVALAR Atlantic Properties
mobile: 856.275.6433
fax: 856.879.2024
email: Joe@landmanNJ.com
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Apr 24, 2010
And, Michelle, I'm also thinking that they know the area somewhat - you can find out how much by talking to them, but it's a start.
0 votes
Kathleen Kou…, Agent, Sewell, NJ
Sat Apr 24, 2010
I would check the agent's listings. Look at how the agent markets the property currently listed by them. Call the agent you are thinking of retaining and see if they answer their phone. If they don't and you leave a message take note of how long it is before they contact you. I have a blackberry, and I am in contact with buyers, selllers and other clients almost all of the time.
There are many other features that you may want.
Email or call me and we can talk about how to find a good lister for your daughter.
0 votes
Michele Rose, Agent, Moorestown, NJ
Thu Apr 22, 2010
Mack has a very good point! Any agent can LIST a house-- you want a Realtor who will SELL the house!
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Tue Apr 20, 2010
There is no "best" way.

But, here's an idea.

You know that CMA the agent presented to your daughter, to determine the price, just before they went on the market? Chances are a couple of those listings that were competitors then are now pending (or closed) sales now. What about tracking down THOSE agents, and interviewing THEM to list your, ahem, daughter's home?!
0 votes
Janet Rojas, , Northport, NY
Tue Apr 20, 2010
A referral from a trusted source is a good start. After that, interview agents from several different companies. Not sure who the top companies are? Drive around the neighborhood and take note of the for sale signs. When each agent comes in, tell him or her what concerns you had about the previous agent. Ask them what they'd do differently. First and foremost, go with your intution. You really have to trust the agent you hire.
0 votes
Joan Congilo…, Agent, Freehold, NJ
Sat Apr 17, 2010
Hi Joe B,
All of the agernts have made valid points & offered sound advice.At this point if you are sure it is not mere frustration from her house not selling & you have reviewed what your agent has done & followed her recommended price with no resluts then ask for referrals from local friends, neighbors or your real estate attorney. Interview a few agents & select the one you feel has a good track record as a listing agent & the one you feel most comfortable with. & follow their advice.
Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.joancongilose.com
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Fri Apr 16, 2010
Hi there - Trulia is a great place to start her search for an agent. Identify a short list and interview ALL of them, focusing on those qualities that were missing in her first experience. Ask for testimonials/references and read them. Look for results - SALES not just listings. You are looking for the agent to get the job done!

Here is my formula for success:
Proper pricing + Maximum Exposure + Agent Effort = Success

Now this presumes that the home shows well. This is also the time to step back, put your your buyer hat and take an objective look at the home. If de-clutterting, neutralizing, staging is recommended, do it! I can't tell you how many homes that did not sell, sell quickly after staging and repositioning.

Good luck to you!
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
Linda B. Con…, , Northfield, NJ
Thu Apr 15, 2010
Referrals from friends and family are the best way to find a Realtor to interview. Once you know the agents you would like to call ask questions about their marketing systems, their call back times, the best way for them to be contacted and how often they plan to contact you... every Realtor has their own way of doing things and just because someone has been successful doesn't mean they are the ideal match. Best of luck to her! If you would like a referral to an agent who works by referral in your area, let me know. Linda

Linda B. Conner-Realtor
Prudential Fox & Roach
Northfield Home Marketing Center, NJ
Serving Atlantic and Cape May Counties
cell: 609-369-2739 fax: 609-677-4477
E-mail: OCRealtor@comcast.net
0 votes
Kenneth Verb…, Agent, PRINCETON, NJ
Thu Apr 15, 2010
interviews, referrals from friends and coworkers,if you really want to seperate the wheat from the chaff see which Realtor will put in writing they will give an unconditional release from listing agreement if she is unsatisfied with the service she receives. I usually require 30 days written notice .
0 votes
Denise Guet…, Agent, Chester, NJ
Thu Apr 15, 2010
I would interview other agents who do business in the area. Not knowing how she listed with her current realtor or how she found them would tell alot. This is a business transaction and you do need to ask questions of the experience level, how many homes in the area the agent has sold, are they full time . Just because someone is personable / likable does not make them a good realtor. This is the most expensive item most people have and having a qualified agent handling the transaction is extremely important. Also listing at a realistic price is very important. Even the most experienced agent will not be able to sell an overpriced listing.

Good Luck

Denise Gueterman Weichert Realtor 142 Main Street Chester, NJ 07930
908-879-7010 office 908-303-2472 mobile denisegueterman@hotmail.com email
0 votes
Jeremy S. Hi…, , Cherry Hill, NJ
Thu Apr 15, 2010

Interviewing surely will be a start however getting to the route of why the home has not sold is most important. Really its all about getting your home sold and not how good or bad the present agent is. If you want to get your home sold you should be sure that it is listed where current market value is. A simple market value report will reveal this. The best of us cannot sell a home if it is overpriced or the condition of the home does not warrant the price. Choose someone who not just make promises of performance but is honest in presenting the current market value and holding themselves accountable to how your home will be marketed. Accountability is vital. How often and the manner in which you will be communicated should be clearly outlined. This is often the complaint of most homesellers that somewhere there is a breakdown of communication.

I grew up and conduct business in the Pennsauken, Merchantville area. If you will like to know why your home has not sold up to now I can review your listing and provide some candid answers.

Best Regards,

Jeremy S. Hill, Realtor Associate,
Keller Williams Realty
Office: 856.685.1651
Direct: 609.876.5817
Fax: 609.482.8235
Licensed PA, NJ
"Your Interest 1st Always"
0 votes
Jerry Barker, Agent, Atlantic City, NJ
Thu Apr 15, 2010
One Word "Referrals" hope that helps.
Web Reference:  http://www.sjrates.com
0 votes
Michele Rose, Agent, Moorestown, NJ
Thu Apr 15, 2010
Hi Joeb,

She needs to interview a few Realtors and see what each has to offer in terms of marketing her home. Ask for copies of their listings so she can see how each realtor presents the homes they're marketing. Do they post as many pictures as they're allowed? Do they do any additional video shows? Are their listings on many different websites? If you Google their name, what comes up? Find a Realtor who is taking full advantage of online marketing-- that's the best way to get the word out about a listing.
Also find someone who is willing to explore why the house has not sold. Find an agent who will be honest about the showing condition, and the price. Don't go with the agent who will overprice the house because that's what you want to hear.
Consider a Realtor who also does home staging. There may be inexpensive, easy ways to greatly improve how the home shows, making it more appealing to buyers. On average, staged homes sell 78% faster than homes that have not been staged.
Also, she should ask for referrals! Any good agent should be able to give her referrals from their past clients. Ultimately, after taking all these things into consideration, she should go with the agent she's comfortable with, the one she feels she can trust with her home.

Feel free to call or email me if you have any other questions!

Michele Rose
Weichert, Realtors
cell: 609-456-5813
email: mrose65@comcast.net
my blog: http://www.mrosesellsnjhomes.com
my staging company: http://www.rose-coloredstaging.com
0 votes
Phil Leng, , Kirkland, WA
Thu Apr 15, 2010
A person's history is the best indicator of future activity.

That is the entire premise of our credit scoring system. What a person did in the past is the best indicator of what they will do in the future.

Do you see where I am going? Check out real estate agents by success in the neighborhood. Go into a local office and ask to speak to the Broker or manager. Ask who is active in your area. Check their credentials. How many did they list in your area? How many did they sell last year?

I hope this helps you find an agent who will be diligent and successful in selling your daughters home.
Web Reference:  http://www.philipleng.com
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Apr 15, 2010
If after discussing all issues with the current agent and no satisfaction and no possibilty of re-listing with that agent --call a few different realty offices, interview a couple of agents and choose the one you like best--first and foremost make sure you like each other as you will be spending some time together. Ask what marketing strategies will be implemented; what plans will be put in place to coordinate meetings with buyers; what feedback (communication) can you expect and with what frequency; will data be supplied to help establish a fair and marketable asking price; will buyers be pre-screened and required to have mortgage pre-approvals when submitting offers; what other services does the agency offer, if any. What can the broker be able to expect from you the seller? Expectations are important on both sides; again, interview two-three different agencies. Don’t be too concerned as to their locations; sometimes a local broker is no more skilled than one from a few towns away--Keep in mind that in today's market pricing and marketing are paramount--review comps and price the property accordingly and choose your agent with care.
0 votes
Ines De La C…, Agent, Marlton, NJ
Thu Apr 15, 2010
Hello Joeb,
Thanks for your question.
Make sure your daughter hires a Realtor vs a regular agent. They follow a Code of Ethics. She can get information online. I would also recommend a bilingual real estate professional with knowledge in that area. Make sure it is an international office that has clients all over the world besides the domestic and local markets. Ask them if they do color flyers and reports of the activity online.
Ask the Realtor to make sure has the enhanced listing package on Realtor. com. Not everyone has it. Ask if they do virtual tours and mailers to neighbors and others. Ask if they do Open Houses.
Any further questions feel free to call me.
Best Regards,
Ines De La Cruz
RE/MAX Connection
1-800-246-2799 ext. 169
Web Reference:  http://www.inesdelacruz.com
0 votes
Giti Saeidian, , Brookline, MA
Thu Apr 15, 2010
The best way to chose a Realtor is to find someone in the town or area she is planning to buy.
also get referral from friends or family, co workers. The reputable Realtor who is on top of her market and response responsibly and takes time to walk her through the process. Do not relay on brokers who do not attend showings and put lock box at the door. Or brokerages who just list your property on MLS and let you deal with it on your own. Good luck to you and your daughter.

Giti Saeidian
Chobee Hoy Associtaes
18 Harvard street
Brookline Ma 02445
0 votes
Eric Hawkins, , Columbia, SC
Thu Apr 15, 2010
She should write down all her problems that she is having with the present realtor and then sit down and honestly evaluate her concerns. She should determine how much of her problems, could be solved by the realtor and how much is just situational. After that, if it is too much to handle and the contract is resolved, she should call another realtor and stress these issues to them and explain how it effected the last situation.
0 votes
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