How to interview your REALTOR when Selling your home

There are about 40,000 real estate agents out there in Arizona. You can probably assume that more than one of them would love to earn your business. I’d also love to add, that chances are good that not one of them will do things the same either.  So, how do you choose the right agent for you? 

People tend to get a little too caught up in finding a ‘Neighborhood specialist’ or someone that has deep knowledge about ‘the market’. These things come with knowing how to do your job, well. The stats are all available to us, we just need to know how to get it, use it and refine it.  This takes effort in researching, and asking the seller the right questions about the home. 

So, how do you know you’re hiring the right person to help you sell your home?

First and foremost, the important thing is, how can they SELL your home? How do they plan on marketing your home? We all put the home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and then *Spoiler alert* the MLS will then syndicate the listing out to a multitude of IDX services. Those are the services you have probably looked at to find values on your own. There’s the Z site, the T site and a few hundred more.  How will your home appear on those sites, is an important question to ask. Will they hire a professional photographer to show the home in the best light? Does your property have any unique aspects that warrant additional commentary or marketing, such as water views, mountain views, upgrades etc. These things may warrant drone video or sunset photography, video tours, 3D mapping, staging, or any number of options available. 
Regarding the listing… Will your home be described well, or will the agent simply state the obvious when describing it? Will they utilized the photo descriptions to give the buyer insight into each room? Will they tell the buyer about upgrades and improvements the buyer may not readily see? Will the listing be complete and accurate? Does the agent know that not all syndication sites accept all the information? The larger IDX sites should be corrected by the agent, rather than relying on electronic information transferring completely.

Aside from the MLS, third party IDX and professional services, how else can the agent assist the sale of your home?  Sales is not a black and white business, and sometimes it takes creativity and drive to succeed.  The most common question that I hear from listing agents is “How can I get more people into my listing?” You know what the most common answer is? “lower the price”
I’m sorry if you’re an agent reading this… but that’s just lazy. There are times when price is the issue. Usually you know it from the beginning, as pricing issues are usually pretty obvious. Also, the cure all to anything is to lower the price. Many people go out on Black Friday to buy things they don’t need, because the price is too good to pass up.   Instead of just jumping on the price, is the agent going to be proactive in their marketing? Targeted ads, online exposure, sign riders, networking, FB forums, Instagram, twitter… there are a million things that you can try to get your listing exposure. Price is just easy….
On that topic, you should also be wary of an agent that will overprice your home, just because you  want more. Keep in mind, that agent isn’t buying the house… The magic number is not in your control or the agents. Hire based on their abilities to negotiate, not willingness to submit to your will.

Knowledge of the contract, homes and the laws that affect us all is crucial. It won’t matter how much the agent knows about your neighborhood, or how many forums they blast your home out to, if they don’t understand the terms of the contract.  One of the most common frustrations in this business is the misinterpretations, and the lack of understanding of the purchase contract, additional addenda, preliminary reports  as well as title and lending AND the changes in case law.  Hiring an agent that is dedicated to staying educated on laws, regulations and changes should be the highest priority in order to protect you through the process.

We subscribe to the National Association of Realtors, and therefore we are held to the highest standard, our Code of Ethics.  It goes without saying that all Realtors should do what’s right for all parties. Honesty, fairness, loyalty, obedience, confidentiality are all included in everything a good, ethical realtor should be.  Trust your gut when hiring a Realtor and make sure that above all, you feel comfortable with that person, not only in how they will sell your home, but in how they will protect you. A real estate sale is a serious transaction and should not be entered into lightly. There are contracts and disclosures, which survive the sale, so always, always…. trust your gut when hiring a real estate agent to represent you.

 

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