how do i find a good realtor to help sell my home in somerset, nj?

Asked by K, Piscataway, NJ Wed Jun 3, 2009

i have a 4 bed 2.5 bath (approx 1997) colonial home in somerset 08873. had listed it a few months before but took it off the market to do some minor repairs/touchups. kind of rushed into getting a realtor the last time and want to really compare and see who's best to sell my house this time. what's the best way of finding a good realtor? what questions should i ask?

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18
Francesca Pa…, Agent, Manasquan, NJ
Thu Jun 4, 2009
My two cents . . . Rockinblu's blog ROCKS! Most definately use it as a guide!

Love and Peace,
Francesca, Realtor, ePro
Web Reference:  http://www.PatrizioRE.com
2 votes
K, Home Buyer, Piscataway, NJ
Thu Jun 4, 2009
Wow. I got really great responses from everyone. Here's a short list of what I compiled:

-> Listings well presented (good narrative, pictures, videos) on the internet - Marc

-> A local realtor who knows the area well - Michael

-> Doesn't always tell me what I want to hear but what I need to hear - Michael

-> Will work to obtain feedback and monitor demand to adjust price if needed - Jeanne

-> Talk to several realtors and obtain marketing and price presentation (in writing) - Don

-> Referrals may not be the best - RockinBlu (and personal experience)

-> Calls to agent returned in prompt manner and agent is professional - RockinBlu

RockinBlu's blog is pretty good. If anyone else is in a similar situation, take a look at it.

My next step is to finish painting as quickly as possible and start interviewing some of the agents that responded here (probably in a week or so).

Once again, thank you everyone!
2 votes
Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Wed Jun 3, 2009
Hi Kenny,

One other thing. Every decent agent who wants your business will already have some listings. And those listings should be exposed on the Internet. Go online and compare the quality of the presentation. How good are the photos? How well-written is the narrative? How complete is the data, and how accurate? You should be able to see that certain listing agents just stand out. Their listings have first rate photography, lots of extras like video, virtual tours, house websites, etc. Lots of well-written details that explain why your house is better than the competition. Things like that. Also check the agent's website. It should be professional and contain an MLS search function.

Believe it or not, you will see that 90% of the listings presented online just don't look all that good. 10% look great. You want your home in that 10%. So pick an agent whose existing listings ALREADY LOOK GREAT.

A promise is one thing. Already-demonstrated results are another. Don't go with a Realtor who talks a good game, go with a Realtor who is already playing one.

-Marc

Marc Paolella
Relocation Director
Member, Worldwide ERC
Licensed Realtor NJ
Licensed Appraiser NJ & NY
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Agent of the Year 2008
Owner: Sands Appraisal Service, Inc.
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
Search the Garden State MLS: http://www.marcpaolella.com/SearchMLS
2 votes
Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Wed Jun 3, 2009
Hi Kenny,

You are best served consulting with friends and family to come up with a good Realtor. Any agent who posts that they will help you find a Realtor through their "network" is basically just fishing for a referral fee. An agent who "finds you" a Realtor gets 25% of the commission for basically doing nothing.

A better alternative if you don't have friends or family is to review the posts and websites of agents who contribute regularly to this forum and pick someone who is local to your area who seems knowledgable and experienced. Full time is also mandatory. Many agents are part-time, you do not want that.

Good luck!

-Marc

Marc Paolella
Relocation Director
Member, Worldwide ERC
Licensed Realtor NJ
Licensed Appraiser NJ & NY
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Agent of the Year 2008
Owner: Sands Appraisal Service, Inc.
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
Search the Garden State MLS: http://www.marcpaolella.com/SearchMLS
2 votes
Barbara Q., , Bergen County, NJ
Fri Jun 5, 2009
Kenny- All great responses...Plenty of Realtors anxious to be helpful.
Rockinblu has compiled Great information - (he should charge for it...he'd make millions!)

We suggest that you find a Realtor who thinks outside the box and understands that standard price reductions of tens of thousands of dollars are ineffective when it comes to increasing market potential.
($10,000 price reduction lowers a potential Buyer's monthly payment by only $53.45/month.)

Price your home aggressively, and offer a Seller Concession package from when you first list your home.
When you offer a concession package of $10,000 - it helps you to expand your pool of qualified Buyers.
Buyers have the OPTION of using that money to:
1.) Reduce the purchase price
2.) Pay closing costs
3.) Discount their interest rate and monthly payment by hundreds of dollars
4.) Any combination of the above.

Temporary Buydowns are much more financially impactful than Standard Price Reductions.
The cost to the Seller is minimal in comparison to the substantial savings for the Buyer.
It's a Creative, Win! Win! Opportunity for Sellers & Buyers!

Temporary Buydown Calculator: http://www.321advantage.com/archives/category/sellers

Good Luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.321advantage.com
1 vote
Primatanya, , 08816
Thu Jun 4, 2009
A good way to find a great realtor is through referrals (or word of mouth). You should also interview them before deciding to go with one. I just recently purchased a property in Somerset (about a couple of weeks ago). The realtor I used was through referrals...she was very persistent & reliable and is very knowledgable of Somerset/Middlesex/Mercer Counties. Most of her buyers were able to find properties they bid on in a matter of 30 days and her sellers sold their properties in less than 2 weeks (recently one of her clients put their property on the market & got a buyer after 9 days). I met with her for an interview, discussed my needs, and I liked that she was attentive & a understanding. Please give Janet Weber of Coldwell Banker a call and see what she can do for you. Hopefully, you'll be able to sell your property soon. Her contact info below is:

Janet Weber, Sales Associate, ABR, CNMS, CNRS, SRES
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
716 Route 206 & Raider Blvd.
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Direct (908) 904-6813
Cell (908) 642-6801
Email: Jan.Weber@coldwellbankermoves.com
1 vote
Michael Adams, Agent, Belle Mead, NJ
Wed Jun 3, 2009
Hello Kenny,
You are wise to have taken the time to make minor repairs before placing your home back on the market. Many buyers, today, want a home they can move right into. Making your home stand out from the crowd, especially those first days after placement on the MLS, will help to attract buyers.

You have been given some very sound advice here, so far. You definitely want a local REALTOR to help sell your home. A local REALTOR should have a better working knowledge of the Somerset marketplace and comparables.

You want a REALTOR who takes the time to listen to your objectives and creates a marketing strategy to accomplish them. You want a REALTOR who understands what your goals are; which may impact the pricing. You want a REALTOR that understands the importance of great photos that best shows your home. You want a REALTOR who will communicate with you on a regular basis and be fearless enough to tell you what you need to hear and not just what s/he thinks you want to hear. You want a REALTOR who utilizes the marketing power of the internet. You want a REALTOR who truly enjoys helping people accomplish their dreams. You want a REALTOR dedicated to getting the job done with the full backing of his/her broker.

Whether or not you decide that I am THAT REALTOR for you, I wish you the best of luck in selling your home.

Regards,
Michael Adams, e-PRO
Century 21 Moretti Realty
852 Easton Ave
Somerset, NJ 08873
Office: 732.828.3700 x306
Please CALL DIRECT: 908.583.0409
http://mjadamsSellsHomes.com
1 vote
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Wed Jun 3, 2009
Hi Kenny, agree with Don - pricing is THE most important factor to success - as important as great marketing is, no amount of it will sell an overpriced home.

My experience is that homes sell within a 1-5% band of their asking price when the home hits it's "strike" price. If that strike price is set early on, best case right out of the gate you will do better, not worse - believe me, it can be proven out time and again. While statistically it may be unlikely that your home will sell in the first 30-60 days, what is undeniable is that the greatest excitement for your home is during this initial period - miss that important time for exposure due to overpricing and you've missed an opportunity indeed. Having said that, if through you and your agents best efforts you miss the mark with your initial price, then adjust quickly. How will you know - your agent should schedule specific activities quickly that will get agent and buyer feedback - this in addition to an explosive release on line that is closely monitored for hits and response. And then, bottom line, traffic and offers - if low or non-existent, price must be addressed.

Good luck.

Best,
Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
1 vote
Donald Hansen, Agent, Gillette, NJ
Wed Jun 3, 2009
Kenny,
You are doing the right thing by taking some time to figure out who is the best realtor for marketing your property. Here are a couple of ideas for finding a realtor. As mentioned before , go to friends and family in the area and see if they know any realtor(s) that they would recommend. Second, drive in your neighborhood and see if one agent seems to have the majority of listings, specifically those with the sign under contract or pending. You are not just looking for an agent to put your home on the market, you are looking for an agent to get your house sold. Third, do what you are doing now. Explore some of the real estate websites like trulia, zillow, active rain and see which realtors are prominent there. Once you have two and preferably three realtors to choose from, have them do a marketing and price presentation for you. Ask how they came up with the price, how they are going to market the property, who are the target markets for your house, etc. This should be in writing so you have something to hold them accountable for. Finally base your decision on who you think will do the best job marketing your property and who seems the most realistic on pricing your house. Many sellers make the mistake of deciding on the agent by who "gives" them the highest market evaluation on their house. If the agent's market evaluation makes sense that's fine. However, if one agent thinks the house is worth $50000 more than either of the other agents that could mean the agent is not familiar with pricing in the area. Price is crucial in this market. Overpricing your house will make it nearly impossible to sell no matter what marketing is done.
Ken, I would welcome the opportunity to be one of the agents you interview. I grew up in nearby Piscataway and know Somerset very well. Feel free to contact me to discuss this further.
1 vote
Jan Nicola, Agent, Fremont, NE
Tue Jun 9, 2009
As the relocation director of my company, I can get you in touch with several realtors to interview. You should inquire about their marketing. Over 80% of buyers shop online before ever contacting a realtor. So the agent you hire should be very knowledgeable online and your home should be posted on thousands of home shopping websites. Also, signage is very important. You should also know upfront, how often your realtor communicates with you. Some speak with their clients weekly and some monthly. Either is fine just so that you are aware of how your realtor works. And make sure your realtor works well with other companies. I can share more with you. Feel free to call me.
Jan Nicola
402-720-5413
jan@onestrongteam.com
0 votes
Laureen Coup, Agent, Long Beach Island, NJ
Tue Jun 9, 2009
I would ask for communication, I hear too often enough that sellers list their home and never hear from the agent. The # 1 thing is Internet marketing. Some companies do not allow their listings to appear on the many internet sites where prospective buyers will be searching. I would ask that you receive monthly reports of calls, feedback, internet views, etc. I also think its important to know their complete marketing plan not just at the time of listing your home, but 30, 60, days in the future if your home does not sell. Find out the market share the agency has in the area of your home. People often gauge how successful an agency is by the number of their for sale signs in the area. Anyone can list a home, find out how many actually sell. Good luck~
Laureen Coup
Broker-Manager
Crossroads Realty
(732) 674-7506
LCoup@CrossroadsRealtyNJ.com
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Fri Jun 5, 2009
Hi Kenny, great thread - you are on the right path and I'm glad that we could all be helpful. By all means, line up the interviews and with the help of what you've learned here, you'll be in a great position to make a thoughtful and wise choice this go around.

My hat is in the ring and I hope to be among those you invite to the table for consideration.

Best,
Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
Michael Adams, Agent, Belle Mead, NJ
Thu Jun 4, 2009
Hi Kenny,
BTW- If you need to spruce up your kitchen or baths, there is a local warehouse sale through Sunday, advertising up to 70% off MSPR. Here is the link for more information. http://tinyurl.com/ofgwe7

Regrads,
Michael
0 votes
Sean Dawes, , Philadelphia, PA
Thu Jun 4, 2009
Lots of people asking to be contacted so they can refer this person out.

Kenny,

I suggest you search on trulia under "find a pro" and email or call some of the agents who seem most active or providing good comments to posts. Not just "call me for more info" or "i can list/help you buy"

best of luck

-Sean
Web Reference:  http://www.SeanDawes.com
0 votes
Karen Davis, , Somerset, NJ
Wed Jun 3, 2009
Good Afternoon Kenny,

I have been a resident of Somerset for over 20 years and am a realtor with Century 21 Moretti Realty (formerly Our Town Realty) on Easton Avenue. My recommendation is to call and interview various local realtors over the phone. Ask those you feel comfortable with to provide you with a free market analysis of your home. When you meet with them ask them what they would do to market your home, how they would do it and how they would keep you informed of what's happening. Preparing your home to market it is very wise. We have a lot of properties for sale in the area so staging is important to have your home stand out above them. I have potential buyers for Somerset that are looking for homes that are ready to move into. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss a marketing plan for your home as well as to provide you with a market analysis. If you'd like to discuss with me further please give me a call at 732 828-3700 x211 or e-mail me a kadavis@century21.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
Web Reference:  http://karenadavis.com
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Wed Jun 3, 2009
Hi Kenny, Jeanne Feenick reporting for duty! I am a member of the Middlesex MLS and Garden State MLS and am an active TruliaPro. Take some time to read through the Q&A and blog posts, and review websites, including the Testimonial section.

Once you have idenitifed a list of contenders, and I hope you will count me among them, schedule interviews to review Marketing Strategy and Pricing. Be sure that the agent embraces the internet - it isn't just important, it is critical! The link below sums up my thoughts:
http://weichert.fnistools.com/BrokerOffice.admin/Content/Con…

Send me a quick email so that we can begin a dialogue.

Best,
Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference:  http://www.feeenick.com
0 votes
Jan Nicola, Agent, Fremont, NE
Wed Jun 3, 2009
I am the relocation director of my company. I network with realtors all over the country. I can find a qualified agent for you. I will find the agent with the best marketing and one that knows your area. If I can be of help, please call me . . . Jan Nicola 402-720-5413
0 votes
Camille Mill…, , Flemington, NJ
Wed Jun 3, 2009
Kenny: If you'd like, our company sets up agent referals for you. I can send you three (or more if need) agents from all different brands that market homes in Somerset and you can choose on your own. We also provide you with a transaction assistant free of charge to work with you throughout the selection and marketing process to make sure your getting the service you need. Please don't hesitate to contact me directly should you need assistance. Oh, you may want to make sure you're not still under contract with the other agency.

Best of Luck,

Camille Miller
Broker/Owner
JustJErseyRealEstate.com
0 votes
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