seller - how to select a realtor?

Asked by Candace, Davie, FL Fri Jun 6, 2008

We live in Davie, Fl - Broward County, S. florida. Sales market is really tight. Sooooo much for sale. What suggestions do you have for how a seller should select a realtor? What questions should be asked? What do we want to know about the realtor / company?
Tks.

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27
Bill Richard, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Fri Jun 6, 2008
I am not in your area. So takes these words as non-profit. What you are looking for is someone hungry enough to actually work on your behalf. I believe if a man works they eat. So with those words let me make a few things straight. The company they work for really does not matter. What matters is the reputation of the agent. You will not be able to find that reputation out unless you actually ask a few people. If I were you I would ask for a list of that last 100 sellers they worked for or even the last 10 but it has to be the last 10. I would call them and ask them what to expect. Sometimes people have great pedigrees or better said big bulletin boards. They mean nothing in my opinion other then the work they did. That does not mean they will do it for you now. But calling the actual past 10 sellers not two years ago but the actual 10 last sellers is a great way to interview an agent. If they will not give you a list move on to the next one. They should be able to e-mail you at least 10.
Now since I am not in your area. If you would like me to give you a list of ten great agents let me tell you what I would have to do in order to serve you. I would call five agents in your area and interview them. I would ask for the last 5 sellers phone numbers and then I would call them. After that I would give you three names to interview. Also I would make sure that not one agent comes from the same company. I happen to like independant companies rather then big name. I use to work with Coldwell Banker and I was number 7 out of 2300 agents in SO-Cal. Then I went to work with Keller Williams and left them after three years at number 3 out of 2400 agents. We just started out own company in January and we now have 70 agents. I am the broker and I am also an agent.
The biggest thing I teach my agents when it comes to listings. We have our agents write into the listing contract if the seller at anytime wants to cancel this contract with 24 hour notice they may do so without penalty with one cavest they are not allowed to list it with another agent for less money in the next 90 days following the cancelation. What we have found is no one cancels and everyone understands that the next person in is only going to try to convince them it is priced to high. We also only take a 90 day listing.

Trust has to be formed over a period of time. It just does not happen immediately.
1. Ask for referrals - past clients.
2. Look at the last 10 listings initial price vs sold price. Time on market etc.
3. Ask the person you interview if that person will be the same person who is going to sell your home or are they some sort of front man who only gets the listing and then has everyone else do the work on their team. You see your paying for that person not someone else. You are interviewing that person not someone else. If it is someone else do not do anything until you interview the person who is actually going to sell the home not just interview for the position of listing your home!

Finally call me if you have any questions. My name is Bill and I am easy to talk to.
3 votes
John Palmisa…, , Weston, FL
Tue Aug 19, 2008
Candance,
In the Davie area, we have so many great Realtors that do wonderful job. Candance, here is a questionaire to help you:

1. Do you work as a full-time Realtor?
2. Do you have a full-time assistant?
3. In what area and in what aspect of the market do you specialize?
4. Do you have a written marketing plan specifically designed to sell my house?
5. How often do you market properties directly to buyers?
6. How many properties have you sold in the last three months?
7. Will you produce a professional flyer of my home with a picture displaying my home?
8. How often will I hear from you after my home is listed with you?
9. I cancel the listing if I don’t hear from you as the schedule dictates?
10. What software do you use to track those activities being used to market my home?
11. How do you find potential buyers? Do you have a system to identify potential buyers?
12. What other marketing techniques will you use to get my property sold?
13. In what ways do you encourage other Realtors to sell my property? How do you network?
14. Do you attend local Realtor gatherings? Which ones?
15. How many listings do you have? What percentage of them sell? In the past?
16. Do you have a personal marketing plan? Describe.
17. Do you have a personal website?
18. Do you have a permanent E-mail address?
19. What presence have you developed through your marketing?
20. Does your company have a website ?
21. What does your website link to?
22. Do you have listings on Realtor.com? Are they Showcase Listings?
21. Does it link to your personal website or homepage?
22. Do you have a list of references I can call?
23. What automated communication tools do you use for 24-hour access and service?
24. Do you have a database of qualified buyers for my home?

When interviewing agents, understand what services they offer and what services you are interested in. These questions are designed to tell you if an agent is taking the listing for another reason than getting your property SOLD!
I hope this helps.

John Palmisano-Realtor
The Barbara Blais and Sherry Fell Real Estate Team.
Keller Williams Properties
Weston, FL 33326
Web Reference:  http://www.bbsfre.com
1 vote
Open Door St…, , Fort Lauderdale, FL
Thu Jun 19, 2008
Ask your real estate professional if they incorporate home staging into their marketing strategy.

Home staging is the proven way to make your property stand out from the competition online (where more than 85% of home buyers search for homes) and in person.

With so many homes on the market, your ability to stand out from the competition is the key to selling your property before the competition.

Home staging is marketing, not decorating.
1 vote
Kareen Belna…, , 33065
Tue Jun 17, 2008
If the company is reputable.?Will they treat youl ike a person and not a number in their inventory of houses. You need a Realtor who is focused,organized and able to dedicate the necessary time in marketing your home. Also, simply put, can you get work with that person. Good luck in your search.
1 vote
Jennifer Rush, , Cooper City, FL
Fri Jun 13, 2008
You have already gotten a lot of great advice from experienced Realtors but let me just say one more thing; consider a new Realtor as well. A sales associate that is just starting out will have the benefit of being newly trained in the latest techniques to market your home. A new agent is also more likely to give you the one on one service that an associate with multiple listings cannot and (frankly) will be hungry for your business... with the goal of developing a lasting relationship with you and a reputation upon which he/she can build. Just food for thought!
1 vote
Patti Reid, , Davie, FL
Tue Jun 10, 2008
Hello, my name is Patti Reid and I am a Realtor with EWM Realtors. I live in Davie, FL and I have sold property in Davie, Florida for 20 years. I believe the most important factor in choosing a Realtor is to ask for their performance record. If a Realtor has a proven track record you can be certain that they know what they are doing. They know that it takes more than putting an ad in the newspaper. They will be knowledgeable about all forms of internet advertising, including "blogging" about a property. I also believe that you should select a Realtor who is very familiar with your area and has a good reputation with other Realtors in the area. Realtors like to work with other Realtors who respond quickly , handle the transaction professionally from beginning to end and who will go out of their way to accomodate both sides of the transaction whenever necessary. Great Realtors know that the bottom line is selling the property and they put their egos aside to help make the transaction as smooth as possible for the seller and the buyer. I call it going the extra mile. When you interview Realtors you will know the difference between someone who is just looking for another listing and one who truly wants to help you sell your home during these unusual times. I hope this has been helpful; please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer for you.
Web Reference:  http://www.PattiReid.com
1 vote
Bill Richard, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Sat Jun 7, 2008
Let me stress how not important it is to work with a large well known international company. The web has shrunk the world. Everyone goes on Realtor.com. You could work with Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA or now their newest addition Sothbys which are all the same company and possibly get worse service then a local Mom and Pop Realtor company. Why because it is all about the agent and has nothing to do with the company. The national NAR National association of Realtors state that less then 1% has anything to do with a big name intentification. The character of the agent as well as the willingness are all important. Yes it is important that they are a registered Realtor" as compared to just an agent. Why because at least someone over them watching what they are doing.

So national exposer depends more on how you place your listings. In Realtor.com we have the opportunity to showcase our listings. If we do then they are presented better in a classier way internationally. Also anyone who is worth their salt when looking for a home would be foolish to rely on any one Real Estate company. Think about it? Oh let's look at Century 21 website we will find everything. Not! They nor does any other brokerage have all the listings in the world. Realtor.com will have most of them nationally because it has a relationship with most if not all of the MLS 's across the country.

Please understand I have nothing against any of the large companies. In fact right now Keller Williams is larger then prudential and about to take over by the number of agents nationally almost all the spots. The number of agents really has more to do with how much the agents retain commission wise then anything.

I left Coldwell Banker because the year I left I had given them over 200k of my commissions and I thought for that I should have had for that one year a Harvard Education. Taked it from me who just brought on 70 agents in the last 5 months in So-cal from all of the above companies. When Prudential went and charged the agents a once a year profit stream E&O fee they came streaming across the border. Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA and now Sothbys were all owned by the same master controlled company. Keller Williams is independant as well as Exit which I hate the name.

Anyway my point being is the most important ingredient is the agent not the company 99% of the time. If they use the web and realtor.com then you are international. Your property will be seen in California. So again interview at least 5 agents. Be careful about working with friends unless they are really good at what they do. Please know that the most important ingredient in a listing is Price and location. Staging your home does help as well as great flyers but they will never get the person into the house. The flyer is a memorial to what they saw and by that time they have already made up their mind. So if the price is not good enough they will not enter.

Candace below sound like a great agent. I do not know her personally. So please do not take what I am saying as anything against her. She just sounds a little brain washed into believing that Century 21 or any large well known brokerage house will give you much better exposure then a less known local company. That is blatantly a false statement. That makes me wonder?

If a small less known local company has a good web presence. If they do blogs like this. By the way your home automatically goes on so many web sites when it is entered into Realtor.com you would not believe it. Last week we sold a home to man who lives currently in Siberia who works with the Russian government in Biotec. He saw our home on Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com. We are a small local practically brand new unknown company but not for long. When we become a large well known international company which we have no intention of becoming I am sure to that person who works oversees it will make no difference if the house does not fulfill the desires of their heart.

Let me give you a few reasons why you might want to use a small not as internationally placed corporation.
1. The agent has more money to spend! When I left and had an extra 170k of monies to spend on my own business rather then giving it to a large well known international company you could not believe what I did with it. Right now one of the agents who left and began his own company right after I did. Went out and now spends 500k a year on TV and now nets him 2.5 million in commissions. It is all about him but that is another story. The point is they do not have to give it to the brokerage to pay for all the people that are employed internationally as well as the royalty of using that name.
2. The agent knows that area because they happen to have succeeded enough to be on their own. In fact those agents are well known in the local circles usually. Their office may not be but they are well known and therefore may be able to sell your listing quicker.

A Thought!
1 vote
Ree Abbott, Home Buyer, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sat Jun 7, 2008
Hi Candace: The first thing to consider is the company that you will be working with. Certainly, a larger, well known brokerage house will give you much better exposure than a smaller, less known local company. In this slower market, getting as much exposure as possible is key. So you want a company that can give you both local & worldwide/nationwide exposure. South Florida is a very desirable place to live, & people come here from all over the world, so you have to reach those people with a company that has a powerful, international presence.

You should speak with/interview several Realtors. I stress Realtors over agents, as not all agents are Realtors. Realtors have to pay dues to belong to the Realtor Association in the county where they work, & they are held up to a high set or standards & ethics. Also, unless you are a member of a Realtors board, you do not have access to the Multiple Listing System, which is where you want your property to be posted, or no one will ever see it. Go onto the company's website, & look under "Agents". When I refer a client out of state, this is how I find agents to consider sending my clients.

When interviewing your Realtors, you want to notice who you feel really comfortable with. Does this Realtor really listen to & hear you? Do you feel that they are really listening to your needs, fears & concerns versus talking about themselves? Do they ask you a lot of questions, such as what is your timeframe for your move, etc.? Are you relaxed with them? Good communication is probably one of the most (if not the most) important elements in your relationship with this person. Most likely, you will be in a listing contract for a minimum of 6 months with this person, so you will be in communication often: so you want to feel very comfortable speaking with this person.

When you do select your Realtor, you need to communicate to them how often you will be getting updates on the progress on your listing, & how (phone, e-mail, etc.). Some of my clients want a call every Monday morning, some want e-mails every 2 or 3 weeks. It is all up to you. A good Realtor will respect your wishes & will keep you in the loop. They should return your phone calls or e-mails promptly.

Most of us basically do the same thing: we post your listing onto the Multiple Listing System: make sure that your Realtor is going to post the maximim amount of photos on there. It is amazing how many agents do not post any pictures, which is totally ridiculous & a disservice to their sellers. It should also go onto http://www.realtor.com, as well as the company/brokerage website. http://(www.century21.com, etc.), again with photos. A professionally done virtual tour is always good. Print advertising is falling by the wayside, as now, 87% of homebuyers start their home searches online. I advertise every other Sunday in the newspaper. Other than that, the rest of my marketing is done online. So it would be very beneficial if you found a Realtor who has a decent website to promote your property on. Not many do, but we are out there. Check out their websites. Also, ask them what websites they will be advertising on, & ask them to send you the link when your listing is posted, so you can check it out.

Ask them if they will be doing any mailings. I do a lot of waterfront condos, so I always mail my seller's building & a few surrounding buildings to let people know that a property in the building is listed for sale.

These are some of the things that you need to ask your Realtor about up front. This is a big financial decision for you, & even if things go smoothly, it will still be stressful: so you should be able to speak to them openly & always honestly about your situation.

More than anything, you should feel that they have your best interest at heart. When we try to help you set a price for your house, we will show you the comparables/similiar properties of what has sold, what is for sale, what has expired, etc. Avoid an agent who wants to list your home higher than what the comparables show. The numbers do not lie. There is so much inventory on the market right now that it is all about listing at the right price. You need to be a realistic seller. I have walked away from so many sellers/listings who refuse to get in touch with what is going on in the market. It is a waste of everyone's time if the house is overpriced, & if you have some good comparables in front of you, it should be fairly obvious where your house should be listed. We know what we are doing, & we want to get your house sold for you as quickly as possible, but if it is overpriced, then you have tied our hands. Remember, we do not get paid unless the house sells: we want you to get as much as possible for your house. We really want you to be happy with us, & with how we are doing our job for you, because we hope that you will use us again, or refer us.

Good luck, & I hope that this has helped you.

Ree Abbott - Century 21 Hansen
1 vote
Sue Causey, Agent, Racine, WI
Fri Jun 6, 2008
Hi--

What an excellent question! I do not practice in your area but my in-laws used to live in Plantation so I am familiar with it. However, your question is a universal one so I think I can jump in with an answer for you.

First, pretend you are a buyer. Go to a few open houses, call a few agents about their listings, read the ads and look at how their homes are marketed on Realtor.com.

Trusting your home to a real estate professional whose style is compatable with yours and who markets their listings the way you want to be represented is so important. Find out what the agent does for their existing clients, look at their pricing and success ratios. Don't just go with the agent who gives you the higher price--this is a practice known as "buying the listing"......anyone can give you a high price to get your business but if that price is unsubstantiated, it will just add time to your "days on market".

89% of buyers begin their search on the internet--make sure your home has photos and additional information on Realtor.com!!! Good luck in selling your home.
1 vote
M.christo, , Sacramento, CA
Fri Jun 6, 2008
Quick comment from a non-professional...when we sold our house 3 yrs ago, we went with the wife of one of my husband's good friends. Wow. Big mistake. She was new in the industry, and we wanted to help her out. Unfortunately, she was part time. Which means that if a buyer's agent called, she couldn't call them back right away or handle things for us. And, when it became apparent she really didn't know what she was doing, it was too late to switch realtors (contract), so we had to try to step in and try to "help" things along (you know, make up our own "color" flyers, bring cookies for the open house, that kind of thing) which really stressed the relationship. We don't talk too much anymore...So, I would listen to the good advice posted below--get somebody who's not a newbie, who's got connections and a track-record, and interview at least 3 agents...
1 vote
Angela Schra…, Agent, Pembroke Pines, FL
Fri Jun 6, 2008
Dear Candace:

I'm a Realtor in your area, and I'm going to be very honest with you. No matter how skilled the Realtor, right now sellers are facing a very, very difficult market, and frustration is what everyone is experiencing. There will be Realtors who will promise you that they can deliver results, because they "use all of the best marketing programs", and they "have hundreds of buyers ready to buy today!!" I see their marketing programs every day. Their's are one of the 300 email flyers that I get in my email, and the 20 postcards that I get in my mailbox every day. Maybe they have a 360 degree virtual tour on their website, and maybe they have 3,000 Realtors on their email distribution list. The fact of the matter is the only thing that can sell your home is responsible pricing, location, features and a great big dose of good luck! That 173rd email flyer in my box is no more effective than the 299 I found with it. That virtual tour can't even begin to help sell a house that doesn't have desirable features and/or is unreasonably priced. Right now, the buyers know that the available inventory is enormous. Almost every buyer I've met is out there looking for bargains. They think that if they look long and hard enough, they will find a seller that has no choice but to sell today for whatever the buyer happens to offer. If that's not you, they'll continue looking until they find your neighbor, the guy around the corner or the couple on the other side of town.

As some of the other respondents have suggested, the best way to find a Realtor is to talk to Realtors and find someone whose opinion you trust and respect. Your Realtor is in the best possible position to give you educated advice on how to prepare your home, how to show your home, and most importantly, how to price your home. Chances are, they're going to give you a recommendation on the low side of what you would wish to sell your home for. Keep in mind, that the higher the sales price of your house, the more the Realtor stands to make in commission, so if he/she is suggesting a price that you think is low, then that is probably not in his/her interests either. That price is most likely their honest assessment of where they think you'll have to price your home if you want to get it sold. Remember, unless your house is far and away the best one around for miles (which it very well may be), it has to be priced in reasonable competition to the other homes that are for sale in your immediate area. We may all wish that we had sold our homes 3 years ago when prices were through the roof, but those sellers who are still dreaming of big profit paydays, are the ones whose houses are sitting on the market now for as many as the last 2 years.

A good Realtor won't just tell you how to price your house, but he/she will show you why they think that that is an appropriate price. If you have a good rapport, you will feel comfortable going back and forth with that person until you're happy with the recommendation. Remember, your Realtor is only an advisor - the ultimate decisions always rest with you.

You can believe me when I say that I know exactly how you're feeling. I see how the prices for models similar to my home have fallen in my neighborhood, and I know that if I needed to sell my house today, I might very well be in for a long and frustrating wait. Your Realtor will want to do everything in his/her power to help sell your home, so that you can be happy and so that he/she can earn their commission. Don't fall for those Realtors who will insist that they have a magic solution to your problem. The real solutions are patience and pricing.

Very best of luck to you, if I can help you in any way, please let me know.

Angela
Villa G Realty
Web Reference:  http://www.villagrealty.com
1 vote
Ines Hegedus…, Agent, Miami, FL
Fri Jun 6, 2008
Hi Candace,
Although we're not in your market area, we have written several articles to help out real estate sellers.
http://www.miamism.com/real-estate/For-Sellers
Being an educated consumer places you at the top of your game. Make sure you google the agent to see what their Internet presence is like (take into consideration that almost 90% of buyers start on-line). Ask how and what they are doing to get exposure to their listings.

You will be a team and you need to feel comfortable with the agent and need to trust them and make sure they will work for your best interest. Don't hire the agent that gives you the highest price for your listing, make sure you hire the one that is telling you the truth.
Take a look at this video by The Real Estate Zebra to put things in perspective:
http://www.miamism.com/how-to-sell-your-home-in-black-and-white

good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.miamism.com
1 vote
Mott Marvin…, Agent, Sunny Isles Beach, FL
Fri Jun 6, 2008
Basically, all agents, brokers and more importantly REALTORS®- have the same arsenal of tools to market your property. Thre are many schools of thought on how to hire a REALTOR®, or for that matter hiring any service related specialist.

My thoughts are;
1. Do you get along with the agent?
2. Can you feel comfortable with him/her?
3. Are they competent?
4. Do they have a GREAT Internet Identity?
5. Do you really TRUST the agent?

Real Estate Companies are pretty much the same, the same MLS, the same access to technology, etc. In the end, it is the AGENT that represents you that you'll be dealing with.
1 vote
Darrell Hess, Agent, Asheville, NC
Tue Jul 24, 2012
Ask them what their sales volume has been. How much production they did last year and this year thus far. Any agent that has done less than 2 million in sales last year is a novice or does not have the business models in place to handle your home sale. Check the local commission to make sure they have no penalties or actions/citations against them. Make sure they have adequate online presence to market your home. 90% of today's buyers search online to find their potential home. There are so many more questions you could ask, but the above will weed out the folly. Most of all make sure you hire someone looking out for your needs and that can communicate efficiently. You can get a feeling for that simply by interviewing them. If you need help, I would be happy to recommend someone for you.
0 votes
Jeff Holloway, Agent, Sebastian, FL
Tue Aug 19, 2008
Only 2 simply rules to follow!
A) Price your home better than the competition
b) Expose your property to the buyers agents and buyers.
Anything else is just fluff!
0 votes
Jeff Holloway, Agent, Sebastian, FL
Tue Aug 19, 2008
Only 2 simply rules to follow!
A) Price your home better than the competition
b) Expose your property to the buyers agents and buyers.
Anything else is just fluff!
0 votes
Waterman480, , 33316
Tue Aug 19, 2008
I like John Palmisano's answer. Look at the listings of the realtor you are considering as well. With the internet playing such a large role, I am amazed at how lazy some realtors are. No square footage listed, no room sizes, lousy pics of the outside of the building only. Erroneous or missing details. Every realtor worth their salt should know how to use a tape measure, camera, notepad , and the internet.

I should be able to look at the listing and have a good feel for whether or not I want to investigate further (and not waste my time as well as that of my realtor). There are some really good ones out there - but far more that don't have a clue.
0 votes
Robin Sing-C…, , Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fri Jun 13, 2008
Wow..some good answers here, but instead of a long thesis, I think you asked what questions you should ask about a Realtor. So let me be brief.

You can find a couple of articles here that will help you formulate your question by reading some of these articles : http://www.robinashley.com/sellers/

This article would also be helpful in guiding you to compose some pretty good questions: http://www.realestateradiousa.com/blog/2008/01/28/how-would-…

If after reading this information you would like some additional help in composing some very directed questions, by all means drop me an email and I'd love to help you.
Web Reference:  http://www.robinashley.com
0 votes
Jan Herard, Agent, Plantation, FL
Wed Jun 11, 2008
Your home is the quite possibly the largest asset that any family has. When you interview a Realtor, you want one that has a proven track record that will treat your home as though it were their own. I have been a Realtor assisting families throughtout Broward County for 34 years.

Corporate relocation is my specialty. Because of this, I did not specialize in just one neighborhood. If a buyer calls on a listing of mine in Pembroke Pines or Coral Springs, they may not have considered Davie. Being able to work throughout the county I feel is an asset to my clients.

I have also graduated from Leadership Broward and Leadership Florida. From there I have a gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about where we live. I use that knowlege for my clients and try to be a resource for them. I'm a mother of 4 and a grandmother of 5. I know the challenges that families face and the patience to work through it with them.

Warmest regards,
Jan Herard
Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker
954-295-2478
Web Reference:  http://www.HerardTeam.com
0 votes
Bill Richard, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Sat Jun 7, 2008
Sorry but I was never agravated about the commission amount. I would say brain washed more likely then agravated. Let me give you a few reasons why.
1. Print advertisement only works to generate business for the companies who employ it and not for the homes. Ask any agent when was the last time they actually listed a home in a local newspaper and sold it. In San Diego print media is off by 95%. Think about the 2000-2005 timeline. All you needed to do was simply whisper you had a home for sale and multiple offers would roll in. Now you could have the good year blimp over your home and it will not make a difference. The big companies want you to think they have the asnwer. That they have world presence. That is a bunch of balony. As I said I recently sold a home to someone from another country and yes they found it on the internet.
With the price of gas going up you will find more and more people driven to the internet. All of our agents who work with us have a showcase account with Realtor.com.

2. Floor time or as we use to call it bore time. Sure you would get calls from web driven material and news print. Why because the newsprint had the office number on it not the agents. Our agents if they choose print media have their phone number not mine and they have their web address not mine. You see it is there business not mine. We are the Richard Realty Groups a company of companies. One of the best floor time places we have in San Diego happens to be in Carlsbad downtown and they actually get walk ins on a consistant basis and that is a local small mom and pop shop. They know the area and everyone knows them.

3. The average agent with a big company pays a very dear price to be with them. They start with a 80/20 split and after that they give up a 7% royalty and then a once a year E&0 fee and then a transaction coodinator fee, and then an assistant, photography if they choose to virtual tours and monthly fees etc. Which means they keep about 67% of what they make if that and that does not include an assistant salary if they do more then 50 transactions a year.
In our small not international company our agents make 80/20 and they pay no fees whatsoever. They have their photos taken, uploaded a transaction coordinator and a marketing technician and they pay nothing until they make something and then and only then do they pay an 80/20 split. In fact if they happen to make 200k a year they are capped and from then on they receive 100% of the money.

- So why is that important. Why are so many Exit agents, Remax and others local mom and pop agents so happy and so good at what they do? Well they get more and because of that they have more to spend on their clients. If I want to do something for free I can. If I want to rebate to my client 1% that would be the same as what I was making in my former company at 3%. If I want to take a listing and allow the client to cancel at anytime I can. Try doing that with a large company it will never happen. OR at the very least it is highly discouraged.

4. Vendors! My agents can use anyone they want. In the large companies they have lenders whom they make money from. They have title companies they own. They have so many income streams that many of the agents are not aware of but they are highly encouraged to use. In our company each agent is their own company.

5. National presence does not mean better service to you. It also does not mean that your property will get any more recognition anywhere else. In some areas of the world certain well know American companies are actually looked down upon. Most people I have found know how to look for properties. When I came to Keller Williams about four years ago in San Diego no one knew who KW was. It was not as well known here then as it is now. It was a small company. Now it does more business then any of the others combined. So when we started our company sure they knew me but my agents are all individual companies if they choose to be and now we are getting to be known as a having a market share.

As I said maybe the area she is talking about her company may be dominate. In Fort Myers my assistant who I trained moved there about 4 years ago and she became at Exit the number one agent the first year she came to that area. Why because she is a great agent. She actually answers her phone seven days a week. She does open houses and flyers and she spends money on staging etc.

So many things go into being a great agent. In California one in ten people are agents. Yet with that said only one in 342 are really good agents.

Also if you look up the NAR stats you will find that Century 21's website it actually number 15 as of today internationally. Realtor.com, Zillow, Google is floating a beta, Trulia, Remax, etc. etc.

Look it up yourself.

Ask a couple of questions.
1. How many homes have you sold using print media?
2. How many have you sold because of your companies web?
The answer will surprise U
0 votes
Ree Abbott, Home Buyer, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sat Jun 7, 2008
Do not be afraid to express any concerns or feelings with this person that you choose: you will most likely be in a relationship with them for many months, during the listing period, speaking and communicating frequently, and you are dealing with one of the largest (if not the largest) financial transactions of your lifetime, so speak openly and honestly with them, and be clear on what you expect from your agent. A good agent will also be clear on what they expect from you also. Again: Do you feel comfortable and understood? Do they listen to and really hear you? After all, this is all about you and selling your house, not about the agent and their realtor desigations, awards, etc.

Whenever I sit down with people and ask them what is the most important thing that they want from me, especially if they are re-listing a property that has not sold the first time, they almost always tell me,"Good and accessible communication. Phone calls that get returned, e-mails that get answered promptly."

Do they take the time to explain the comparables and the listing contract to you? Do they suggest things that you can do to make your home show better? Even though you are hiring a realtor, you are still working as a team, so mutual listening, understanding and respect is very, very important.

Do not take things personally! You are emotionally attached to your house, what you paid for it, how you decorated it, etc., and we are not. We can sympathize with you, but we do our job by being objective and looking at your home from a non emotional point of view. If we tell you to clean up the yard, or to clean the carpet, or that your granite is not worth another $80,000.00 in the list price, please understand that this is what we do, and we know what will help you to sell your house. We are on your side! We are out there every day, working with buyers and sellers, looking at properties, looking and working online, etc., and while we want to get you as much money as possible for your home as quickly as possible, we also want to get it sold and get you happily moving on to your new life as soon as possible.

Be realistic and open to what your realtor suggest. If a price reduction is in order after 3 or 4 weeks, then consider it. The market is always changing, and if 20 more homes come on the market that are comparable/similiar to yours, and yours is listed the highest, ask yourself, "Would I pay another $80,000.00 for this house over the others, just because my master bedroom is larger? Just because my pool is bigger?" Be honest with yourself. Try and see it from the buyers point of view. Nothing is worse than an overpriced property sitting and stagnating on the Multiple Listing System for weeks that turn into months: you are on a dead end road. You don't have to be happy about it, but do what you have to do to stay competitive and let the realtor do their job.

I am sure that there are a lot of terrific, smaller brokerage houses around with great agents. I can understand why Bill is so aggravated about all of the commission money that he left behind when he worked with Coldwell Banker. That is part of why I left there also. So I moved on to two smaller companies that gave me more money, but then, I did not have the national exposure and other things that my clients and I needed and deserved. At some point, I will most likely make another change in my work company, but it certainly will not be to a smaller, lesser known one: it will be to one that is locally and internationally well known and respected.

So everyone will feel differently about this. I can tell you that my last 3 sales have been with people from Scotland, England, and Columbia: they found my personal website and we established a relationship online, and they bought property from me. I don't know if they cared about what company I worked for or not, I never asked them.

So good luck with everything, and take your time, and trust your instincts, Candace.

Ree Abbott - Century 21 Hansen Realty
0 votes
Ree Abbott, Home Buyer, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sat Jun 7, 2008
I am just reading Bill's new post:while I do not want to get into a debate with him, I do have to respond to what he has said regarding my response. I lived in & sold real estate in Los Angeles for 8 years. I was with Coldwell Banker. I relocated here to South Florida. I did not like the corporate "feeling/mentality" that I had experienced with Coldwell Banker in L. A. so I went with a small local agency when I came back here. Yes, I made more of a split (took more money) on my commission, but there were other factors that were not there that I felt were working against me & my clients. The owner never advertised, so there was no print advertising at all. I cannot stress enough how 87% of people are looking on the internet, but there are still people out there who do not even have a fax, or a computer, (never mind looking for property online) &who still read the real estate section on Sundays. So it is important to reach out to those people. Every ad that I do for my sellers generates phone calls regarding whatever properties that I am advertising, & that is what is important, getting the phone to ring & getting showings. Also, the smaller company that I worked for did not have floor time, which is time that agents get every week to be in the office & to speak to people who are calling about properties that they see in the newspaper, in ads, or by driving by & by calling off of the signs in front of a property. All of the floor phone calls went to the broker/owner, so he really was looking out for himself & not trying to share the calls with his agents, which is not nice. He was an active broker, so he was not there in the office a lot, he was trying to grab all of the business himself. After that, I tried another smaller, well known local company, &I had the same issues: making a bit more money, but the business was not there the way it had been for me when I was with a larger company. At least where I am now, we get floor calls from all over the world as well as locally, because people want to deal with a well known brand name.

I am not brain washed, but this is a fact. You are not going to get someone calling from Spain or England for a mom &pop brokerage house that they have never heard of, they are going to call a big name that is well advertised, well known & respected, &which has a strong internet presence. At this time, Century 21 has the second most viewed real estate website wesbit in the world, after http://www.realtor.com, & you cannot tell me that does not have major clout, when most of the action is happening on the internet.

Realtor.com is wonderful, & yes, it does have most of the listings nationally. I have always used it, but it does have somewhat of a lag time & is not always accurate. Itis not uncommon for people to contact me with something that they have found on realtor.com & it has already been sold, or it is no longer on the market for some reason, but the information has not been updated..

I am not sure why Bill states "Anyone looking for a home would be foolish to rely on any one real estate company." What does this mean? When you sign a contract to list, you are working exclusively eclusively with that one company & agent.

This is certainly not what I said, nor was it what I was even remotely suggesting. Your question was, how does one select a realtor? Where do you start? I suggested that you look at the websites of the largest & most well known companies & you go from there. Look at some of the agents profiles & call any that appeal to you, to speak to them. If you don't like what you find there, then you can get online & google " local brokerage houses". Whatever the choice, this realtor that you choose will have access to the Multiple Listing System, which is the central database that all agents use when looking for & posting a house for sale. The MLS is what the agent uses to show you what is going on out there. I certainly never said nor did I indicate that Century 21 "nor does any other brokerage have all the listings in the world." That is ridiculous.

Bill also states "We are a small local practically brand new unknown company ", so I can see why he is so against the larger companies, as they are his competition. However: you cannot tell me that a small local practically brand new unknown company" has better international, worldwide exposure that one of the bigger companies

As I said earlier, we all basically do the same thing: some of us do more than others. Not all agents bother to use the Enhanced Listing feature in realtor.com. Not all agents bother to have a good website that pulls in a lot of visitors &generates business. Not all agents bother with the minimum of advertising in the Sunday real estate section a few times a month. Not all agents do virtual tours, or mailings, etc. What is important that you feel very comfortable with this person, & that you feel that they hear & listen to you & your concerns and feelings. (Cont.)
0 votes
Jeannette Ne…, Agent, Tamarac, FL
Fri Jun 6, 2008
Candace

First hello!

Now as far as selecting an Realtor. You should interview three. As far as whether you should go with a big company or small it really balls down to who you feel comfortable with.

Like Ines has stated you don't want to go with an agent that is giving you the highest price. You want to go with someone who is willing to be honest with you whether its good or bad.

If you would like to email me I can send you a pre listing package that you can review. These are things that an agent will bring to a appointment. It would be my pleasure to share it with you. No pressure!

Jeannette- Coral Springs/ Pembroke Pines
Web Reference:  http://www.neerpat.com
0 votes
Al and Denise…, Agent, Lake Mary, FL
Fri Jun 6, 2008
Candace - picking your realtor is the first of many important decisions you will have to make once you have decided to put your home on the market. First of all, it's important that you select a reputable, well established company to represent you - a company that will provide your listing with maximum internet exposure. Today's buyer begins their home search on the web and it's imparative that buyers be able to find your home. Next, as if the company has national and international relocation services - you want to be sure to reach the out-of-state and even foreign buyer. Once you have selected two or three companies, contact the managing broker and ask that they recommend an experienced agent for their office. During the interview process be sure you feel comfortable with the agent, someone you can communicate well with, who understands your goals and needs and addresses them in a professional manner.

Denise Scheuy - Realtor - Lake Mary, FL
0 votes
Troy Yoshiha…, , Wesley Chapel, FL
Fri Jun 6, 2008
Make sure the REALTOR specializes in your area (remember, we are licensed by the state). You want a REALTOR that can not only present your home, but the benefits of living in the area. Make sure they can answer simple questions about the community and the surrounding area, i.e. schools, CDD, HOA, Community Ammenities, what's coming soon to the area, etc. Understand your contract and what happens if you decide to cancel the contract or fire the agent. And above all, make sure you and your family are comfortable with the agent (in this market you may be working with them for a while).
0 votes
Bryan R. Lov…, , Lynnwood, WA
Fri Jun 6, 2008
Candace,

A few recommendations for you to consider.

First of, collecting information on agent in your area is a good idea. What I mean by this is see if you find one agent who repeatedly is doing business in the neighborhood. These agents are likely to be well up to speed in your specific market. Often time’s agents will "farm" an area and spend a lot of time knowing the inventory. An agent like this will be of HIGH value to you since they know so much already. Expecially since there is a large inventory in the area.

Second, interview the agent(s). Hopefully in your driving around the neighborhood you found a couple agents that have or had some business recently. Schedule an appointment to have them come and take a look at your home. Ask them what they will do to help sell your home. Know what they do, every market place is a little different but you should be sure they are actively marketing your home.

Last, after you have interviewed all the agents, look at the facts. Some agents will try sometimes to "buy" your listing by promising to sell your home for a higher price then anyone else. Don't fall for letting the price be what makes your decision. Often times this type of listing will sit on the market for long periods of time and then end up selling for less than it could have if it would have just been priced right from the beginning. The first few weeks are when buyers consider you "fresh". After that the impressions of value will slowly deteriorate as time passes by. In short, don't be greedy just to see if you can get a little more. This will most likely cost you more in the end.

There truelly is so much to take into account when considering who to list your home with.

I hope this information has been of some use.

Best Wishes,
Bryan Lovell
Web Reference:  http://www.homelantern.com
0 votes
Bob Widing, , 93105
Fri Jun 6, 2008
You interview the realtor and ask for references. Buying or selling a home is very stressful and it is extremely important that you feel comfortable with the agent you choose to work with. It should become very clear to you that the agent ALWAYS puts your needs first. Referrals are the lifeline of our industry. I always say that good news travels fast but bad news travels faster. An agents reputation, especially if you are working within a intimate area will determine your success as a realtor.
Web Reference:  http://www.BobSB.com
0 votes
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